Keeping Bali Sustainable: How to Act Ethically in Bali
You are planning to travel to Bali. Hand on your heart, who doesn't love Bali? It is a lush green paradise with endless options for adventure. It is an island where you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture and have an authentic experience.
But let’s face it, have you ever thought about how to make your stay more sustainable?
It’s kind of a big deal. Every year millions of travellers are visiting Bali and leaving their marks behind. While over 5,5 million tourists reached Bali in 2017, the number of travellers in 2018 increased to 6.5 million. Due to this impact on the environment, there are more conscious practices that need to be put into action. Travelling sustainably is leaving a positive impact on the environment and the locals.
Being an eco-conscious traveller is actually much easier than you may think and it all starts with awareness. Let us be your eco-style guide and help you cut down your environmental impact.
Reality vs. sustainability
Sustainable ways of living have been around for a few decades. With eco-lifestyle popularity increasing, we have started to pay more attention to ethical practices. Yay. Unfortunately, for most travellers, the only way to reach the 'Island of Gods' is by airplane. This mode of transportation causes heavy air pollution. Boo.
While this reality is unfortunate, there are things we can be aware of and practice to be better. Here are our eco-friendly travel tips.
Travel eco-conscious and respectfully
Plan your trip to minimise carbon emission.
Become a slow traveller. Consider taking longer and fewer holidays when going the long haul. Flying over to 'The Island of Gods' for a longer time is better for both the environment and yourself. Put your feet up, relax and soak up the beauty of the island.
When searching for a flight, look for airlines with 'green' options. Instead of booking a long haul flight with transfers, try to get a direct one.
Pack as light as possible. You are going to a tropical island, you won't need your entire wardrobe. Because the heavier your suitcase is, the more fuel is used. Another option is to travel ultra-light, so you can support the local economy by buying things in Bali. Great idea!
Try to pack in a way that respects local culture and religious traditions. Yes, bring your shorts and tops, but wear them appropriately. You wouldn’t show up in cutoff shorts and a crop top while visiting a church, so why would you at a temple? If you dress suitably, locals will treat you with respect.
Have you booked your place yet? Hold off until you read this. Bali offers a range of eco options from luxurious villas to less fancy homestays. Whatever your option is, make sure you search for those promoting ethical practices.
We've got you covered for your next vacation in Bali. Try to spend a few nights in an eco-villa booked via Villa-Bali.com. Not only will it be a unique place to stay but by far more sustainable than your average resort or hotel. Why?
By booking accommodation with Villa-Bali.com you are doing a favour to the environment. It is a beautiful contribution to a sustainable vacation. Besides promoting ethical practices, this organization is part of ‘ReforestAction’. It means for each villa rented, they plant one mangrove tree in the north of Sumatra. This planting process helps protect the rainforest from being destroyed for the palm oil industry. Thumbs up for this sustainable movement. 👍
And did we mention villas are set in the heart of Bali’s raw natural beauty? Sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand.
Plan ahead, ethically
First things first. Ok, so you have your flight and accommodation sorted. What's next? Let's move on to the details, 'cause they matter. Packing. Here is some functional and beauty advice to fill your mind and suitcase.
Learn a few basic words and phrases. It makes interaction with locals easier and more authentic. Duolingo language app will do you a favour.
Stock up on eco-friendly cosmetic products. A lot of them come in a bar, like organic biodegradable shampoo or deodorant. Swap for a sunscreen that’s more gentle to the environment. Avoid ones with harmful ingredient oxybenzone, which kills and bleaches coral reefs.
Say bye to plastic bottles and cotton pads. Amazon offers a microfibre makeup removal cloth. What a brilliant idea! With these easy travel tips, your luggage and environment will thank you.
Cutting down on meat and dairy is an essential step towards a better future. The plant-based food industry uses less water and land than traditional farming industries. Going organic, vegan or vegetarian acts eco-consciously towards both environment and health. Consumption of local fruit and vegetables gives back to the community and supports local business. What can be more satisfying?
Bali is a perfect place to dive into these ethical and sustainable dining practices. Places like Bali Buddha, Eat Clear, Cashew Tree, Alchemy or Sari Organik are a must-visit.
Calling out all shopaholics. Shopping in Bali is awesome. It can be a real sustainable fashion paradise. If you fancy local bags, dresses, jewellery or souvenir, Bali is the right place to be. Sadly, a large amount of 'Balinese' handmade products have originated in China. To make sure your product is Balinese, buy straight from local indigenous artisans. This way you are also giving something back to the island and locals.
When in Canggu, go for a Sunday stroll and visit Samadi Organic Sunday Market. You will find local products which promote ethical practices and sustainability. Markets are held every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. If you get there in the morning, you can rely on healthy organic brekkie options. The atmosphere is very relaxed with a mix of expats, locals, tourists and kids.
Apart from markets, there are many sustainable product options. Bali is big on bamboo products, which are much more sustainable than cotton. There is plenty of bamboo in Bali. It requires only a little water and grows fast. Thanks bamboo for being ethical.😉
Don't miss out on the brand Bambooku for clothes, sheets and towels made from 100% bamboo, the world’s most sustainable crop. This is what we call guilt-free shopping.
Bali announced a ban on single-use plastic in 2019. To start, supermarkets have stopped offering plastic bags. Yes! However, as this is a recent ban, you will still see large amounts of plastic products being used on a daily basis. So how about we be the change we wish to see in the world...
- Bottle. While travelling in a tropical paradise, staying hydrated is key. Avoid buying plastic bottles from the local store. Invest in a good quality refillable water bottle, 'cause less plastic is fantastic.
- Bag. Going shopping without your reusable shopping bag is a bad idea. It is foldable and light enough to carry wherever you go. Make sure you always have one on you. When getting into the local yummies, don't be afraid to refuse plastic packaging.
- Glass jar! Craving local fruit juice? BYO glass jar. It is easy like that. By following these simple steps, we can make Bali a better place.
Be a sustainable traveller
A sustainable traveller is a person who leaves as little marks behind as possible with a respect for local culture and environment. They act eco-friendly with their choice of activities, food and accommodation.
Choose wisely how to get to the destination, what activities you join and where you spend your money. Acting eco-consciously is actually not that hard. Where there is a will, there is a way.😉😜