Homeschooling, Motherhood, Travel

Tips on How to be a Responsible and Environmentally-Conscious Traveler

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Traveling leaves a lot of carbon footprint. But it is also one way to enhance learning experiences for our kids. We have made it a part of our homeschooling curriculum and it has been a fulfilling journey for our family. That is why wherever we go, we make efforts to become an environmentally-conscious traveler. The kids have been trained to be aware of how things affect the environment and this has influenced their way of thinking as well as their actions. We have trained them early and they are living it.

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~ Our family at the Xenia Hotel in Clark. ~

How to be an Environmentally-Conscious Traveler

Right now, we are on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of Covid-19. We are, too. But after this pandemic, I am sure that we will also be on our way somewhere.

Be an environmentally-conscious traveler with these tips that our family continues to follow.

Protect Wildlife

Let us all protect different animal species, including insects. As long as they are in their natural habitats, we tell the kids not to harm insects, like ants. They are all part of the ecosystem.

I am mentioning this because once, my brother and I took the tour of the tarsier conservation in Bohol, Philippines. We were briefed that these wide-eyed creatures are nocturnal so they sleep during the day. With that, we were told not to make so much noise and not to go near the animals. If they get disturbed in their sleep, they go crazy and kill themselves. Guides are stationed beside each sleeping tarsier in order to protect them from nosy people. Then a ribbon is tied around the area so that guests can keep their distance.

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~ A lovely shot of a tarsier in Bohol taken by my brother using his powerful camera. So adorable! Photo by Iman Dugeno. ~

But there were still tourists who kept laughing and shouting no matter how many times they were told not to. They also went under the ribbons in order to get a close up selfie with the tarsier. How incorrigible! That’s not being an environmentally-conscious traveler.

Shop local

Help local businesses and communities, especially those who make handicraft and artisanal wares. You are not only helping the local economy, you are reducing carbon footprint of transported goods.

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~ Patronize local services, too. Shawna and Shane had these island braids in Boracay. ~

Order food you can consume

We are aware that eat all you can buffets are the trend in restaurants nowadays. But do minimize wastage. Get only what you can consume.

For ala carte orders, order food that’s just enough for your group. If you cannot finish your food, have the waiters pack your leftovers and bring it back with you or give them away.

Save the trees

Most of us have already have internet-ready mobile phones. Save travel itineraries there instead of printing them out. That will be less use of paper as well as of electricity and ink. That’s probably the first thing to being an environmentally-conscious traveler.

Throw trash properly

Please don’t litter. Put your trash, no matter how small it is, in designated trash bins. If you can’t find any, bring your trash with you and dispose them when a garbage can is available.

At La Vista Highlands Mountain Resort, San Carlos City, there are trash cans with proper labels everywhere.

Reusable utensils

If you can, bring reusable utensils, if you can. They will be especially handy when you buy some take-out food that you will bring back to the hotel. Or you may borrow utensils from the hotel. Seda Ayala Center Cebu is very keen on providing utensils for our use in the room.

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~ Baluarte Rest and Relaxation Resort has reusable straws. ~

That way, you avoid using single-use plastic utensils. Also try to reject drinking straws. There are other establishments that use reusable straws, like Baluarte Rest and Relaxation Mountain Resort | Murcia, Negros Occidental.

Bring ecobags

When we travel, we usually shop of stuff. These include necessities like grocery items or medicines. Lessen the use of plastic bags by bringing your own reusable ecobags. If these are small items from the pharmacy, you can reject those little plastic bags that cause so much clogging in drainage.

Segregate trash

Some nice hotels like Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo have segregated trash bins in the room. But other hotels don’t. You can segregate your own trash by separating non-biodegradables. There are usually

Bring your water bottles.

We usually bring two water bottles that we share among the four of us in order to lessen the weight of what we are carrying. In some airports, we have to drink the contents before getting to pre-departure. However, when we reach our destination, we carry these around and refill them in restaurants. It saves us some pocket money while avoiding the pile up of single-use plastic water bottles.

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~ Yes, we do consume the bottled water in our hotel room. We usually run out because there are four of us. But we bring our own water bottles and refill them. Sometimes, we would request for a pitcher from the housekeeping. Then if we pass by their restaurant, we ask the waiters to refill our water bottles. ~

That is why it is really our suggestion that theme parks, like the Aqua Planet in Clark, should allow personal water containers and install coin-operated refilling stations. Same goes true for Magikland Silay theme park.

Use, Don’t Abuse

Most of the time when we travel, we stay in Philippine hotels. As you are aware, hotels provide us with amenities and toiletries. We are free to use them because it’s part of what we pay for. You can the coffee, tea, sugar, toiletries, and other stuff provided. You may also bring them home. But if you will not really use them at home, I suggest that you leave them behind unopened.

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~ Hotel toiletries, like these ones at Clark Marriott Hotel, come with our stay. That means we have paid for them. We may opt to use them, especially if we forgot to bring our own, but let’s not abuse them. These little plastic bottles become trash, remember that. ~

For example, those bedroom slippers. We usually bring our own flip flops when we travel, so unless we forget to bring our personal slippers, we don’t open what the hotel provides. Even the cute yellow slippers provided by The Orchard Hotel Baguio.

Then we just leave them in the room so that the hotel won’t have to replenish them for the next guest. Yes, it saves the hotel some money but you are also saving the environment.

Reduce Air Pollution

Air pollution is getting worse and the earth’s temperature is increasing. We can lessen our contribution

Walk more, drive less.

Consider walking to more of your travel itineraries than taking the cab. You will save some pocket money while doing some exercise.

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~ This scene is very common for us when we are traveling. This was taken during our walk from Ilomoca Museum to Richmonde Hotel Iloilo. Our kids have never liked strollers. So either they walk or by the end of the day, Shane will ask to be carried. But now, I don’t think her Dad can do it for her again. ~

Use public transportation.

Instead of taking the cab, try the public transportation if you can. Ride sharing is always good for the environment because there is less emissions. Air pollution is caused by particles and gasses suspended in the air. We can minimize that with ride sharing through public transport.

Rent bicycles

There are now many communities, like the Iloilo Business Park by Megaworld, where bicycles can be rented for going around the area. Use them more than taking the cab or booking Grab.

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~ Some places, like the Iloilo Business Park, offer bicycle rentals. Take advantage of them if you are just going somewhere nearby. ~

What Children See

Just remember that our children look up at their parents as role models. They will mirror our actions, mostly especially during family travel, when we are not concerned with daily chores and work. If we show care and concern for our environment, our children will most likely follow suit. We will surely raise up an environmentally-conscious traveler and a conscientious adult.

Other family travel stories

Meanwhile, here are some other family travel stories. As much as we can, we try to be an environmentally-conscious traveler. We have kids who look up to us, so we better set good examples to them. Just click on any of the links below:


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