10 EASY TIPS TO BECOME A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TRAVELLER

person holding plastic bottles and hose

The world produces more than 400 million tons of plastic EVERY year. Plastic waste production is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, with a further increase of 50% due between 2015-2025. As many as 51 trillion micro plastic particles – 500 times more than the stars in our galaxy – litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife from small turtles to blue whales.

Plastic is not the only threat to the planet, global energy related carbon emissions hit a record high in 2017. Places we call paradise will not stay like that for long if we carry on as we are.

So if these stats make you sad and you would like to be a more environmentally conscious traveller, check out these easy tips on becoming a more sustainable eco-friendly traveller.

1. Avoid plastic bottles

Starting with an easy one. Get yourself a reusable water bottle like my water.org which filters water so you can use it round the world without having to worry about getting sick or contributing to plastic pollution. Win-win!

2. Carry a reusable tote bag

ripe banana in white knitted bag

More durable than plastic bags if you’re doing some shopping. I mine from H & M.

3. Purchase swimwear made from recycled ocean plastic

person hands on assorted color plastic lid lot

My new favourite swimwear brand is Batoko. Not only is their swim suits recycled from ocean plastic, there are so many cute designs to choose from. They also a fit amazingly.  

4. Say no to plastic straws and cutlery

When eating out try and avoid single use plastic cutlery and straws. Try to get in the habit of carrying your own bamboo straw and cutlery. They don’t take up much room at all.

5. Make conscious food choices

food healthy vegetables potatoes

Try to eat local where you can. Less transport = reduced carbon footprint. Leading research suggests that reducing your meat and dairy intake single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Vegetarian or vegan food is often cheaper so more money to spend on fun activities and further reducing your carbon footprint.

6. Walk, bike or use public travel to get around

black steel lamp post

Less CO2 emissions and more exploration. If you’ve got time why not plan your trip using only public transport? This website shows you how. Or another option, plan a staycation where you can definitely reach you destination via public transport.

7. Get involved in a beach clean

This is becoming more and more popular, check with your hotel if they know of any planned or see if you can find any events on Facebook. Or even do your own, take a bag with you if you’re heading to the beach and pick up any rubbish while you walk. 

8. Use plastic free toiletries

Lush do a great range of naked shampoo, conditioners and shower gels. They last up to 80 washes! There are lots of other smaller brands that can be found on Etsy, that I’m yet to try out.

9. Pick coral friendly sun screen

aquatic clear corals nature

Brands such as Stream2Sea, prevent damage to precious coral reefs.

10. Go paperless

Most airlines now allow you to use boarding passes on your phone, for all other bookings have all your correspondence for your trip in a dedicated email folder or use apps like Tripit.

body of water near green mountain

Small changes like these can and do make a huge difference, once everyone catches on. You can find out your carbon footprint here.

 

GRAND CAYMAN: THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE

Grand-Cayman-Little-Cayman

For an island that has a population of just over 50,000 and spanning only 22 miles long, there are many adventures to be had on this small island paradise. Situated in the Caribbean nestled between Cuba and Jamaica, Grand Cayman is known for its sunny climate and financial district. However, there’s a lot more to Grand Cayman than that.

Here are my top recommendations on what to do.

1. VISIT STARFISH POINTGrand-Cayman-Starfish

Check out Grand Cayman’s resident starfish at Starfish Point. Go on a clear day when the water has been calm to ensure the water is clear. You can drive here, park up and take a stroll along the beach where you’ll be sure to find lots of starfish.

Please remember to be very gentle if touching them and never take them out of the water!

2. JET SKI AROUND THE ISLAND

Why not go on a jet skiing tour of the north side of the island, which will take you to the north side of the island where you can see the starfish, visit Stingray City and grab a mud slide at Kaibo. FatFish Adventures is a family run water sports company that make sure you have the best day exploring the waters via jet ski.

3. WALK THE CAYMAN ISLAND HUMANE SOCIETY DOGSGrand-Cayman-Dog-walking

Up there as one of my favourite things to do. Pop into the Cayman Island Humane Society to borrow a doggy for the day. Taking the super cute rescue dogs for a walk is not only helping the islands brilliant humane society, it is also another excuse to walk along 7 Mile Beach. Alternatively, you could head over to Camana Bay for lunch outside with your new furry friend. 

4. SCUBA DIVE & SNORKELGrand-Cayman-Scuba-diving-kittiwake

Grand Cayman has no shortage of beautiful scuba diving and snorkelling sites.

One of the best-known dive sites in the Caribbean is situated just off 7 Mile Beach, 60 feet below the surface.  You can expect to see amazing marine life such as green sea turtles, grouper, eagle rays and barracuda. You may be lucky enough to come across the giant grouper or even a nurse shark. 

If you’re not PADI certified, there is always the opportunity to snorkel or free dive.  Note, the Kittiwake requires an admission fee (approx. $10), which must be with a licensed operator. There are plenty of operators to choose from; however, Red Sail Sports are great, with a wide range of water activities to choose from. 

If you do want to see Caribbean reef sharks or even a hammerhead, the diving at the east end of the island is well known as the best spot for this.

5. PADDLEBOARDINGGrand-Cayman-SUP-7-Mile-Beach

You can take a class with Vitamin Sea Cayman or hire your own along 7 Mile Beach. Be careful of mosquitos especially if you’re on the water during sunrise or sunset, I learnt the hard way!

6. SWIMMING WITH WILD TURTLES AT SPOTT’S BEACHGPTempDownload(3)

Wild sea turtles galore! A truly amazing experience to see green sea turtles in their natural habitat. Grab your snorkel mask and fins then head along before 10am and after 4pm to beat the crowds. It’s only a 15-minute drive from George Town. Make sure to check out the cute little souvenir shop across the road too.  

In the interest of animal welfare, I would definitely avoid the ‘Turtle Farm’ not only do they sell turtle for consumption they also house the turtles for release in very small areas where disease is rife. They also allow people to hold them.

When you can pop down to Spott’s Beach and almost be guaranteed to see a wild turtle there’s definitely no need to see them in captivity.

7. SNORKELLING WITH BIOLUMINESCENT PLANKTONGrand-Cayman-Snorkelling

This bay in Grand Cayman is one of only a few places in the world to see this phenomenon. The bioluminescent plankton is visible at nighttime and looks like magical glitter. This experience is so amazing but it really has to be seen in person, especially since it’s almost impossible to photograph. Take a tour company to get you to the right spot or even a kayak tour  to the area.

8. ROAD TRIP TO THE CAVES, BLOW HOLES AND SCULPTURE GARDENGrand-Cayman-Sunset

Take a road trip to some of the quieter parts of the island for something a little bit different. The Crystal Caves are situated on the north of the island and you’ll find the concrete sculpture garden on the way. The blow holes are a short detour on your way back to George Town.

 

When you need a break from the action, there’s no shortage of beautiful hotels to stop and grab food.  Take in the beach views with a margarita and some tacos. Any of the hotels along 7 Mile Beach offer amazing food.

If Grand Cayman wasn’t on your bucket list, I hope it is now. If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

AN EXPATS GUIDE TO LIVING IN GRAND CAYMAN

cropped-2e2a815b-eed7-4ae5-a52d-a90ed4bc5d41.jpegAfter spending 6 months living on the island, I’ve compiled a my top tips from getting a job to island living.

GETTING A JOB

First things first! I was fortunate to be offered a job whilst at home and all of
my paperwork was taken care of by the company and Baraud. Baraud International Recruitment is a good place to start if you’re looking for the perfect job on island. They can also help with immigration and work permits, which is essential before you arrive in Grand Cayman.

Grand-Cayman-Life-is-good

SHOPPING

Food stores are similar to those in the US. However, the price of food shopping may come as a shock when first arriving in Grand Cayman. Expect prices like $5 for a loaf of bread. In George Town, Kirksis the most expensive with Foster’s following closely behind. A good tip is going to Cost-U-Less to buy items that can be bulk bought to save some cash.

Many of the clothing shops and boutiques are also very expensive. Many expats actually travel to Miami for a shopping haul once a year and get packages delivered to your hotel. The import tax is not worth ordering anything to island.

Grand-Cayman-Little-Cayman

TRANSPORT

The bus service I found to be unreliable at times, which is fine if you’re going to the beach but not if you’re going to work. The best way to get around is by car unless you live very close to work. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road so good news if you’re from the UK or Australia!

Grand-Cayman-Sunset

I hope this post has been helpful for anyone considering a move to Grand Cayman. Any questions, please post below.