5 Tips for Sustainable Beach Travel 

June 28, 2019

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.

Everyone deserves some R&R now and then, and heading down the shore is one of the most popular ways to escape the office for a bit during the summer months. However, any type of travel creates an environmental impact, and our oceans and beaches already face pollution problems. Is there any way to make this summers’ shore trip less devastating to the planet?

Yes — there is much you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint during your summer holiday this year. Here are five tips for what to do and what to avoid to keep our oceans and shorelines clean for future generations. 

1. Carry Reusable Supplies 

Going on holiday often involves a bit of retail therapy, and staying hydrated on hot days requires drinking a lot of water. Rather than discard single-use plastic grocery bags or pay $3 for one bottle of water out of the mini fridge, carry cloth bags and a reusable bottle.

If you drive to your destination, cloth grocery bags can double as luggage until you reach your cosy beach cabin and unpack. Plus, you’ll rest assured you’re not contributing to the 8 million metric tons of plastic which end up in our oceans each year. 

2. Opt to Bike or Walk Whenever Possible 

Depending upon where you choose to holiday, you may need to drive or fly to your destination, but once you arrive, there’s no need to rely on Uber and Taxis. Opt to walk or rent a bike to get from place to place. Chances are, tons of seaside restaurants and shops line the beachfront anyway, and traveling via such methods allows greater opportunity to explore. 

3. Aim to Travel Lightly 

Did you know the heavier an airplane is, the more fuel it requires to fly? While there’s no need to go on a crash diet prior to your trip, reducing the amount of stuff you carry with you means decreasing the emissions connected with your travel. 

Each personal item such as a purse should be no wider than 36-inches and your carryon bag must be less than 45 linear inches. You’ll probably live in a swimsuit and sundress anyway, so this is likely all you need to bring. Plus, you won’t have to pay luggage fees nor worry about items getting lost in transit. 

4. Eat Light and Local 

Instead of hitting the trendy tourist steakhouse, seek out local restaurants which serve up dishes with ingredients indigenous to the area to cut transport costs. Since you’re seaside, there is probably plenty of interesting local fare, so pass on the red meat which contributes to rainforest deforestation. 

5. Opt for All-Natural Sunscreens 

Many commercial sunscreens contain harsh chemicals which contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs and destruction of ocean life. Protecting your skin is important, but so is saving the creatures who share our planet. Opt for all-natural, reef safe sunscreens. 

6. Leave Only Footprints

Many seasoned outdoor enthusiasts know best practices involve taking only photographs and leaving nothing but footprints. Indeed, many shoreline areas have instituted Leave Only Footprints campaigns which not only encourage visitors to pick up their litter, they also educate travelers about treating native wildlife with respect. 

Who can forget the horrors of tourists killing baby dolphins all for a chance to take a selfie to post on social media? Please, if you participate in activities such as snorkeling, refrain from touching the animals. And if you see an aquatic animal stranded on the shore, notify a lifeguard or other authority figure for assistance. 

Keeping Our Beaches Clean for Future Generations 

Our beaches are treasures everyone can enjoy even if they possess little money. To preserve them for future generations, it’s imperative we practice sustainable travel now. Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy the serenity of the ocean, free from human litter and destruction. 

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