Journaling The Journey

Carbon Footprint Ecofriendly travel

We are passionate about nature and the animals within it – this is why we love travel and adventure.  With that said, travel can certainly create a big carbon footprint, so we are always mindful about  how we live and explore.  Therefore ecofriendly travel is always our focus.


Ecofriendly travel and vegan food
Vegan food

Masha is vegan, which makes Rob vegan a lot of the time as well!  This certainly does cut down on our carbon footprint and makes our travel much more ecofriendly.

BPA free food containers are key to ecofriendly travel.  So, if there are any leftovers we take them along creating zero waste.  We purchase fruit and veggies directly from the growers which are without the plastic wrap that so many supermarkets force on us.  This also  limits the transport of the products.

Ecofriendly Water

Ecofriendly travel melting glaciers in Iceland
Melting glaciers in Iceland

While traveling it is very easy to consume many plastic water bottles per day per person which makes travel very non ecofriendly.   Did you know that only 5% or so of plastic is really recycled in the US?

In the developing world (and even in first world countries) it can be difficult to find water dispensing facilities, this is why we travel with a water purification gravity system.  The one that we use is Lifestraw Gravity Bag which filters into a Camelback 3 litre bag.  However there are many others on the market. 

Yes it takes a few minutes to set it up everyday, but you can take almost any kind of water – lake, river, hotel room and make it into crystal clear and healthy water quickly and easily. 

The key to a good system while traveling is the filter.  For us being homeless, it is our house water purifier and needs to have a filter that can withstand use for at least 2,000 liters/500 gallons.  We add on a secondary filter (super lightweight) to remove metals and other nasties.  

Another must have for us are  water containers to carry the water that we just purified.  We use a wide mouthed bottle that are easy to clean and have a handle to easily attach to backpacks. 

Bodum glass coffee cups are another must for us, as they are great for both hot and cold beverages and again eliminate the need for single use cups.  Since we are such minimalists we stuff socks and other such items in the cups when they are not in use.

Reusable Items

Reusable items are also uber key for ecofriendly travel.  For instance, we always carry a few heavy duty yet easily collapsible parachute material bags.  These are great for shopping and carrying extra “stuff”.  We always take these bags along with  reusable plastic forks and the reusable take out containers that I mentioned earlier – especially when eating out.    This way we eliminate the need for take out containers and the plastic bags that usually come with them.

Plastic Straws

Plastic straws are very rarely recycled (especially in developing countries where it is hot and many people use them to sip on refreshing drinks – we get it).  We have stopped using them altogether and have found that we do not miss them.  If you do, we hear that traveling with bamboo straws is just like having the plastic one, just so much better for the wild life that ends up suffering because of the plastic version.

Our Love of Animals

Ecofriendly travel elephants vegan animals
Chobi, Botswana Elephants

As I stated earlier, animals and nature are our passion.  This is why we try to support as many mindful charitable organizations that help animals as we can.  Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand is one of our favorites. Education is key when it comes to raising awareness about what we should and should not do with animals.  As an example, until one realizes what torture an elephant endures to be ridden, an elephant ride does not seem so bad.  NEVER RIDE AN ELEPHANT. Petting a cute lion cub also seems harmless and something most people would love to do.  However, almost all of these “sanctuaries” are no such thing.    We always do our research in advance and vote with our money to help support organizations that are local and truly focused on the animal and not the profit from them.

Hotel Living

Since we live in hotels and Airbnbs we are very mindful about how often cleaners clean our rooms.  We do our own cleaning for the most part, because every time the cleaners come in they change sheets, towels and replace plastic garbage bags.  All of that adds up from a carbon footprint perspective. In addition, all of those tiny plastic shampoos and conditioner bottles (which are not recycled) also add up.  Therefore we carry our own in refillable containers. 

Wrap Up – Ecofriendly Travel

Ecofriendly travel gorilla vegan animals
Bwindi Forest Silverback Gorilla.

Ecofriendly travel is top of mind for us.  Do I drive Rob a little crazy with my insistence of lowering our carbon footprint?  Yup, I do every single day.  But in the long run we both think that it is worth it for us, the animals and the planet. 

We want to be able to lead this life style for a very long time.   Given how quickly the world is changing we want to do our part.  Do you have any other ideas for us?  We would love to hear what you do to lower your carbon footprint!   

Please do share your ideas and successes as we would love to do more to travel in an ecofriendly way and lower our carbon footprint even more.