Now more than ever it's important to be considering our impact on the planet. We know that things aren’t going too great and that we all need to pitch in to get things back on track. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to curtail our travel dreams, but perhaps it means that we need to plan our adventures with a little greener precision. Here are our top tips on how to be an eco-friendlier and more sustainable traveller...
Your choice of destination can have an impact on the world, especially if you are flying thousands of miles for a two-day break. It may be worth looking a little closer to home or seeing if you can get there via train or bus. If going further afield then do some research and try and choose places that will benefit the most from tourism and select places that have eco-friendly practices in place.
From the bed you crash out into the restaurant where you stop for lunch and even the tour guide you choose to take you around the local sites, if you can – always opt to support local businesses. Going local is the best option for feeding back into the economy and directly benefiting the communities. It’s a radical act of responsible tourism.
When it comes to air travel every kilo counts! If you can take only hand luggage than great, but even if you are checking bags try and be as weight conscious as possible to help keep emissions down and to consider your carbon impact.
Cycle and Hike
Rather than rent a car at your destination why not see if you can do some exploring in the saddle or head out on a hiking adventure? Walking and going via bicycle are both amazing ways to truly get in touch with your environment and leave zero footprint.
Filter it Out
We all know the dilemma of travelling in often exotic far-flung lands and not knowing if the water is safe to drink. This can lead to purchasing hundreds of plastic bottles. Rather than stocking up on bottles, consider investing in a good quality reusable water filter that you can take with you wherever you go.
No Animal Exploitation
From elephant rides to selfies with big cats, at all costs – travellers should avoid wildlife exploitative activities. Wildlife travel can be an amazing experience, but make sure that you do your research and opt only to support wildlife charities that nurture positive care for their animals.
Do Not Disturb
Even a simple act like placing the Do Not Disturb sign on your door can have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint during your stay. By doing this the hotel cleaning staff will avoid coming into your room and washing towels and sheets, etc meaning that your stay uses less energy than it could.
Turn Off AC
When leaving your hotel room or villa make sure that everything is switched off and unplugged and that includes the air conditioning. If you want to help keep your room cool when out exploring, then close the curtains or blinds to reduce the amount of sunlight pouring in.
Pick it Up
Heading out for a beach day or hitting the trail? Why not pack a bag and pick up some litter along the way. If everyone made it their business to grab ten items of trash while out walking or chilling on the beach then it would have a huge positive impact on reducing our negative impact on the world.
Avoid those tacky plastic souvenirs that are ten a penny from the market and instead dig a little deeper and invest in sustainably made artisan treasures. Handcrafted goods, homemade soaps, local honey and treats – all these items make for amazing gifts to bring back home and don’t contribute to a high-waste society.
What tips do you have for being a better traveller in today’s global climate? Share in the comments and let’s get our Greta Thunberg on.