If you have followed my blog for longer you know that I occasionally post about my travels and that I do love travelling. Travelling, unfortunately, can often be a burden on the ecosystem and we rarely consider what the carbon-emission of our practices during our holidays is. Why should we abandon our hard learned values when we travel? Well, we shouldn’t. And although travelling sustainably sounds like it is a lot of effort when the only thing you want is to relax and enjoy yourself, it does not really have to be that difficult.
“Sustainable travel is all about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. Indivually, each of the these choices makes only a small difference. But collectively, becoming more coscious about these little things can have a huge impact.” Greenglobaltravel.com
- Consider using other means of transport than flying if possible.
- If you have to fly, then use IATA member airlines or pay the small fee that supports carbon reduction projects. Most airlines should have this and the fee is not large.
- When renting a car opt out for a hybrid or electric car. Although, remember to research first how easy it is to use in your selected travel location.
- Use public transportation rather than a car.
- If you are staying in a hotel you might want to consider the following things: what percentage of the hotel’s resources are local, is there sustainable site development, do they have schemes for water savings and energy efficiency and so on. Utilising local resources helps to invest in the local economy and by being energy efficient you are leaving a smaller footprint on the place you visited.
- Consider using AirBnB. Although some renters are definitely doing it as a profession, it is still an accommodation where you are quite in control of your footprint by making your own food and controlling the heating and aircon.
- Stay with friends. Of course, this is not always possible, but when it is I usually do stay with friends or family. I am in the lucky position that I have family and friends scattered a bit all over the world.
- Couchsurfing can be a great experience. You can meet new people, it is economical and environmentally friendly. Make sure you stay in a place that has good reviews of the person so that you feel safe!
- Take into consideration the local people, their laws and their culture. By doing even a little bit of research you can find out if there are restrictions on how you should be dressed or whether animals are sacred including much more.
- Do not litter. You can take a bag with you to collect your trash and throw them into a bin.
- Opt out for a shower instead of a bath, and take short showers.
- Support the local economy. Find out what foods are good for the local economy and items that are locally made. Restrain from purchasing and eating endangered species (turtle eggs, shark fins, ivory).
- Do not buy water bottles, but rather bring your own that you can fill. You will save money with this as well!
- Do not use a hotel laundry, but rather pack with you items that you can wear multiple times and can wash in the sink and dry quickly.
- Switch off any electric devices when not in the room.
- When in a hotel leave the “Do not disturb sign”. There is no need for the room to be cleaned every single day with all the chemicals.
- When walking stick to marked trails. It will be safer for the environment and for you.
- If you bring your own try to use biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
- Do not touch coral reefs, they are fragile.
- Find out what practices are harmful to the wildlife and avoid them. Such as hands-on encounters with animals (elephant ride).
Travelling is about experiencing something new so try to be open for it. Keep your eyes open, learn from your experience and meet new people. That is the best about these trips!
You can find more about sustainable travelling from Greenglobaltravel.com, Green-Tourism.com and Sustainable Travel International.
Do you have any additional sustainable travel tips?