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Busy as it is, I’m blessed to have carved a career out of doing something I love so much: travel! Every week, I’m either liaising with tourism boards, PR firms or brands to help create content that can be of value to our audience.

However, it’s become unavoidable to travel these days without considering the impact on the environment. Over the years, I’ve developed my own mini-strategy to help do my part in saving what we have left of our planet, because let’s face it, as a society, we’re not cleaning up our collective act fast enough.

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Travel for as long as I can to a destination

Getting invited on a press trip brings a smile from ear to ear, but destination boards often have to account for budgets when inviting media to their represented region. This in turn creates a super fast-paced itinerary and while it’s easy to wake up and just “show up” for what’s on that day’s agenda, it makes me think twice about the environmental impact I’m having on this short and sweet experience.

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This is why I do the added legwork of adding on as many days as possible to a trip. A four-day media trip to Shanghai turns into two weeks of exploration, mostly via subways and on foot. Another four-day presser to Mazatlán becomes eight days of working (albeit with sweet views of the sea and swaying palms from my hotel room window).

If I’m able to extend a trip, it allows me explore more while there, making the pace less hectic, more engaging and less stressful on our planet compared to shorter, more frequent trips.

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Pack several canvas tote bags

Do away with asking for plastic bags whenever possible! Those canvas swag tote bags are wonderful for packing small meals on travel days, taking to local markets for souvenirs, packing a towel and heading to the beach with, and (if you have a neutral-coloured one) it can even serve as a purse when a backpack is too casual for the occasion. These guys have become a no-brainer take-along on my travels.

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Choose a local mode of transportation whenever possible

Taking local buses, trams, subways, trains – even renting a bike – helps the environment while getting you more acquainted with the place you’re visiting. You may even strike up a conversation en route. I can’t recall how many times I’ve asked for tips or directions on a bus (and am the first to help when someone visiting Vancouver asks me the same).

Do you have any tips to share on environmental travel? Please feel free to post a comment 😊

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