8 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips for Sri Lanka
We know you love to travel and experience new destinations and cultures. We also know that you desire to make the least negative impact on a destination and community when you visit because you want to be a responsible traveller. Small changes to your travel habits go a long way, whether it be carrying a reusable water bottle or shopping local, it makes a significant difference. Here are 8 tips to make your travels around Sri Lanka more eco-friendly.
Avoid the Big Four
The Big Four are the major plastic items we use; plastic bottles, bags, straws and coffee cups. These four products are the most common single-use plastic products and you would reduce a significant amount of trash if you avoid them. Today, most restaurants have opted for more sustainable options like bamboo or metal straws, but the use of polythene bags is still a major issue, so try and avoid them whenever possible.
Carry Your Water Bottle
This is a good tip to keep in mind. The one downside for Sri Lanka being a tropical paradise is that it can get very hot and humid, so you’re always thirsty. Quite often we choose convenience over sustainability and opt to purchase a plastic water bottle while at the beach or while on a hike. However, this decision ultimately has a detrimental impact on the environment. An easy alternative is to travel with your own reusable water bottle and fill it up wherever you go.
Use Reef-Friendly Sunscreen
Whether you are wearing sunscreen at the beach or while sightseeing, it is always best to wear a reef-safe sunscreen. Inevitably everything ends up in the ocean and sunscreen is no different. There are harmful chemicals in regular sunscreen which disrupt marine ecosystems and can endanger marine life.
Bring Your Own Toiletries
This is another small decision that can make a major difference. By bringing your own toiletries along, you can help reduce your plastic consumption. Before travelling, refill your shampoo, conditioner and face and body wash, rather than buying them new or using the samples in hotels.
Wherever Possible Use Public Transport or Walk
This is a rather obvious tip, but whenever possible try and reduce your carbon footprint. While public transport in Sri Lanka may not be the most luxurious, it gets the job done and it is certainly the cheapest way to travel around the island. Buses and trains run widely through the country, and if it’s only a quick journey to the beach why not walk or cycle there instead? Not only will this reduce carbon emissions, but you will get to see the country in a different light, and also have the chance to chat with locals.
Stay at Eco-Friendly Hotels
Sri Lanka has a whole host of hotels that are both luxurious and eco-friendly. Whether you find yourself along the golden beaches of Kalpitiya or in the misty mountains of Kandy, you will always find eco-friendly accommodation in Sri Lanka.
Stay on the Beaten Path
As much as we love to explore uncharted territory and stay away from crowds, sometimes it’s important to stay on the path. When you visit a national park or a nature reserve you must not stray away from the trail; the trail is there to protect you as well as the surrounding environment.
Do. Not. Litter
This is the golden rule of travelling; leave a place the way you found it. Unfortunately, whenever a destination becomes a tourism hot spot, the litter in that space increases. Not only is this detrimental to the environment, but it also negatively impacts the natural beauty of the surroundings. If you are carrying any plastic items with you, make an effort to dispose of them responsibly. Sri Lankan national parks don’t have many trash cans, so you must take back whatever trash you bring with you.