Going to Bali? Seven tips to reduce your environmental footprint..
Updated: Aug 3
Here are SEVEN tips to help reduce your environmental footprint.
1. Reduce your flight-related emissions. There's no way around it - air travel contributes to global warming on a BIG scale, and we need to REDUCE the amount of flying we do. Sadly, we can’t get to Bali by train, so if you are going regardless, try reducing your flight's added impact. For instance, flying direct (take-off and landing emits the most carbon dioxide), flying economy, packing light and choosing fuel-efficient airlines can help. You can offset your flights by donating to a registered charity like Carbon Positive Australia (they plant native trees on your behalf), but be aware that, according to the Climate Council, offsetting is not a viable long-term solution. So come up with an off-setting pledge of your own, like reducing the amount of flying you do for the rest of the year or committing to a plant-based diet a few days a week to compensate.
2. Pack a refillable water bottle. It sounds simple, right? Most of us own reusable bottles, so take it with you. Otherwise, the tropical heat will have you buying plastic water bottles every day. And guess where they often end up? In Bali’s rivers and beaches or being burned on the side of the road. Most resorts, villas, and restaurants have filtered water dispensers, so fill up as you go. Or Download the RefillMyBottle app to access over 600 free water refill stations across the island.
3. Say no to plastic bags. Single-use plastics were officially banned on the island in 2019, but sadly, they (along with plastic bottles) are still the main source of rubbish chocking Bali’s rivers and waterways. Pack a reusable shopping bag and take it with you every day. Extra tip: You’ll notice more cafes and restaurants in Bali now use bamboo instead of plastic straws. They’re easy to find, inexpensive and make a great eco gift. Just don’t forget to declare them at customs on your return.
4. Stay green. Check out your accommodation’s green credentials before booking. Tourism-led development has, in part, led to a water shortage crisis in Bali. Think about it, all those pools and air-conditioned rooms are a massive drain on the island’s resources. Switch off the A/C when leaving your room and reuse your towels to help reduce your power/water usage. BYO soap/shampoo to avoid those wasteful mini plastic toiletry containers that must be replaced with each guest once opened. It all counts. From the eclectic Swasti Eco Cottages in Ubud to Potato Head Studios in Seminyak, there are a growing number of eco-conscious accommodations on offer. Komune on the east coast is a personal favourite, or head further afield to Bali Eco Stay in the foothills of Mount Batukaru, or the authentic Balinese-owned OMunity, on the island’s north.
5. Green goodness. Reducing your meat intake is one of the best ways to clock up greeny points for the environment. With abundant delicious vegan cuisine on offer, Bali is the perfect place to test drive a plant-based diet. Try the Secret Spot and Give Cafe in Canggu (the latter gives 100% of its profits away) or Kynd in Seminyak. There’s The Cashew Tree in Bingin (Uluwatu), Moksa and Zest in Ubud, to name a few. Your taste buds (and the earth) will thank you.
6. Slow down. Travelling less often and spending more time in one place reduces your travel footprint. So why not turn that one-week jaunt into a longer working holiday? Bali is a mecca for digital nomads, and the B211a visa allows you to stay for up to six months. If that’s impossible, consider slowing your travel, like taking the ferry to the Gili Islands instead of flying from Bali to Lombok. It’s far more adventurous.
7. Give back. Take part in a beach clean up, choose tour operators that support environmental activism, or directly support a local initiative like Sungai Watch. Founded in 2020 by three siblings, Sungai Watch has installed over 100 trash barriers in Bali’s rivers, conducting massive clean-ups. A small donation goes a long way in Bali and will help the beautiful island and its people thrive. ….. Sandra Radice lived in Bali for two years with her family. Her memoir about their journey,
Our Green Change, was released in February 2023.