More and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of preserving our planet. That’s why a sustainable way of life became more popular in the last few years. People are trying to incorporate their eco-friendly ways in every aspect of their lives. This includes traveling. Since tourism is accountable for roughly 8% of global gas emissions, we have to consider having more eco-friendly vacations. If we add to this equation the fact that 67% of Americans are pet owners, and they bring their furry friends on holidays, the whole thing gets more challenging. Therefore, in today’s article, we will talk about how to have a sustainable vacation with pets. Let’s see what you can do!
Sustainable tourism – consider eco-friendly destinations and accommodation
When going on a vacation, it all starts with choosing the destination. If you want to go on a more sustainable vacation with your pet, it would be ideal not to go too far from home. You can go on a camping trip and explore the natural beauties of your state with your little furry friend. This is always more sustainable than traveling out of the state. Additionally, it leaves a smaller ecological footprint than staying at a luxurious hotel, for example.
On the other hand, if you want to go somewhere further, make sure to look for sustainable accommodation with green labels, such as the Green Key label. This label is internationally acknowledged, and it indicates that a hotel is committed to environmentalism. Sustainable hotels will provide eco-friendly amenities for both you and your pet. Therefore, choosing the right destination and hotel when going on a sustainable vacation with pets is a crucial first step.
Pack your dog in a sustainable manner
When it comes to packing your pet, you have to think green here as well. This means you’ll have to consider purchasing sustainable pet products. For example, pack your pet’s food in reusable containers and bring an eco-friendly dog bowl with you.
Furthermore, don’t buy plastic toys for your pet. Instead, look for fun, sustainable toys as well! You can even go for a little DIY project and make some fun pet toys out of recycled eco-friendly materials you can find in your home. These kinds of toys are definitely kinder to the environment than the ones you can find in a pet store. Moreover, they will come in handy when traveling – your pet can play with it while on the road and later in the accommodation.
Also, don’t give in and buy all the fancy stuff for your furry friend at the pet store. Yes, all those shiny things seem like a lot of fun, but your pet doesn’t really care if you buy an expensive toy, bed, or piece of clothing. Most of them are extremely polluting as well. And both you and your pet don’t want nor need that kind of stuff!
Choose an eco-friendly travel solution
Once you choose the destination and pack your bags, it’s time to hit the road. Since we’re talking about a sustainable vacation with pets, we have to mention types of transportation that are both pet and eco-friendly. So, let’s see what’s the most sustainable transportation solution:
- Plane: recent research shows that a single 2,500-mile trip emits enough carbon dioxide to melt 32 square feet of arctic ice. Enough said, right? Even if you have to travel by plane, look for airplane companies that at least try to be more sustainable.
- Car: traveling by car can be eco-friendly if you have a hybrid or an electric vehicle, but not everybody does. On the other hand, it’s much more sustainable than a plane.
- Train: when it comes to carbon emission, trains emit approximately 24 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, which is not great, but it’s definitely better than planes and cars.
All things considered, traveling by hybrid car is the most eco-friendly solution.
However, not all people can afford this type of car. So, the most reasonable solution is definitely a rail trip.
Fun activities for a sustainable vacation with pets
Going on vacation means relaxing, enjoying, and spending quality time with your friends, family, or yourself. And in this scenario – your pet! There are a bunch of amazing activities you can do while on vacation. However, some are more sustainable than others. Depending on the destination, here are some eco-friendly activities both you and your pet will enjoy:
- Swimming: Whether your vacation includes a beach or lake, swimming is always a good idea – especially if you have a dog!
- Hiking: Exploring nature on foot is one of the best sustainable ways to spend a vacation with your pet.
- Picnic: Bring a blanket and eco-friendly pet toys, pack some homemade food and sustainable water bottles, and have a fun picnic date with your furry friend.
These three super fun, sustainable activities you can do pretty much anywhere you go. So, don’t waste time on something that’s not eco-friendly when you can have the time of your life doing something like this!
Bring biodegradable waste bags everywhere you go
When on a sustainable vacation with pets, you can help the ecological footprint of canine waste and the percentage of plastic that ends up in landfills by using biodegradable pet waste bags. We all know the adverse effect plastic has on our dear friend planet Earth. What about the pet’s waste? It produces bacteria and other poisonous contaminants that pollute rivers, lakes, and streams. Therefore, by using biodegradable waste bags, you’re saving our planet from environmental pollution.
So, look for the best biodegradable waste bags on the Internet or in your local store, and purchase them as soon as possible. Additionally, put a few of them in every bag, so you always have them on yourself whenever you take your pet outside.
Final thoughts on a sustainable vacation with pets
So, there you have it! All the information you need to have a more sustainable vacation with pets. As you can see, it’s not so hard to take care of our environment and have a pet at the same time. Just do a little bit of research, and you’ll find out there are many eco-friendly hotels, travel companies, and pet products that can help you have a more eco-friendly vacation. So, stay positive and be sustainable!
Cover image: photo by PNW Production, via Pexels
Author’s bio: Lorrie Martins is a blogger currently working at Amerisafe Moving Services where she helps people find eco-friendly ways to relocate, as well as live and work. In her free time, she likes to read science fiction books and play with her kitten Sushi.