For centuries we’ve been travelling the globe with little regard for the consequences to the environment. We neglect culture and the economy we’re travelling to. This is starting to change thanks to the rise of eco-tourism. Its drive is to help protect destinations and educate travellers on environmentally friendly choices. If every person implements these choices, there will be a massive, and positive impact on our planet. Read on for tips on how you can become an Eco-Friendly Traveller.
Think About your Packing
First up on this list of ways to become an Eco-Friendly Traveller is thinking about how you pack. Whilst fast-fashion is cheaper than making sustainable fashion choices, they have a hugely damaging effect on the planet – with one of the largest carbon footprints. If you must buy more clothes for your holiday wardrobe, choose items that have been responsibly and ethically made. Avoiding bottled shampoos and shower gels in favour of soap and shampoo bars that are free from plastic will not only take up less room in your luggage, and leave you more space for liquids, but they have less impact on the planet. And don’t forget your reusable water bottle – single-use plastic contributes to thousands of tonnes being dumped into our oceans every year. Try and pack light too, as every extra kg of luggage contributes to the weight of the aircraft – a heavier plane needs more fuel to fly.
Eat and Drink Locally
When you arrive at your destination invest in local companies instead of large corporations. McDonald’s might be a familiar face in a foreign land, but you’ll be doing better supporting a local business than a global corporation. Similarly, opt for local beer and eat local food. You can instantly cut down your carbon footprint because the distance these products travel is lower. Added bonus, the food and beer will be better!
Stick to the Path
When you’re out exploring, always stay on marked paths. Going off the beaten track can lead to soil erosion. And you could inadvertently trample on protected or endangered plants, as well as destroy local wildlife habitats.
If you encounter any animals (even on a safari) maintain a safe distance from them. You are there to watch them in their natural habitat, not interfere.
Smaller Groups are the Key
Smaller groups tend to have less of an environmental impact, so travelling with specialist tour operators like Jules Verne who’s focus is on responsible travel will ensure you’re having a smaller environmental impact compared with larger tour groups. Before you book your holiday, you can ask what size the group will be. You can also ask them how they give back to the community you’ll be visiting.
Travel in the Offseason
Last up on this list of ways to become an Eco-Friendly Traveller is considering when you travel. You only have to visit Europe’s top destinations in the height of the season to know it’s having a detrimental impact on the environment. The masses of cruise ships that literally crash into Venice have been causing chaos for decades. So, instead of joining the hordes of travellers arriving in peak periods, opt to travel off-season or during shoulder months. Not only will the attractions be much quieter, but you’ll also find the residents will be much more welcoming too.
The most important thing to remember when looking at becoming an eco-friendlier traveller is we all bear some responsibility, from what we pack, to where we go, to the tour operators we travel with.
What say you?
Thoughts on these tips on How to Be an Eco-Friendly Traveller?
Let’s hear it!
Looking for Travel Tips?