We’re not all quite ready or able to travel yet, due to lockdown restrictions. However, many of us are longing to do so in the future and some of us will be hoping that we can adventure again in the Summer, or 2022.
Travelling is all about relaxing, having fun, and getting to know other places, people, and cultures. But tourism is an activity that has a huge impact on the environment and locals! That’s why you should opt for a sustainable travel adventure. Otherwise, you could affect the destinations you visit.
Sustainable travelling is a fantastic way to have a great adventure while respecting local communities and tourist attractions. If you want to reduce your environmental and social impact, keep reading to find 10 green tips to have a sustainable travel experience, written by the eco-friendly, zero waste website Zero Zen.
What’s Sustainable Travelling?
You can call it sustainable travel, eco-tourism, green travel, or responsible travel. All these terms mean the same thing: travelling in a way that doesn’t affect ecosystems, wildlife, local communities, and cultural resources. On the contrary, it should have a positive effect on the places you visit.
The main goal of sustainable travelling is preserving tourist destinations so that other travellers can visit and appreciate them too! And it’s possible by reducing your carbon footprint, respecting wildlife, supporting local businesses, reducing waste, and more.
10 Green Tips for Sustainable Travelling
If you’re committed to making your travel as sustainable as possible, here are 10 green tips for your eco-adventure:
1. Travel Locally
Travelling long distances generates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, the longer the distance you need to travel, the higher your carbon footprint will be. If you don’t want to contribute to climate change, you could visit places near your town or city.
This is a great sustainable travel idea because you could take the train or travel by car to avoid flights.
2. Carbon Offset Your Flight
Did you know that tourism is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions? For that reason, you should try to reduce the carbon emissions of your sustainable travel as much as you can.
If you can’t avoid travelling by plane, don’t forget to carbon offset your flight. You can take advantage of carbon offset programs to compensate for the emissions of your flight. With this, you could invest in reforestation programs, renewable energy projects, or others.
3. Download Your Boarding Pass instead of Printing It
Start off your sustainable travel on the right foot and avoid wasting paper. Call your airline and hotel to find out if you need to print your boarding pass and reservation. In most cases, you will be able to have boarding passes and reservations on your phone. You could even decline other paper receipts while travelling to reduce waste.
4. Choose Green Accommodation
Most hotel chains and resorts are built on natural areas to attract tourists, but this action affects the local environment and wildlife. Likewise, some of them don’t even have sustainability initiatives. So, do your research.
A green tip to have a sustainable travel experience is choosing accommodations with eco-friendly practices like reducing waste, using water-efficient fixtures, and energy-efficient lighting. You could even stay in locally-owned accommodations and contribute to the local economy.
5. Leave the “Do Not Disturb” Sign on Your Door
If you’re going to stay at a hotel for a few days, there’s no need to clean your room, bed linens, and towels every day. A green tip to avoid this would be leaving the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. This sustainable travel practice will help you save water, reduce the use of chemical cleansing agents, and save energy.
6. Turn Off Appliances and Lights When Leaving Your Room
Every time you go out, remember to turn off the lights and appliances of your room, such as the AC, heat, fan, and television. If no one is going to be there, you will waste energy. You could also unplug some appliances to save even more energy.
7. Prefer Sustainable Forms of Transportation
Another green tip is getting to know the city you’re visiting instead of going from one city to another over a short period of time. This is a great way to have a sustainable travel adventure because you will find interesting things to do or places to visit near you.
When possible, you could walk, rent a bike or take public transport to get where you want to go! As a result, you will reduce your carbon footprint.
8. Eat Local
Your sustainable travel won’t be complete if you didn’t try the local cuisine. Eating traditional dishes is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of another city or country. And the restaurants owned by locals are the best places to try traditional dishes! Besides discovering locally-sourced ingredients and exciting flavours, you will also support local businesses with this green tip.
When going to the supermarket, you could also choose local produce instead of imported fruits and veggies.
9. Prefer Souvenirs Made by Local Artisans
You’d probably like to bring home a few souvenirs. That said, try to avoid cheap and imported souvenirs while travelling. Remember that these options have a high carbon footprint. Instead, buy local and handmade souvenirs. This green tip is a wonderful way to support the local economy, local artisans’ work, and find unique goods.
10. Pack a Zero Waste Kit
Another shocking fact about tourism is that tourists produce two times more waste than local residents in some destinations! This problem can affect the beauty of tourist attractions and cause other problems for the community and wildlife.
If you want to have a sustainable travel experience, don’t accept disposable items and pack a zero waste kit with reusable alternatives, such as:
- Reusable shopping bags.
- Reusable water bottle.
- Reusable travel mug.
- Reusable lunch box.
- Bamboo toothbrush.
- Metal safety razor.
- Bamboo cutlery.
- Reusable straw.
- Shampoo bar.
This green tip is essential to avoid hotel toiletries and other single-use items while you’re on the move, like plastic bags and bottles. Besides, these products won’t take up much space in your luggage.
It doesn’t matter where or when you decide to travel, remember to put these green tips into practice and have fun in your sustainable travel.