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We have to admit, life as a digital nomad is pretty fantastic. You’re on your own schedule, the whole world is your oyster, and you get to live a life that is truly of your own creation. That’s all good and well, no complaints there! However, there is an inconvenient truth associated with being a digital nomad, and that is: it’s very hard to keep your carbon footprint down to a minimum when you’re jetting off from one part of the world to another every few months. There is, however, things you can do to offset the environmental damage you cause. Here are just a few of those ways.
If you take one long haul flight, you’ll have almost instantly used up your allotted ‘share’ of natural resources. You simply cannot take too many flights and deem yourself to be environmentally sound, no matter how you live when you’re on the ground. That’s why you should be looking at alternative forms of transport. Travelling overland, especially by train or coach, is much better for the world. There’s also hitchhiking, it you fancy an adventure! All these methods take longer, but you will also see the land you’re travelling over – can’t do that from a plane!
So much of what we buy has a negative environmental record. If you buy the cheapest clothes, you’ll be supporting an industry that wreaks havoc on the environment – and it’s probably travelled many thousands of miles to get to you at the same time. The same goes for the cheapest meats and fish. Think carefully about everything you buy, from day to day items to the tools you need to do your job. A wooden usb is more eco-friendly than a plastic one (and more interesting!), while a refurbished laptop will save you money and give you a product that is better for the environment and just as good as a new product. Basically, champion your causes with your wallet!
When you do set up base somewhere, you can support the environment by living like a local. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means not living like you’re on vacation, when we tend to have whatever we want whenever we want. Being environmentally friendly is about reducing how much we consume. Live like you really live there and you’ll be keeping your consumption to a minimum. Also, don’t forget to check out the local markets the locals frequent – shopping local is a great way to be eco-friendly!
If you think you’re having a detrimental impact on the world just by the way you live, then you can also get involved with any local organisations who look out for the environment. Whether it’s through volunteering your time or money, you’ll be giving back to a place that has welcomed you into its home! Ultimately, being a digital nomad is about taking responsibility for what you do when you’re in a new place – and being a human is about taking responsibility for the planet.