Let’s face it. Cruising the high seas is by no means a green or eco-friendly method of transportation. Cruise ships waste more and pollute more than most all other forms of travel. But if you find yourself taking a cruise, there are a few ways that you make your trip a little more eco-friendly than it might have been.

1 – Carry a reusable water bottle.

Never buy water sold in disposable water bottles. Also, you can take these reusable containers to the restaurants on the boat with you. And of course, you will also want to carry them when you go into port. As an added benefit, carrying a reusable water bottle can also help you stay consistently hydrated while traveling, which can be difficult and often gets overlooked in all the fun.

2 – Reuse your towel.

If you can use it several times before tossing it to the dirty laundry, that would be best. I tend to use my towels for at least a few washes before discarding them. One thing that helps is that I am careful to hang them up properly to allow them to air out properly. This prevents mildew and bacteria from growing, allowing for more uses.

3 – Don’t flush the loo unless you go number two.

Yep! There I said it. A little pee never hurt anyone, but the excessive flushing of toilets is wasting an unbelievable amount of precious water resources. So, unless you go two, don’t flush the loo.

4 – Take as few showers as possible.

Speaking of wasting water resources, it’s best if you can reduce the amount of waste water you produce on the ship, you can reduce the amount of pollution going into the ocean.

5 – Turn your powered items off when you leave the room.

Don’t leave your power appliance plugged in, as many of them still use a little bit of energy. This is good habit to practice everywhere you go and at home, too.

6 – Skip the souvenirs.

Especially the cheap, plastic souvenirs both on the ship and in port, too. Instead, take lots of photos and make videos. These photos and videos will work better as souvenir replacements if you put yourself and your travel mates in them. Don’t try to take a great landscape for your desktop background. You can get those photos all over the internet. Don’t waste the opportunity. Put people in the pictures. These are the photos you can never replace and can never take again.

7 – Take mass transit in port.

When you go to port, walk if you can. If you can’t walk or bicycle, opt for mass transit travel options as much as possible. This is an obviously greener option.

8 – Bring reusable bags.

If you are going to shop when you travel, be sure to throw a few reusable shopping bags in your backpack or travel pack, so you can avoid collecting new ones.

9 – Choose one of the “greener” cruise lines.

While all cruise ships are big polluters, some companies are attempting to take a more responsible approach and are taking small steps to make their ships more eco-friendly.

In 2012, a Neilsen survey on global corporate responsibility found 46% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that show a commitment to social responsibility. 66% ranked environmental sustainability as more important than any other cause listed.

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