Thanks Jess for this guest post! Who is Jess?
Jess Signet is a blogger who writes about technology, traveling and technology needed when traveling. Having visited places all over the globe, traveling is both her love and addiction. She does not want to be cured. You can follow Jess on her website, Tripelio, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Tips for being a more eco-friendly traveler
Travel for the soul. Getting away from work and taking some time to see the wonders of nature or the incredible accomplishments of humanity can be exactly the change of pace you need. Unfortunately, travel is sometimes costly to the environment.
What’s needed is a change in technology and thinking. Gone are the days where everything can be made disposable or out of plastic. If you’re like the increasing number of eco-minded people sharing the globe, you too can take advantage of clever ways technology can reduce our impact on the planet. Here are a few ideas.
I’ll admit, a specialty straw wouldn’t normally be first on my list, but after seeing it, I was convinced of how great an idea it really is. Increasingly the most limited resource on the planet has become potable water. In the past, the best solution was hauling around some gigantic Brita filter.
Instead, you can carry around a LifeStraw, which allows you to drink the water directly. It filters bacteria and other physical pathogens and saves you from having to bring bottled water (one of the major ecological destroyers) or other unwieldy filters.
Why not have some edible cups to go with your potable LifeStraw water? Loliware has come up with a solution that allows you to never need to wash or throw away another cup. Instead, they produce cups made out of edible materials. No need to wait for your goods to biodegrade when you can just eat them.
EnerPlex Solar Batteries
If you happen to be using an iPhone, you’re in luck. EnerPlex has a case with a solar panel on it that can recharge your battery so long as you’ve got a light source. It also offers additional protection to your device, and even allows conventional charging for when you’re in a hurry. At the very least, it offers you the opportunity to use up just a little less electricity.
Eco-Apps You May Not Expect
There’s an app for just about everything; from fake fireplaces with Christmas music to emergency alerts in your area, it seems what your device can do is limited only by imagination. Not surprisingly, you can use your phone’s apps to help be just a tiny bit nicer to the environment.
Consider an app such as INRIX Traffic, which you can use to plan your travel routes against current traffic. Given how much pollution can be attributed to travel (and that you can’t reasonably walk or bike everywhere), spending less time in your car is a great way to help the environment.
If you’ve got Netflix, their app can save some juice as your phone uses considerably less power than a television set, and at a few inches is just as big as a TV from a few feet away (and may even have better resolution).
Just remember if you’re traveling outside the US, you’ll need an accompanying VPN (Virtual Private Network) app, as not all shows are available outside the US. It can also keep your phone from getting wrecked by hackers, adding some time to its lifespan and keeping you from having to buy yet another device (and trust me, their manufacture is anything but eco-friendly).
A good flashlight app can save you the trouble of having to buy batteries (most of which never get recycled), and the nuisance of carrying around an extra tool.
EverNote is a great way to keep track of notes and other reminders. As you can transport these notes from one device to another, you’ll not only save on paper waste, but you’ll be less likely to lose something important (who hasn’t lost a note in their bag or at their desk?)
Bedol Water Watch
If you’re keeping track of time with your phone, you’re draining its juice every time you turn on the screen. An old fashion watch seems like a good idea, but you still have to use batteries that are generally pretty bad for the environment. But what about a watch powered by water?
Bedol has a line of interesting products, from watches to alarm clocks that are powered exclusively by water. We’re talking some good life too—half a year for their wristwatch before the water needs to be changed.
Technology for the Future
Most of us hope there will be a tomorrow; not just for us, but for those who will inherit the planet from us (be it our kids, aliens, or whatever!) It’s up to each and everyone one of us to do our part to make it really happen.
So next time you’re planning a trip, think about how technology can make it better. Not just for you, but for the earth.
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