The desire for many to live a more sustainable life has been on the rise in recent years. While we want to save the world we also want to explore the world. From beautiful coral reefs to misty mountains to masses of verdant rain forests – our precious planet offers a vast range of ecosystems for exploration and enjoyment.
Travelling shouldn’t become detrimental to the environment and increase your carbon footprint. You just need to keep in mind how important it is to conserve the wild and protect the lovely places we visit. If done right, eco-tourism can offer many benefits. You can help local businesses to thrive, increase awareness about events, and reduce waste pile up and pollution.
Eco-tourism tips for an eco-conscious traveler
There are ways in which your travel can positively impact the world. These simple tips make sure you are a well-aware, eco-conscious traveler for your next trip:
Reduce your flights
By switching flights to overland travel, you’ll be helping your carbon footprint out an incredible amount. The CO2 emissions emitted by just one four-hour flight is of a considerable scare factor. Plus, the emissions are emitted high into the atmosphere – believed to be even more detrimental than those at sea level. Try opting for train journeys, boats or cars instead. These options will provide you with a more eco-conscious route, while allowing you to see more of the countryside that you may pass on the way to your desired destination.
If your entire family is traveling with you, then driving is an eco-friendly way of transport, and it means you aren’t limited luggage-wise. For example, you could take a Land Rover with a Roof Rack – bringing all the luggage you need without incurring any additional cost.
Bring your own bottle/travel cup
The best thing about exploring different places is we get to relish new beverages in those regions. But, when we grab these on the go, we often buy them in takeaway coffee cups! Eco-conscious travelers should avoid them since they know they aren’t good for the environment. Probably one of the easiest ways to boost your eco-friendly travel is to bring your own coffee cup and water bottle with you.
Water is, of course, required when exploring new destinations. If you don’t bring a travel water bottle, you’ll quickly find yourself purchasing plastic bottle after plastic bottle. Annually around eight million tons of plastic garbage find their way into the ocean – don’t let your water bottles and coffee cups contribute! Grab your travel mug and water bottle and start experiencing all the coffee roasts and stay hydrated – guilt-free!
Treat your hotel as your home
If you decide to stay in a hotel or other rented accommodations, adopt a few techniques you would use at home. Instead of having clean towels every day, keep the older ones by hanging them up until you need clean ones. You wouldn’t wash your towels every day at home so, why does taking a vacation need to change this?
By placing the do not disturb sign on your door, you can help minimize laundry, and vacuuming all of which use additional and sometimes unnecessary energy. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t have your room cleaned the whole trip but instead ask if my room needs cleaning today or it can wait a day or two more? Packing your own toiletries is also a great way to improve your carbon footprint by minimizing the use of single-use plastics.
Support local businesses and homestays
A common misconception when visiting vacation spots is that the money from tourism finds its way back into the local economy. Unfortunately, your spending often ends up back in the hands of the big corporate companies, with small local businesses receiving just a meager share.
So make sure you eat in local restaurants, street food corners, and buy necessities from small independent shops. Try to opt for a local tour operator and choose to reside in a homestay. This way you know your money is supporting the local businesses.
Avoid wild animal attractions
At some point on vacation, the temptation to attend a big zoo under the pretense of meeting a tiger will be high. Having seen others pose with them for their social media channels, it looks safe and fun – but you must not. These tigers are often sedated and living in less than adequate captivity space. Make sure you do your research before attending any animal captivity centers so that you can have a clean conscience about the safety of those wild animals.
Elephant rides should be waved goodbye to as well – as the animals are also often heavily sedated and treated poorly. Instead of opting for these tourism hot spots, try going for eco-friendly or local tourism activities. From the conservation of the local wildlife to whizzing around, exploring the city on bikes -there are plenty of ways to make sure your money goes towards benefitting the local area in some way.
So these are some simple methods to ensure you are a more eco-conscious traveler in the future. Make sure to do your research beforehand, and you’ll be well on your way to traveling green.