6 tips for healthy & sustainable travel for you, those around you, and the planet
- Use reusable masks
You should wear a mask whenever you are in an indoor space, or when you are outdoors, and social distancing is not possible, to protect yourself, other travellers, and the residents of the local communities you are discovering. Reusable masks cost less and are more eco-friendly for destinations; whilst ensuring that medical-grade masks remain available for medical professionals.
2. Turn off the water while you wash your hands
Experts recommend you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, but that doesn’t mean you should waste water. If you are using a sink that does not have automatic sensors, consider turning off the tap as you scrub your hands, as it can help save considerable amounts of water; which helps preserve our planet’s ecosystem and support the local communities you are visiting.
3. Wash your hands over sanitiser when possible
Washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap is more effective at killing harmful bacteria than hand sanitiser. Only using hand sanitiser when you really need to means you will have to purchase or refill it less, therefore consuming less of the plastic and materials used to produce it and contributing to the sustainability of the environment.
4. Use reusable & refillable sanitiser containers
Use refillable sanitiser containers and hand sanitisers in eco-friendly packaging whenever possible to reduce plastic waste. These are a sustainable alternative to small, single-use plastic bottles of hand sanitiser. Another option could also be to purchase larger quantities of hand sanitiser and refill your smaller container when needed.
5. Avoid single-use items when possible
Studies show that single-use items are not necessarily safer than reusable ones, but can lead to a false sense of security. As much as possible, take responsibility for bringing with you your own items, such as pens, plastic bags and even reusable water bottles, rather than using single-use items. This not only keeps you and those around you safer, but it is more sustainable.
6. Walk & bike whenever possible
Research shows that the risk of transmission for COVID-19 is significantly lower when outdoors. Walking, biking or using open deck tours at destinations is better for the environment, for your health and for the wellbeing of those around you too.
Written by Tiffany Misrahi, VP Policy and Rachel Salcedo, Communications Executive World Travel & Tourism Council