Green globetrotters, unite! Every day off is Earth Day with these handy tips for striking places off your travel bucket list.
Being environmentally friendly is not a daunting concept at all; it’s really all about small actions like recycling and switching off the lights to reduce our carbon footprint and ultimately, ensure Mother Earth is liveable for everyone. As jet-setters always on the lookout for new destinations to satisfy that #wanderlust, here’s how you can do your part even when you’re globetrotting.
1) Stay in eco-friendly places
With growing concerns about climate change, many people are finding ways to limit their impact on the environment, one of which is homesharing. Airbnb homes consume less energy than traditional accommodation per guest night by 63 percent, and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions by 61 percent, according to a study by Cleantech Group. There’s also a reduction of up to 39 percent in water use per guest night; that’s 3,000 Olympic-sized pools! Check out the gallery (below) featuring 5 of the greenest Airbnbs in SG’s neighbouring countries.
2) Use recycle bags
This is one of the easiest ways to go green, but sadly, is still an idea far-removed from Singaporeans’ consciousness. We could definitely do away with unnecessary plastic bags that can never break down completely, only spelling trouble for the environment. It won’t take much effort to slip one or two of those nifty recycle bags into your backpack when you’re heading out. Think about how many plastic bags you can save on just a day of shopping at Platinum Mall in Bangkok!
3) Use a reusable water bottle
When we’re travelling, it’s so easy to just buy and throw bottles of mineral water, but that only contributes to one of the most prevalent forms of pollution. These plastic bottles can take centuries to decompose in landfills, and they absorb toxins as they slowly break down into fragments over time, becoming pretty much like environmental time bombs – yikes! Using a reusable water bottle is not just good news for the environment, it’s actually more friendly on your pocket, and you’ll tend to drink up more, so why not?
4) Get around like a local
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Take public transport, cycle or simply walk. If you’re travelling between cities, try taking a train or coach instead of a domestic flight – you’ll help to emit a whopping three to seven times less gas than air travel. A little goes a long way in reducing the stress on our environment.
Now, for 5 of the eco-friendliest places to stay in the region…
This stunning eco-villa, set in the sacred Ayung river valley, is entirely made from bamboo. Be surrounded by tranquil nature and explore the Green Village, which houses an organic farm and a school with a curriculum focused on sustainable living, where they grow their own food and generate most of their own power. You can even attend workshops to learn how to construct buildings from bamboo, and how to use coconuts for food, shelter and soap.
NEXT: Eco Beach House – West Bali, Indonesia →
This handcrafted tree house in a remote village in west Bali is made from recycled boat wood, bamboo, local limestone & local sustainably harvested timbers. Nestled up in the trees, it has a big veranda and is surrounded by an organic garden.
NEXT: Nature House – Bangkok, Thailand →
A little piece of oasis in bustling Bangkok, this cosy little cottage is in a quiet village just outside of the city centre. With a garden balcony and surrounded by birds and trees, you’ll forget you’re in one of the biggest cities in Asia.
NEXT: Malay farmers hut – Langkawi, Malaysia →
Located in a village surrounded by untouched nature, paddy fields and the Geopark, a UNESCO Heritage Site, this is a rustic rural retreat. This beautiful hut is a fully restored 100-year-old traditional farmers’ dwelling, with modern luxuries and views of the Mat Cincang Mountain. You can also look forward to encounters with water buffaloes, coastal birds and the elusive nocturnal Flying Lemur.
NEXT: Clean and Green – Penang, Malaysia →
Stay close to the famous Georgetown in Penang, but escape to a tranquil paradise. Return to your home away from home after a day of exploring the alleyways of Georgetown, and relax with a garden balcony and an inviting sea view – what more could you ask for?
NEXT: Stunning All Bamboo House by River – Bali, Indonesia →
By Loh Pui Ying, HerWorld, April 21, 2017/ Additional Reporting: Debby Kwong, February 2018
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