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6 Ways to Make Earth Conscious Choices for Future Travel

Posted on April 22, 2021

Home to expansive green spaces, old growth forest, abundant local wildlife and (seemingly) never-ending shoreline, it’s easy to relax and feel connected to the earth on Vancouver Island. From coastal trails to forest bathing, choosing to bike or walk, or shopping for local fare at farmers markets, Islanders feel a strong connection to the environment and making intentional choices. Here are a few tips on how you can make earth-conscious choices when travelling too. 

Like you, we’re passionate about travel and our beautiful destination. But due to COVID-19, now is the time for us to stay local and support local businesses with your immediate household or bubble. Let’s each do our part now, so we can explore Victoria together again, soon. Please note that businesses are operating with enhanced safety measures in place; including limiting group sizes, increased cleaning regimens and more. Please check directly with the business for their COVID-19 safety protocols. 

 

Shop Zero Waste

Food is a large part of experiencing what a city has to offer. If you’re spending more than a few days visiting, stock up on some basics at Zero Waste Emporium. Located in Chinatown, it’s a great travel hack when you just need a few snacks or small portions of ingredients, which will ultimately save money and reduce food waste. The Emporium sources their ingredients locally whenever possible, so you’ll get a true taste of the Island!

Insider tip: Get jars and containers from their take-and-leave to grab what you need. At the end of your trip, simply drop the containers back off or recycle them at your accommodation. 

Zero Waste Emporium
Image by @zerowasteemporium

 

Conscious Meals

With unique growing environments across Vancouver Island and an always evolving food scene, it’s no wonder locally sourced, grown, foraged and harvested ingredients are making their way onto menus across Greater Victoria. This flourishing farm-to-table movement isn’t just a treat to indulge in; with ingredients travelling shorter distances to land on your plate, it’s also the more conscious choice when eating out! Check out our list of farm-to-table restaurants.

Some local restaurants have taken their commitment to sustainability to the next level and have partnered with Food Eco District (FED), a non-profit organization that works with restaurants to reduce their impact on the environment. For example, Big Wheel Burger, a local burger joint with a cult following, is 100% Carbon Neutral and their compostable packaging feeds their FED garden. Another example is Pizzeria Prima Strada, which was awarded the “Greenest Restaurant” EcoStar Award in 2018 for their commitment to respecting the environment. Furthermore, Ocean Wise has dozens of restaurant partners in Greater Victoria, all committed to preparing certified seafood to ensure sustainable harvesting practices are followed. 

Big Wheel Burger
Image by @bigwheelburger

 

Carbon Neutral

If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint while travelling, seek out businesses that commit to being carbon neutral. Travel to Victoria on North America’s first, fully carbon neutral airline, Harbour Air and book a carbon neutral accommodation like the Inn at Laurel Point. Choosing experiences and tours with companies committed to reducing their carbon emissions is a great way to keep the earth front of mind while travelling. 

For example, companies like Eagle Wing Tours are committed to reducing and offsetting their carbon emissions 100%. 

Inn at Laurel Point
Image via the Inn at Laurel Point

 

Beach Clean-up

If you’re looking to connect to a passionate community of like-minded individuals during your visit, check out Surfriders, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the ocean, waves and beaches. These organized beach clean-ups are a great way to get outside, connect with awesome people and do some good for the earth! Or simply commit to packing out what you pack in when you explore the beautiful beaches around the Island.  

Image by @lumasocial

 

Sustainable Transport

Getting around Victoria sustainably is a breeze! As Canada’s most walkable city, covering the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods by foot is a great way to see Victoria. Alternatively, grab a BC Transit bus and get almost anywhere in Greater Victoria with a $5 day pass. Want to spend the day exploring Greater Victoria? Do it in an electric vehicle with Tesla Tours and customize your day. Whether you want to sip your way through the Cowichan Valley, explore Tofino or sample your way through the Flavour Trails on the Saanich Peninsula, you can see and do it all, gas-free.

Image by @bctransit

 

Be a Conscious Traveller

Spending the extra time to research a carbon neutral operator or indulging at a farm-to-table restaurant are just a couple of small conscious decisions to minimize your impact as a traveller. Individually, each one may make only a small difference. But collectively, becoming more conscious about the little things can have a huge cumulative impact. Find more tips for conscious travel.