How to: Be an Eco-Friendly Digital Nomad

Travelling is a wonderful experience and we would never deny that. Having said that, the issue of modern day travel and the negative impact it has on the environment is an issue that cannot be ignored. Increased levels of pollution and the general abuse of our surroundings have done lots to damage the environment, but as digital nomads, we need to take responsibility for our part in this; our carbon footprint is huge because of all the air travel we do. Knowing that this is going on, it is right and fair that we, as the digital nomad community, do all we can to minimise the impact our lifestyles have on places we choose to stay.

One thing that is a huge problem is litter, especially plastic litter. We caught up with our fellow Triber Karol who had this to say…

Whilst surfing at the beaches of Canggu, Bali, with every stroke paddling out, I had a plastic bag or some other rubbish stick to my arm or brush up against me and give me shudders. I also witnessed it in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Plenty of amazing natural locations, hike trials and tourist hotspots are littered beyond imagination.
It won’t be the same to travel to these amazing places if they are covered in rubbish
— Karol Lbik

So what can we do as a generation that loves to travel to preserve the world for our offspring?


Here are some simple, easy tips to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.


1. Use public transport

When you're based in the city, if the public transport system is good, then make full use of it. It can be easy to get taxis and Uber's instead for personal comfort, but using existing transport infrastructure can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

2. Take the Cross Country Bus

Go one step further and if you can travel between countries by bus give it a go! Yes it takes more time but you do get to enjoy the amazing landscapes as you travel through.

3. Say no to plastic straws

When ordering your drinks, try not to accept plastic straws. You could either do without or you could see if they've got paper straws instead. Alternatively, you could go prepared and carry a reusable bamboo straw, which vegan and eco friendly AND biodegradable. 



Don’t get a plastic bag with your small grocery shopping. We often travel with a small rucksack so take that with you! 


Hiking up a mountain or volcano for amazing 360 views? Whatever you take up with you, make sure you bring it back down and don't leave litter.


Avoid products that have a ton of individual wrapping. 


If you're in a city that's easily walkable, use it as an opportunity to increase your steps and stay active as you travel. In any case, you're more likely to find exciting things when you're walking anyway so it's a win-win!


Have a reusable water bottle that you can refill (given it is recommended to drink tap water or there are water fountains around). You can actually save a LOT of money by doing things this way but of course make sure that the water is safe for you to drink.


Vote with your wallet and choose environment friendly establishments (hotels, hostels, restaurants, tour agencies) that are actively working to offset their impact on the environment. 


Join initiatives like plogging - “picking up litter while jogging” - it'll keep you fit, and also connect you to new people. It's also a great opportunity to give back to the community so give it a try! If there's none in the area where you're staying and litter is a serious problem, why not start one up and start your very own eco friendly revolution!

What do you think about eco friendly nomad travel? Have you had any experiences where you’ve visited a place and it’s obvious that tourism has caused a lot of problems? Do you have any tips on how we can all as a community, lessen the negative impact? Post your feedback in the comments below!

Until next time...


Karol is one of our much loved WiFi Tribe members and an advocate of travel and adventure as a lifestyle. Thanks for the post good sir! 

*Excerpts of this article have previously been released here on Medium. Sign up and follow Karol and other bloggers who have something to share!