Bulgaria is quite a beautiful place, where tourism has been constantly growing in the past years. As an environmentally responsible tour operator, our concern is also increasing. That is why we decided to devote our next few posts on giving you some useful tips on reducing your litter and carbon footprint, while in Bulgaria!
#1 Declare war on plastic! In Bulgaria, plastic cups, plates, straws, and bottles will be waiting for you around every corner…unfortunately! The most environmentally conscious way to travel is without using the readily offered single-use polymers.
- Pack your own zero-waste kit, before leaving home. Here is a shortlist of items you may consider taking: reusable bottle, jar & small pot, a spork, cloth napkins, and a cloth bag will always help you to gain your plastic usage independence!
If you have to use plastic than consider recycling. Separate waste recycling bins are easy to find in the big cities, but in some smaller towns and villages, there is no separate waste collection at all. ОК. Few accommodations in Bulgaria offer a separate collection of waste for their guests. It is a shame, I know! You can ask/check this before booking.
Traventuria is also proud to be part of the Plastic caps for a future campaign. All our vehicles are equipped with huge used plastic bottles, where you can throw away your plastic caps. The money from the recycled plastic caps is used for buying new baby incubators for hospitals in small Bulgarian towns! Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/traventuria/
- If you are trekking or hiking, avoid using the rubbish bins placed along the Bulgarian eco trails (if there are any). In many cases, these bins are not being cleaned often enough. Birds and wild animals may be harmed by the plastic inside while looking for food. Take your rubbish with you and throw it after the hike!
- Drink tap water! You can absolutely safe to drink tap water everywhere in Bulgaria. If you don’t bring your own bottle, you can always buy a plastic one, refill it several times, during your stay, and throw it away in a yellow/orange recycling bin, before leaving Bulgaria!
If you book any of our tours to the Rila Monastery, you can refill your bottles with the water, flushing from the fountains of the Monastery yard. It all comes from the Rila mountains! – If you want to live forever, drink water from the Rila monastery – one of our guide’s jokes.
#2 Reduce your carbon footprint! The environmental impact of mass transport is widely known, but it is not always possible to reach where you want by bike, on foot or on a sailboat. 🙂
- Consider the low-cost carriers – they are cheaper, have no business class and don’t include catering for all passengers, which means less food on board. Traveling with less luggage also makes your travel less harmful to nature. Among the carriers, flying to Bulgaria, Ryanair uses relatively new airplanes and was the first airline to commit to being plastic-free by 2023. Easy Jet has strong policies on optimizing fuel consumption. Both airlines are ranked #1 and #3 on GreenPick’s chart for Top 10 Green airlines in the World!
- The public transport in Sofia and other big Bulgarian cities is reliable and cheap. Most of the in-town vehicles are new and run on natural gas.
- Bulgarian taxis are not expensive, and some of them run on methane and liquid gas, or even electricity! There are, of course, rip-off taxi companies, which the locals call koparka (the Bulgarian word for sprat fish) They have similar names and logos, to those of companies with a good reputation, but higher fares. Still, public transport has less impact on the Earth’s climate.
- Railroads? Tourists from France, Japan, Spain, and other countries, where some trains are faster than F1 cars. The situation in Bulgaria is significantly different. Yes, Bulgarian trains, run slower than buses and we often joke that it is faster to go on foot. Most of the electricity comes from coal power plants, and some of the locomotives are more than 50 years old! Your train journey may turn into a real retro rail tour!
We are proud of our green fleet! All Traventurian vehicles have Euro 6 engines, which are the most ecological, according to the European emission standards! Most of our cars run on liquid gas or methane.
#3 Book smart & stay smart
- Help the local economy! Avoid huge hotels and resorts. Choose a small, and authentic Bulgarian guest houses or family hotels instead. Avoid the big travel platforms and book your accommodation, tours, and activities directly! Those huge platforms apply big commission fees and charges, which means less money for the local economy.
Travnturia is a 100% Bulgarian tour operator with a head office in Sofia. The company has many awards for being green and helping environmental NGO in their causes.
Booking thru our corporate website, also gives you more opportunities, such as booking hotel pick ups and drop offs for most of our daily excursions, etc.
Hope you found this article useful. Expect our next green post soon!