Navigating the World with Eco-Conscious Travel Tips
Featuring Ketti Wilhelm
Ketti Wilhelm is the founder of TiltedMap.com. She covers practical, realistic ways to travel more sustainably and to live more sustainably at home. She writes about everything from how to find lower-emissions flights and more sustainable hotels, to detailed reviews of plastic-free versions of everyday items.
"Making tourism more beneficial for host communities is a huge part of sustainability."
Memorable Travel Experience
Shortly after grad school, where I studied sustainable business and energy, I decided what I wanted to do was go back to writing about travel but combine it with everything I’d learned about sustainability.
And one of the first stories I covered after that was the island of Paros, Greece, where a local group is helping small businesses move away from single-use plastics. The impact of their work was so impressively visible. Nearly every bar or restaurant on the island served drinks with wheat straws (or no straws) instead of plastic, and bartenders were perfectly happy to refill my water bottle.
When I visited neighboring islands, I realized those things were almost entirely unique to Paros, and were thanks to the work of a small group of local people. And it made me realize how much you can automatically reduce the impact of your travel by choosing to visit places where locals are already making sustainability the default in their communities.
Top Sustainable Accommodations
1. Sleep-N-Atocha, Madrid - It is a locally owned B Corp hotel that’s affordable, humble, and just everything you want from a hotel in Central Madrid. I stayed there for a couple of nights and would go back in a heartbeat.
2. The Traveler’s Hotel, Clarksburg, Mississippi - it is another hotel that’s locally owned and just so gorgeously well-done. It’s part of the revitalization of downtown Clarksburg – one of the main towns on the famous Mississippi Blues Trail.
Tips for people who want to start a sustainable and conscious lifestyle?
Start small and focus on one thing at a time. Identify areas in your life or travel routine where sustainability can be improved. For me, it began with swapping plastic shampoo bottles for bars. Remember, it's okay not to have it all figured out; progress is key.
How do you actively engage and educate your followers about sustainability, encouraging them to make responsible choices?
I actively engage and educate my followers about sustainability by leading through positive actions rather than just words.
My approach emphasizes realism and authenticity, steering clear of perfectionism and discouragement.
I believe in the power of small changes and quality over quantity, demonstrating how everyday choices can make a meaningful difference. It's about empowering others to embrace sustainability in a way that feels achievable and inspiring, knowing that progress, not perfection, is the key to creating a brighter future for our planet.
Sustainable Practises While Traveling
Ketti provides some tips on how to get the most out of your trips and things she does herself. She believes that besides using more public transport and taking trains instead of flying whenever possible, so many small travel habits make really powerful differences. (And don’t take much effort!)
- I always travel with solid toiletries (that of course aren’t packaged in plastic).
Making sure to stay in locally-owned accommodations is also a huge factor. When we spend our hotel budget with international chains, hardly any of that money stays in the local community because the hotel isn’t owned or managed at a high level by locals. Making tourism more beneficial for host communities is a huge part of sustainability.
I advocate for meat-free dishes to reduce carbon footprint, especially in areas where beef is imported.
As we explore these sustainable spotlights, let's remember that small steps can lead to significant change. Stay tuned for more stories of conscious travelers making a positive impact.
If you have your own travel story or another one to suggest, we’d love you to submit it via [email protected]. Here’s to a more sustainable future!
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About the author
Palak studied Management and Entrepreneurship then continued to get her Master's Degree in Digital Marketing. A dedicated spirit to the start-up world, Palak has 4 years of experience in organic growth strategies.