Plan Ahead to Reduce Waste

One of the biggest contributors to landfill sites all over the world is single-use plastic. And unfortunately, travel can be an absolute killer for adding to the problem.

Consider how many single-use plastics you pick up and discard on the average journey. Disposable water bottles, single-use coffee cups, and plastic shopping bags are some of the worst offenders.

Whether you’re traveling by airplane, train, or car, there are a few easy changes you can make to reduce your consumption of single-use plastics.First off, make sure you always have a reusable water bottle in your bag (as well as a thermal mug, if hot drinks are your thing). If you’re offered a bottle of water or complimentary drink on your flight, ask if they can use the vessel you’ve brought with you rather than a disposable one. Same goes for bags – make sure you always have one or two canvas totes folded in your carry-on. That way you can whip them out easily if you pick something up in duty free, and prevent another plastic bag unnecessarily ending up in landfill.

Local shopping on a french barge cruise

Shop Local


A great way to both practice sustainable travel and contribute to the local economy of your destination is to buy from local markets and vendors.

When picking up a bite to eat or a souvenir to take home, look out for food and gifts that have been made locally.

Resist the temptation to purchase mass-produced trinkets or gimmicky gifts that will go straight in the trash – the environment will thank you!

Choose Efficient Transportation

The largest portion of global tourism’s carbon footprint is generated by transportation. And among different transportation methods, air travel is the most significant polluter.

If there’s a choice between a short-haul flight and a journey by train, it’s much more efficient and sustainable to go by rail. You get to enjoy much more of the scenery that way, too!

Of course, there are of course times when train travel isn’t feasible – traveling from North America to Europe, for example. When you are required to take a flight, consider how you can reduce your travel footprint once you get to your destination.

One way that’s both eco-friendly and enjoyable is to travel by river or canal. A canal cruise is around 20-30 times less damaging to the environment than taking a two-hour flight. So for example, you could explore large areas of France or Germany by an inspiring boat trip rather than plane-hopping between different cities.

At Waterways & Beyond, we offer luxury French barge cruises through the culturally rich countryside of Burgundy. Take a look at our travel itineraries and discover how we can make your sustainable travel dream a reality!