Seeing the world can help you develop a more eco-friendly and sustainable mindset. The more we see of this world we call home, the more we want to protect our planet and its people. But how can we make sure our travels don't cost the Earth? Here are 7 ways to travel sustainably:
Get Off the Beaten Track
A sustainable vacation often means thinking outside the box. Don't follow the crowd. Forge your own path and consider less visited destinations. Mass tourism can have a major negative impact. Instead of heading for those honeypots, consider new and less well known places for your next trip. Remember, you don't necessarily have to go far for a great vacation. The most wonderful hidden spots might be found practically in your own backyard.
Go Slow, Avoid Flying Wherever Possible
Wherever you choose to go, think carefully about how you get there. Try to avoid flying whenever possible. To reduce your carbon footprint, take a train or another means of public transit if possible. Better yet, hire an electric vehicle, or consider slow travel solutions. Hike, bike, sail or kayak, for example, to reduce your impact as you get from A to B.
Choose Sustainable Accommodation
Think also about where you stay while you are away. Try to choose accommodation that:
- Was built with minimal impact, using natural or reclaimed materials and with care for the natural environment.
- Uses renewable energy and reduces energy use as much as possible.
- Uses water wisely and conserves water wherever it can.
- Employs waste reduction measures and disposes of waste in a sustainable way.
- Enjoys strong ties with the local community – and gives back.
Pack For a Zero Waste Stay
Pack items for your travels that allow you to minimise waste. For example, take a reusable water bottle and cup, plastic-free toiletries and take-out containers. By carrying such items with you wherever you go, you can reduce your impact and enjoy a more sustainable stay.
Eat & Drink Sustainably While Away From Home
Cater for yourself or eat out. But whatever you choose to eat and drink while away from home, think carefully about where it came from. Choose local, seasonal, organic food and drink whenever possible to reduce your impact on the environment and boost the local sustainable economy.
Buy Less, Buy Better
We all like to buy the odd souvenir when travelling. But what we buy can make a big difference. Avoid plastic tourist tat and mass-produced items. Reduce overall consumption. Try to choose locally hand-crafted items, and make sure the profits from your purchases are channelled back into the local community.
Consider Locals Wherever You Go
The natural environment, both local and global, should be a key consideration for sustainable travel. But people are important too. Wherever you go and whatever you do, take locals into account. Try to make sure your visit helps rather than hinders the local communities.
These are just a few basic tips. Follow these and you should be able to enjoy more green adventures and travel more sustainably.