Sustainable Travelling made easy: How to be aware & care

Exploring a foreign country means a lot of fun and great experiences. Let's not leave nothing but footprints during your journey in Bali and Indonesia - We tell you how!

Make a difference: Travel sustainable to Bali and Indonesia

Bali and Indonesia are facing a lot of problems. Poverty, garbage, pollution – this is a never ending list. We are not here to judge but here to be responsible. Let’s be aware & care, do everything to leave nothing but footprints, #WiselyWithLove.

1. Go green – Choose local & sustainable accommodations


Booking with Home Sweet Home, you are helping the locals and support sustainable tourism in the long run. We truly believe another booking website is exactly what the world needs! Compared to other platforms, the locals don’t pay any fees and any commission to Home Sweet Home. The prices you see are the walk-in rates, made by the locals. We want to give the locals a hand and open their beautiful doors to the world. In the long run we are helping to keep the culture alive!

Let’s do a good deed a day! Together we can make it happen: Sustainable Travelling with Love & Hospitality!

Go Green, Go Eco!

Live in harmony and peace with nature! Home Sweet Home Eco Lodges! Disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature at our wonderful Home Sweet Home’s.

2. Safe plastic – Bring your own bottle with you

When travelling, always have a bottle with you that can be easily refilled with drinking water. Try to never buy plastic bottles because some might end in the nature or the ocean. There is a massive recycling challenge in Indonesia.

Despite that, if you want to buy drinks in restaurants or supermarkets, better buy the ones in glass bottles.

Every restaurant, hotel or mini market usually owns refill water galons. Kindly ask for refilling your own bottle and offer to pay 5.000 Rupiah, just in case. The effort is worth it!

Never thirsty again! – Download an App

You want to know where you can find the next spot in Bali and on Gili Islands for refilling your drinking bottle? There you go: Download the app Refill Bali und you will never be thirsty again.

3. Say no to plastic – Bring your own bag


Plastic bags are essentially indestructible, yet they’re used and thrown away with reckless abandon. Most end up in the ocean, where they pollute the water and harm marine life. The rest are burned in garbage piles, where they release harmful dioxins into the atmosphere.

Therefore, make it a habit to take a canvas bag with you when you’re out and about. Indonesians love it to use several plastic bags when shopping. A useful phrase you will need in supermarkets is ‘tidak plastik’, means ‘without plastic’. Furthermore, try to avoid buying small packages of shampoo, mosquito repellent or coffee which come with just two portions. Even if you need to carry more when buying the bigger ones, it is worth it. Mother earth will thank you!

She will thank Melati and Isabel Wijsen as well, for sure. These two young girls are on a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali. Say no to plastic and watch Bye Bye Plastic Bags Campaign!

4. Say yes to coconuts and no to plastic straws (bring your own!)

Straws are real evildoer in Indonesia! Ordering a coconut or coke at the beach means one more straw in the ocean.

By now, many restaurants in Ubud, Canggu und Seminyak offer reuseable straws made from bamboo, metal or glass. These are an invention sent from heaven! The only disadvantage is the price. They are much more expensive than the standard plastic straws. That’s why some small restaurants and local warung can’t offer these, unfortunately.

You are able to drink everything without straw. But in case you don’t want to miss those little sticks, simply bring your own one to Indonesia and order every drink ‘tidak straw’ (‘without straw’).

You’re ready to hit the Indonesian road when taking your own bottle, canvas bag and straw with you. Leave nothing but footprints during your journey!

5. Food to go – Eat out of a banana leave


When travelling to Indonesia, you mostly have more than enough time. But there may be some cases of being in a hurry, because you want to catch the last ferry for example. If you are hungry on top of that, please do not make the mistake of ordering food to go in styrofoam. It falls apart when thrown into the ocean (that’s where it will end sooner or later) and pitiful fish will eat it.

Think sustainably even though you have to rush and buy local street food wrapped in banana leaves. It’s the perfect packaging alternative for everyone wanting to travel green.

No banana leaves in sight? Bring your own food container from home and get your meal packed into it. Those metal-ish containers do not only look fancy, you will be able to use them some further times during your travels, for sure. (Especially if you love to eat bananas!)

Bali’s Street Food – Eat like a Local!

Eating food out of a banana leave sounds exciting to you? So much more excitement is awaiting you when trying all the different dishes in Indonesia. Explore Lalapan, Nasi Jinggo, Terang Bulan and so much more great food!

6. Eat more local food – And let your taste buds explode

Indonesia offers a great variety of resources regarding food: Fruit, vegetables, cocoa, rice – all these goods grow in this wonderful country. Consequently ask yourself, why should you draw on imported food if you can have local one? Try to integrate more local groceries when travelling.

Eating like a local – A sustainable win win situation!

What about eating two out of three meals a day at local warungs and restaurants? Not only nature will be thankful, but also the Balinese locals.

7. Do good – Volunteer at a local NGO


There are innumerable NGOs in Indonesia that fight for a greener country. Why not combining your travels with volunteering at a local NGO? 

Find a list of wonderful NGO’s in Bali and Indonesia!

8. Safe the animals – Don’t visit animal cruelty shows

things do in ubud monkey forest

Indonesia is a country with an amazing animal kingdom! Just visit the jungle of Kalimantan, Sulawesi or Sumatra for some days and experience monkeys, orangutans, snakes and various crawling animals yourself.

Dolphins and Elephants – Protect them from torture!

No one needs questionable animal shows such as Dolphin or Elephant Shows. Please do not support these acts of animal cruelty when travelling to Indonesia!

9. Go outdoors – Save electricity

When in Indonesia, you will mostly find yourself outdoors. That’s great because it saves electricity! The biggest part of electricity in Indonesia is produced with coal, at the moment. Unfortunately, there is just a small output of solar energy so far.

Consequently, try to give up airconditioners. These will probably make you ill, anyway! In case it’s getting too hot for you and you have to switch on your AC, please do not forget to switch it off when leaving your room. Same rule applies for fans and lights. To prevent your room from heating up too much, you could easily use your curtains. Just do your best to deal as sustainably as possible with the resource electricity!

10. Safe water – Shower together


Especially during dry season, Indonesia is quite short on water. What you can do about that? Just take a quick shower and use the Indonesian ‘mandi’ if possible. These are the little buckets you can find in an Indonesian bathroom. On top of that, don’t let your sheets at your guesthouse be changed too often, only if it’s really necessary. Simply try to appreciate water more than you would normally do!

11. Only leave footprints – Take your stuff back home

backpacker girl lone wolve

Be advised that it is better to store several western products at home than in Indonesia. Please take things like batteries and elelctronics back home where they can be recyceld, properly. Mother earth will be thankful!

12. Wood Carvings, Kopi and Peanuts – Buy green Souvenirs

Do we really need a shirt from China made out of Indian cotton as souvenir? This got nothing to to with Bali and takes 2.700 litres of water during production. Local produced goods are much more authentic and greener!

What about some fascinating wood carvings, delicious locally harvested peanuts or full-bodied Kopi (Coffee) from a local plantation for example?

Suitable as sustainable souvenirs are especially products that are directly produced in Indonesia. Expect endangered things like jewelery made from turtle shells or tree species at risk, of course. Your family and friends at home will be amazed by green presents, for sure!

13. Beach Clean-ups – Give beach days a meaning

Most of the trash in Indonesia gets washed up at the beautiful beaches all over the country. You, as a traveller, are able to set an example against that and participate in beach clean-ups. Trash Hero Indonesia for example organises these on a regular basis, whose promotion you can find on facebook.

Another option is arranging a clean-up yourself with your friends or fellow travellers. Afterwards, you can look for an organisation such as EcoBali or Bank Sampah in Flores that disposes and recycels the collected rubbish for you.

Important materials you should collect during your clean-up are styrofoam, plastic bottles and flip flops. It’s best to store them separately!

The best thing is: You can combine your beach day with a good deed.

Recycling Tipp: 

Styrofoam is well suited to build comfortable bean bags. That’s sustainability at its best!

Green accommodations, water bottles and metal straws – Travelling sustainable means more than that

The term ‘sustainable travelling’ has a green glow, promoting eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility. But the human side of sustainability addresses not only the economic one, but also the social side. Means: you are just a guest in a foreign country, treat it and its inhabitants with respect. Respect the Indonesian culture with all its ceremonies, offerings and honorable traditions. Treat the Balinese locals as warm-hearted, hospitable and kind as they will treat you. Smile more and be thankful of what you are and what you’ve got. Life is good! And even better when you strive for sustainability.


Photo by Omer Rana on Unsplash

Do you have more ideas on how to travel sustainable in Bali and Indonesia? Let us know in the comments below.

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