7 Green Travel Tips To Help You Travel More Sustainably
As calls for sustainable living continue around the world, now is the time to extend the same to our travels. As a traveler, there is always something that you can do to preserve the environment, as well as help communities that you visit raise their standards of living and preserve their cultures. And, in return, you can have more authentic travel experiences and fulfillment knowing that you made a positive impact on the communities and Mother Nature. Here are seven tips that you can implement to make your future travels more sustainable.
Choose sustainable means of transport
One of the best ways that you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation is to travel short distances. You can look for a local destination that you can enjoy. This way you can travel by rail, which is far more efficient than road or air. Alternatively, find other travelers interested in your destination to carpool. This can also be a great way to save money, which can be a nice welcome if you are financing your trip through a loan or credit card. If you must fly to far destinations, opt for sustainable airlines that use biofuel technology.
Choose green accommodation
When choosing where to stay, look for hotels, AirBnB, rental property, resorts and the like that have embraced sustainability. The good thing is that most accommodation facilities are rising to the demands for sustainable accommodation by travelers. They are adopting solar energy, banning plastic use, building green areas and giving jobs to locals and much more. For instance, if you are traveling to Melbourne, you can easily find rental properties in Melbourne that are promoting sustainability. But, it is good to do your due diligence, read reviews online to make sure that the place you choose to stay is actually sustainable and not just a marketing tactic.
Sustainable travel encompasses supporting the local community to help build infrastructure and improve their standards of living. How you can do that is by spending your money on local businesses in your destination. Make sure to do your shopping and buy souvenirs at locally-owned outlets. If you are cooking your own meals, visit the local market for locally sourced produce. If you must dine out, choose local eateries and restaurants that serve local foods. It would also benefit the community if you donated to local charities that support the people in different ways such as teaching life-changing skills.
Ditch single-use plastics
Consider bringing a reusable water bottle on your trip to avoid buying bottled water. You can find one with a built-in purifier if you are skeptical about water quality at your destinations. In addition, opt to eat in the restaurant rather than buying take-outs. You can also carry your own reusable packaging container and ask the restaurant to pack your food in it. Other things such as forgoing the straw and plastic packing bags go a long way in preventing plastic waste.
Make your luggage as light as possible to make transportation easier, which can significantly reduce your emissions footprint. Carry outfits that match well with most of what you carry to reduce your luggage. Additionally, carry essentials such as shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent that don’t emit too many harmful chemicals to the environment.
Find ways to save water and energy
Saving water and energy protects the natural resources. Do your best to limit your consumption during your travels. Take short showers instead of baths to save water. Turn off the electronics and lights when you are not using them. Additionally, hand wash and air-dry your clothes instead of using the washing machine and drier.
Stay longer at destinations
You may want to tick off your favorite places off your bucket list in a single vacation, but that can rob you of the opportunity for authentic and meaningful travel experiences. Consider slowing down and taking the time to immerse yourself in the community. Learn about the cultures, sample local foods, connect with the locals and learn the local language. Explore the destination to discover hidden gems and take part in local activities.
In your own little ways, you can support sustainable tourism and contribute positively to the environment and economic growth in the communities. Make sustainable decisions when deciding on transportation means and accommodation. Consider shopping from the locals, avoid single-use plastics, save water and energy where you can and carry lighter luggage. Additionally, slow down and take your time to enjoy a destination before hoping on to another.