Sustainable travel, or in other words, green travel, is basically a movement that aims to reduce the environmental footprint of tourists. It includes lessening our carbon footprint, reducing waste that tourists create around the globe, travelling to destinations with sustainable transportation. As a traveler, you can be part of this movement and contribute your bit towards a healthier and sustainable environment. Here are five simple tips that you can follow to become a sustainable traveler.
Don't forget your reusables
Many tourist destinations, hotels, and transportation hubs offer water stations. With your reusable water aluminum bottles, you can always get access to free and clean water. This way, you save money by not buying one-time-use plastic water bottles. It also saves you ample space in your luggage as you don't have to carry around enough plastic water bottles. Furthermore, if you are going on a short road trip, always take along your food, snacks, and meals in small metal containers that you have prepared at home, bringing a personalized touch to the trip. This way, you can avoid buying from eat-outs, unless it's a local delicacy that you really should try. These simple steps are significant for ecotourism; reusable items are definitely a win-win situation in terms of money and the environment.
Choose sustainable hotels and brands.
You can also reduce your environmental footprint by staying in a low-impact accommodation. You can either live in smaller and basic housing or live in a sustainable hotel. These days hotels are branding their sustainability efforts by using renewable energy and water filtration plants. Furthermore, advanced energy-efficient equipment in hotels can also make a difference in the overall carbon footprint. Therefore, always consider this aspect of your vacation when you are on a hunt for your hotels.
While shopping for your vacations, make sure you are looking for quality products rather than cheap products. The reason for this is that brands that do not have sufficient research on their products can sell them for cheaper prices, but at the same time, it makes for a bad quality product that needs to be maintained or replaced much sooner. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to buy better quality products from brands that are conscious of their carbon footprint and product’s recyclability. Some brands are a step ahead; they are even cautious of their packaging materials; this can be a good indicator of what a brand thinks of the environment and sustainability.
Don't haste your travel list:
While travelling, many people want to visit the maximum number of destinations at once. This may seem an ideal thing to do as it may be the only time you visit that destination, but it's most likely that you will spend the majority of your vacation rushing from one place to another. This will not only make your vacation stressful but also increase your carbon footprint to a significant amount. Instead, travel slowly and give yourself more time to explore the destination and local culture. This will help you immerse into local culture, interact with the local population and learn the uniqueness of a destination. Hopping from one place to another will undoubtedly take many destinations off your bucket list, but you cannot make a deeper connection with the location you are visiting.
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use efficient modes of transportation while traveling. Planes and cars are the most inefficient modes of transportation when it comes to environmental impacts. They are significant contributors to the global carbon footprint. Whenever possible, take a bus ride or train while travelling, and when exploring destinations in a city, opt for carpooling. You can also rent electric bikes or cycle and explore the city in a much greener way.
Conserve water and energy
It is no surprise that we consume a lot of energy for heating, lighting, and electricity while travelling. However, the reckless and intensive use of resources by tourists ends up with much of it wasted. Tourists often consume more energy and water as compared to the local population. In order to conserve energy, turn off the lights, TV, and other electronic gadgets that are not in use. While leaving your hotel rooms, make sure that the air conditioner is turned off. It would be best if you also made efforts to conserve water by keeping your bath as short as possible and avoid unnecessary laundering.
Shop and eat local
The best way to contribute and support the local community is to buy from local shops. Experience local restaurants, shop at small businesses and hire a local tour guide to learn more about the community history and culture. This will enhance your experience as you will be able to absorb the local culture and environment in its true essence. Buying local food and items also means that you are reducing your overall carbon footprint. The closer the sales point of a product is to its origin, the lesser fuel is consumed for its transportation. Local products are also cost-effective. These steps will also help save you some money and, at the same time, contribute to your goals of sustainable travel.