The notion of sustainable travel is kind of an oxymoron – but the Earth has too many jaw dropping wonders and diverse cultures to miss out on.
Here are 5 ways to reduce your impact while you travel.
1. Pack lightly
The heavier your bags are, the more fuel needed for the car/bus/plane because of the extra weight. Packing timeless classics that can be worn in many different ways can help expand your wardrobe without packing more.
2. Support the local economy by purchasing from local businesses
Too many times have I seen the same item being sold in two different countries at opposite ends of the Earth. When I was in the Caribbean I accidently purchased a sarong that had the destination name: Bali printed on it… Silly me! Surely there were locally made tie dyed sarongs available…
Appreciate their local food by eating at local restaurants or street vendors, rather than supporting non local cuisine and food chains.
3. If you do fly, offset your carbon emissions
Offsetting your carbon emissions allows travellers to invest in environmental projects that compensate the amount of emissions you have given out by balancing carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. Typically, this involves planting trees or purchasing and ripping up carbon credits from emissions trading schemes.
4. Be kind to the natural environment
Many destinations have been put on the map for tourism because of the region’s natural beauty. Visit protected areas with a local tour guide who will teach you about the importance of conserving the local ecosystem and ask about how you can contribute. Admire the flora but ‘leave nothing but footprints’ – so no littering and try your best to avoid single-use plastics.
You can ever go a step further and stay in an accredited environmentally friendly, small scale accommodation.
5. Consider animal welfare
Please ensure that wildlife are not negatively impacted for your entertainment and pleasure. Many destinations offer some type of animal tourism, like the mud-baths with elephants, holding baby lions or swimming with dolphins…however despite how much they depict these animals to love these activities to be please consider the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express (most) normal behaviours
- Freedom from fear and distress
Also, please do not buy any wildlife products, as it can also support a growing market for trafficking rare and endangered wildlife products for souvenirs – for example, elephant tusks, furs, turtle shells and feathers.
Read more about ethical sanctuaries here.