How to Be a Better Traveller

In honour of Earth Day, we asked Danielle Chabassol of Exploring Alternatives to share her tips on reducing our environmental impact on the road.

What inspired you to explore alternative ways of living and travelling?
My partner Mat and I started Exploring Alternatives as a way to share our nomadic lifestyle with our friends and family after selling our house to travel full-time.

What drives your eco-travel philosophy?
Being green influences a lot of the decisions we make. We try to offset our travel impact with other lifestyle choices, like taking a minimalist approach to our possessions.

What are your top three tips to limit your environmental impact when travelling?

  1. Travel slowly. Pick your destinations carefully and invest time in researching and planning your trip to reduce the overall emissions related to your travel.
  2. Reduce your consumption of disposable packaging. We love the Canadian company Life Without Plastic because they sell great quality reusables, like this leakproof stainless-steel food container. We’ve had ours for over two years and we love them!
  3. Eat a mostly plant-based diet whenever you can. It might seem unrelated, but several articles and documentaries have shown that eating less meat can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint.

What are some zero-waste carry-on items you’ve discovered and love?
We’re huge fans of the zero-waste movement. When we travel, we do our best to reduce the number of single-use disposables we buy – things like coffee cups, straws and plastic water bottles. Stainless steel is our friend on this one. Contigo’s travel mug is the best one we’ve had so far: It never leaks, and it keeps drinks hot for hours. We also got a pair of sporks, and they always come in handy on the road. We still end up using some plastic despite our efforts, but our goal isn’t to be perfect – we just want to try to limit our waste whenever we can.

What kind of impact has Exploring Alternatives had on your lives?
We feel lucky to have a platform like YouTube where we can share our lifestyle ideas with people and get immediate feedback. We love when people share with us, because we love learning and hearing from different perspectives. The small downside to having an audience is the extra pressure to practise what we preach all the time. We’re just doing our best!

Where will your audience get to watch you go next?
We’re interested in exploring South Africa and New Zealand.