Traveling is enjoyable because engaging with the outside world, visiting new locations, and meeting new people raises your feel-good hormones. But as you start to plan a trip, make bookings, pack your bags, and go, there are other things to consider, in addition to the enjoyable times you hope to encounter. Why not enjoy your trip, knowing you're making an effort to help the planet as well?
To make your trip environmentally friendly, reduce the negative effects of tourism, and preferably benefit the region you're visiting, you need to look for sustainable travel practices. Here are a few suggestions for responsible travel on your upcoming trip.
Avoid Top-listed Areas
Overtourism is a phenomenon that occurs when a given location gets overrun by tourists. You can avoid this by taking less-traveled routes. Only consider a trip along a well-known route outside of the busy summer tourist season.
The good thing is that you might not have to cope with crowded spaces and lines if you visit less well-known tourist spots. The experience will be more exceptional because you won't have to deal with crowds and long lines.
Rather than staying in the most popular tourist destinations, try to explore smaller towns and rural areas. By doing this, you lessen the stress on over-traveled locations and spread the advantages of tourism to other places.
Therefore, avoid the top 10 listed destinations when searching for a place to vacation. Instead, look for undiscovered and underrated travel locations.
Spending money in the community you visit helps the locals. Avoid spending your money on multinational firms that are based in other countries. Many less developed nations rely heavily on tourism, which underscores the benefit of your visit to these communities. But this can only happen if you patronize the locals directly. You can do several things to help the local economy. When you visit:
- Buy from local artisans.
- Eat the local food
- Avoid global fast food companies by dining at locally owned establishments instead.
- Use local tours
- Look for accommodation that supports the neighborhood economy.
- Avoid choosing an all-inclusive package because you could be less likely to support local businesses. All-inclusive resort accommodations frequently have foreign ownership.
Use Sustainable Travel Options
According to a study by the Journal of Transport Geography, tourists cause 4.4% of global CO2 emissions, with emissions projected to grow at an average rate of 3.2% per year up to 2035.
Since mobility is a big part of traveling, burning fossil fuels is unavoidable, but you can mitigate this problem by choosing the most sustainable means of travel. If you must fly, look for the direct route that will take you to your destination in the quickest amount of time.
Utilize the greenest ways to get to your location by choosing the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Whenever you can, go for a stroll or ride a bike. Instead of driving a private vehicle, consider sharing rides.
An economy seat is more beneficial for the environment because you can use your limited space more efficiently. Flying in business or first class with more space can increase your carbon footprint by a factor of five. Choose an eco-friendly airline that uses fuel-efficient aircraft.
Be a Slow Traveler
Unhurried travel is environmentally friendly and in opposition to mass tourism. Try not to rush out of a place you've only just visited. Slow travel reduces the number of times you have to fly. What if you spent two weeks in just one spot instead of visiting four locations?
A focus on meeting and supporting the local population makes slow travel essential to sustainable travel. When you travel slowly, you choose to get to know the area and support locally-owned businesses, restaurants, guesthouses, and community projects.
Conserve Water and Energy
In some destinations, the locals may suffer from water or light scarcity. As such, it's important to be mindful when you use resources like water and electricity. For instance, tourism may put a strain on water resources and force local populations to compete for its use. A few things you can do include:
- Change the thermostat temperature – a few degrees cooler or warmer is survivable, but saves a ton of energy.
- Don't leave taps running unnecessarily.
- Turn off lights if you're not using them.
- Flush less often if you stay in a private hotel.
- Opt for a shower instead of a bath
Take Usable Mugs and Plastics
Reusable containers lessen the toxic waste that affects land, soil, water, and wildlife, as well as the amount of plastic garbage that ends up in landfills. Having a reusable mug or plastic helps you boycott single-use containers when you need to buy coffee or other items that require a plastic container. Furthermore, eco-friendly containers are free of Bisphenol A (BPA) and melamine, poisonous to humans and animals.
The more weight an airplane carries, the more gasoline it will use. Therefore, when packing, bring what you can comfortably carry. To help you pack light, include items with two or three uses in your box. Making a list of the essential items you require will go a long way to help you prioritize.
Use Accommodations That Are Green Certified
Look for lodging dedicated to eco-friendly programs. To do this, you might have to go the extra mile and find out if they get their food from local places. Or maybe they are making less of an impact on the environment by using solar power or finding ways to use less water. Don't settle for a hospitality service simply because they claim to be eco-friendly. Investigate that they walk the talk.
Choose to Camp
In general, camping is green. In comparison to other holiday options, it has fewer emissions. If you prefer being outside, you might choose it. When you camp, no emissions are produced after you reach your campsite— considering that you primarily use human power to move like hiking and paddling. Additionally, you can frequently find a good camping location without traveling very far. Being a sustainable tourist means picking nearby destinations that might not require flying.
The environment will benefit from your responsible choices because you are well-informed. Therefore, it should be routine practice to learn about environmental challenges at your travel destination and to resolve to reduce your impact as much as possible.
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.