You’re finally ready to get married, and even though planning your wedding can be stressful, planning your honeymoon can be a lot of fun. While about one in three weddings take place in religious institutions, honeymoons usually take place somewhere a bit more tropical. When booking flights, finding hotels, and searching for local attractions, it’s easy to forget about your eco-conscious values in all the excitement. However, you can still be a friend to the environment on your honeymoon.
How can you be environmentally friendly when traveling for your honeymoon?
Ditch the water bottles
Every single hour, Americans use roughly 2.5 million plastic bottles. While it can be tempting to bring plastic bottles with you on your honeymoon, it’s better to ditch them altogether. You can get drinks from local restaurants and stands on the beach that don’t require the use of a bottle. Then you won’t have to worry about your bottles ending up in the ocean and harming sea life.
Ditch other plastics too
Single-use plastics are a serious problem around the world, but they are especially an issue for tourist destinations. For this reason, more than 40 countries have already started launching programs to raise awareness and reduce consumption of single-use plastics. When you’re traveling for your honeymoon, try not to use plastic straws, plastic utensils, or even plastic bags. You might just save a sea turtle’s life.
Many honeymoon destinations rely on tourist season to stay afloat. How does this relate to the environment? Well, for example, more than 50,000 gas stations have been abandoned since 1991 after big box stores like Walmart and Costco became more popular and started selling gasoline, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. To counteract this trend, the “shop local” movement has spread around the world in recent years. Don’t abandon this ethos on your honeymoon.
Locally owned stores are often better for both the environment and the local economy. While you travel, take the time to patronize local businesses and sample the local food.
Look into your sunscreen
When you’re on your honeymoon, you obviously don’t want to get a sunburn. So, it’s obvious that you want to wear sunscreen. It’s important to know, though, that some sunscreens are toxic for the environment. Check the ingredients on the sunscreen you use to see if it has oxybenzone and octinoxate. Destinations like Hawaii have passed laws banning these chemicals because it is harmful to sea corals.
Carry a tote to the beach
When you go to the beach for the day, you might bring some picnic type items to each lunch, towels to lie on, and other small bottles like sunscreen. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having those items at the beach, but it becomes harmful when you leave them on the sand. Bring a tote with you to carry your waste back out with you so it does not get into the sea.
According to WWF, a leading conservation charity, tourists are responsible for the 40% increase of marine litter entering the sea during tourist season. This garbage consists of 95% plastic waste. Do your part when you travel for your honeymoon and keep the plastic use to a minimum, and recycle everything you can.