How much do you love our planet? What are you doing to ensure that Earth remains a beautiful home for future generations? Over the past few years, thousands of industries have reduced the production of single-use plastics to decrease their carbon footprint. Most people have also incorporated reusable shopping bags, EcoBricks and recycling into their daily lives. However, when we go on holiday we tend to forget about eco-friendly travel methods as we unplug from our busy lives. This is why TravelGround went on a quest to find the most practical eco-friendly travel tips to make your next trip guilt-free! Want to know the best part? They’re budget-friendly too!

1. Unplug your home

Remember that eco-friendly travel begins at home. Don’t forget to unplug all unnecessary appliances if you won’t be staying in your own house for a while. You’ll also be saving money while contributing to saving the earth!

2. Remember to freeze or eat any perishable food

Make a note of getting rid of all your perishable food before departure, rather than returning home to a fridge that smells. Freeze what you can and hand the rest out to someone in need on your way to your holiday destination. 

3. Travel in a group

It’s much better (and more affordable) to travel in a group. If you’re travelling by car, be sure to fill all the seats. This ensures that there is one less car emitting carbon monoxide. What difference does one car make you might ask? If we all stuck to this principle, it might mean that there are ten, twenty or even one hundred less cars on the roads. And if you set the trend, your friends will be inspired to do the same.

4. Pack your own meals for the road

There’s nothing better than a homemade muffin, biltong and a chicken wing while you’re on the road. If you prepare your own food, you won’t be tempted to stop along the way to buy takeaway meals with excessive plastic and other packaging. Remember your stainless-steel cutlery and cloth serviette! If you’re looking for some travel food inspiration, click here.

5. Invest in a reusable water bottle

There’s no better time than now to purchase a reusable water bottle. If you’re really committed to green living, then glass or aluminium is the way to go. In the US, more than 38 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills yearly. Hotels and guesthouses also tend to place free bottled water in rooms, so be sure to leave those unopened. Instead, simply refill your own bottle and you’re good to go!

6. Don’t use a plastic shopping bag for shoes

While a lot of people have migrated to using reusable shopping bags, it’s widely popular to use a plastic bag for shoes while travelling. Rather choose a greener option and grab a fabric tote bag for dirty shoes. You can wash it when you arrive at your destination and it doubles as a shopping bag for later ─ space saver!

7. Don’t have your room serviced daily

If there are cleaning services doing the washing, we all tend to overdo it. It’s unnecessary to have linen and towels changed daily. If you’re a real germaphobe, at least try and stretch your washing to every second day. This will save a lot of water in the process. Have you ever thought about the amount of electricity a vacuum cleaner uses? And the impact of cleaning chemicals on the environment? If you’re staying at a hotel or guest house, use the Do Not Disturb sign so that the cleaning staff skips your room for the day.

8. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Be sure to ask your hotel or host if they have a recycling system in place. If not, leave a comment on their feedback forms or reviews and encourage them to reduce their environmental impact. Always ensure that all recyclables are thoroughly rinsed before placing them in a recycling bin. If there are any signs of contamination, the municipality won’t recycle the item.

9. Pack your own toiletries

We all love a freebie wherever we go, but using hotel soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste can be very wasteful. Imagine how many miniature plastic bottles are produced yearly if every single guest uses the complimentary toiletries! Instead, pack your own toiletries and recycle the bottles afterwards. Also remember to leave the complimentary toiletries unopened, as opened bottles are always thrown away. If you’re feeling even more like an Earth-saving superhero, invest in package-free toiletries. This phenomenon has become more and more popular, and shops like Lush are committed to producing eco-friendly beauty products.

10. Take advantage of local farmers’ markets

Everyone loves checking out local markets while on holiday and most products being sold are usually plastic free. Buy local produce and place them in a reusable shopping bag. This way you are supporting local companies and reducing waste at the same time.

Eco-friendly accommodation

Now that you have the ‘how’ sorted, it’s time to answer the ‘where’. Fortunately for you, TravelGround has a wide variety of eco-friendly establishments for your next getaway. Have a look at the list below:

Encounter Container Home

Koringberg, Western Cape

This eco-friendly, off-the-grid, gas-powered container home is ideal for campers. The bathroom is fitted with a compost toilet and the kitchen is equipped with a gas stove.

Graceland Eco Retreat

Magoebaskloof, Limpopo

Graceland Eco Retreat is totally off the grid and uses solar power for all lights and geysers without compromising on creature comforts. Solar-powered USB stations are available to charge cellphones and tablets.

Karoo Ridge Eco-lodge

Middelburg, Eastern Cape

Karoo Ridge Eco-lodge definitely takes recycling to the next level. This house was built from recycled materials and can even accommodate your furry friends!

Wolwekrans Eco Lodge

Schoemanskloof, Mpumalanga

All of the chalets at Wolwekrans Eco Lodge are eco-friendly and powered by solar power and gas.


Potchefstroom, North West

All four tents are set in the veld with the natural vegetation providing privacy. The tents have no electricity, with traditional donkey boilers providing hot water. Sufficient light is provided by solar-powered lights.

Jakkalswater Gasteplaas

Namaqualand, Northern Cape

Jakkalswater is entirely off the grid and green. The incredibly pure and delicious water is obtained from a natural underground fountain. Power is supplied by solar panels and the geysers work with gas.

Thaba Thabo Nature Reserve

Eastern Free State Highlands, Free State

The absence of a TV and internet makes this an ideal opportunity to take a break from modern life and to simply enjoy nature. All geysers, fridges and stoves are operated by gas.

Offgrid Eco Farm

Johannesburg, Gauteng

The farm is completely off the grid and solely uses renewable power generated by solar, wind and biogas. The farm grows its own organic vegetables, has lots of free range animals, and even makes their own cheese.

Little Wing Eco-Friendly Country Escape

Byrne Valley, KwaZulu-Natal

This house is built in the mountain and is equipped with solar panels and a wind turbine.

Whether you’re on your way to a self-catering cabin or a five-star lodge, be sure to keep your environment in mind. You might need to spend an extra half an hour planning in order to remember that shopping bag and to pack some snacks, but it can truly make the world’s difference. And if you’re looking to book your eco-friendly accommodation, why not visit TravelGround and explore all the options we have on offer?

Feature image: BigStock