1. Choose a sustainable travel destination instead of a popular one
A good way to travel sustainably is to choose a smarter holiday destination. Many countries are working to become carbon neutral and Bhutan is the first country to become carbon negative!
It is better not to follow the recent travel trends, based on popular films or series. As an example, the game of Thrones brought fame to Dubrovnik, Croatia. This caused problems for a destination unprepared for mass tourism. For example, increased traffic, deterioration of historic sites, and rising prices that drive locals away.
2. Research before booking
Research accommodations and tours, which you plan to book, based on how ‘green’ they are. You can normally find this kind of information on their website. Booking responsibly is a positive way to travel sustainably.
Hotels support sustainable travel
Many hotels are now involved in green travel programs or donate a percentage of their profits to environmental action. For example, Marriot only uses bulk dispensers in bathrooms to eliminate single-use plastic. Even better, bring your own eco-friendly toiletries instead of using the hotel’s products.
A jeep ride through the desert or feeding Eagles may seem harmless. However, these practices can be harmful to the ecosystem, nature and Wildlife. Seek advice from reviews, and through the company’s website, to find out if a tour service is being practiced in a responsible manner.
3. Pack light-easy sustainable travel tip
Light and thoughtful packing is a small but effective way to help with sustainable travel. The more we pack, the more fuel planes, trains and cars will need. It is also easier to carry lighter luggage. Try to halve what’s in your bag by thinking carefully about what you’re packing. Example:
- Grab a refillable water bottle, or a water purifier, to save you from buying single-use plastic.
- Try to pack eco-friendly products, or go completely plastic-free, using shampoo bars, tooth tabs, deodorant bars, etc. They consume less space, are much better for the environment and are allowed in your hand luggage.
- Bring your own food during the flight. Airplane meals are usually served with lots of single-use plastic.
- Bring your own cutlery and straw. This saves on single-use plastic given in cafes and markets.
- Consider bringing a kindle or an iPad to read books. Books make your luggage a lot heavier.
- Think about your clothes. Pick up thin materials, which can be rolled up very small to use space.
4. Avoid animal enjoyment
Wildlife is one of the best parts of traveling. Unfortunately, 75% of all wildlife tourism has a negative effect on animals. Participating in animal enjoyment can mean anything as obvious as watching dolphins perform tricks, to ride an elephant. It also applies to enjoyment that seems harmless, such as feeding an eagle, holding a snake, or trying Luwak coffee.
Animal welfare (riding animals)
Companies seem to promote animal welfare. However, there is not enough research to support the “safe or humane” driving of animals. Therefore, it is a good idea to research animal-related activities in advance.
Food for animals
Feeding wild animals is not a good idea, as they can become dependent on food if they are fed by tourists. Taking care of wild animals in this way helps maintain travel for the future.
5. Respect for the environment
Respect for the environment creates the future of sustainable travel. Over time, beautiful natural areas see the effects of mass tourism.
For example, avoid touching ancient temples and recognize that paths and fences are there for a reason. In short: read the signs.
Coral bleaching is another global problem. Because of this, only look at the corals from a distance and never touch them. By doing this, coral growth is hoped to increase.
6. Tracks don’t leave trash behind and make travel sustainable
Protect animals and marine life from getting caught and ingesting plastic toxins, or even prevent microplastics from getting into our food. It is a relatively simple task to dispose of your waste in designated bins. Remember that plastic can take up to 1000 years to decompose! As a result, it’s best to use compostable alternatives, avoid buying plastic, or travel plastic-free.
Positive action, such as picking up trash is a fantastic way to help. Beach cleaning happens all over the world, so take a look online to see where the nearest one is. This is a great way to be part of positive change, help the community, and meet new people interested in sustainable travel!
7. On-site shopping
Sustainable travel is about having a positive impact on your destination, the culture and the community. One way to do this is to shop at locally owned businesses.
8. Saving Energy And Water
Much effort is made to save energy and water at home, and these efforts can be continued throughout our travels. Here’s how:
Protecting our resources is a big part of sustainable travel. Save energy while traveling:
Saving Water has never been so important. Water resources are low and currently less than 1% of the world’s water is usable. Saving Water by:
- Leaving the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door – which means cleaning in your hotel will not wash your towels and sheets.
- Rewear your clothes more than once – or hand wash.
- Take a shower once a day for less than 2 minutes-are you traveling somewhere hot? Instead, cold showers!
- Choose foods that don’t need a lot of water to be cooked – so avoid rice and pasta.
9. Eat a little less meat
Meat has proven to be one of the biggest causes of climate change, which is why the decline in meat intake has a huge positive change.
This explains that growing meat causes massive deforestation, as forests are cut down to make way for crops and agriculture (as seen in the Amazon).
Veganism does not consume products of animal origin and is growing rapidly! Countless incredible vegetable cafes and restaurants pop up all over the world that create delicious food and crave people for more.
But if you can’t stop your chocolate and cheese yet, try reducing your meat intake. This will contribute to the future of our planet and sustainable travel.
10. Change the way you travel
The airplane has opened up the world, by making it easier for us to get from A to B and travel to places we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. However, they use a lot of fuel, so they have extremely high carbon emissions.
Is flying ever seen as a form of ‘sustainable travel’?
Unfortunately, flying will soon be unsustainable. But the good news is that certain airlines now give you the option to compensate for your flight. This means that the airline invests money in other environmental projects, to balance their flight emissions. Carbon offsetting has its critics (people aren’t always sure where the money is going) and it certainly doesn’t fix carbon emissions. However, at this time it is the best option to help if choosing to fly. Skyscanner is now also showing which flights are the green travel choice, based on CO2 emissions.
The slow travel method
Once at your destination try the slow travel method, by taking things easy and walking or cycling. Spend more time in one destination, rather than running around the country. This method is a great way to really understand local life and habits! Take public buses or car sharing between destinations if you are traveling through a country. A great option is Blah Blah auto and Flixbus.