There is nothing quite like immersing yourself into a new city or different culture. The sense of adventure when you hike a new terrain for the first time or experience cultural disorientation when don’t see a fork in sight, just plate of delicious rice and curry – it’s what travelling is all about! So no wonder, with growing accessibility to travel, we are paving the way as the most travelled generations yet. We think it’s important to make a positive impact when travelling, so here are some quick everyday tips that won’t affect your budget or your trip. Making a few mindful choices could help create a positive impact, and pave the road for many more generation of travellers to come.
- Arm yourself with knowledge
As the green movement gradually comes into light (and in our opinion, the best kind of trend) consumers need to understand the effects our travels can have on the environment, and how some predatory companies may try to ‘greenwash’ their content in order to raise sales without the environmental benefits. There are some helpful organisations, such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), that help provide checks and certifications to help consumers make a better-informed decision. When considering wildlife sanctuaries or tours it’s important to research in order to help choose ethically certified companies and organisations. Our tourism demands have real consequences to the native flora and fauna. Supporting organisations which are driven by preservation rather than profit is the first step we can take to better conservation.
2.Say no to plastic
This is a big one that you can even incorporate at home. Saying no to plastic, and by providing your own reusable bags, could have a big environmental impact when travelling. In some countries plastic bags have been outright banned, but you might find that some local stores on your travels may not have the same access (or demand) for reusable products. Carrying your own reusable water bottle is also a must, as many public spaces often don’t provide recycling waste bins, and you would be minimising one of the biggest plastic consumer wastes whilst you’re at it. It’s an easy and compact way of saying no to plastic and, hey, they also come in cool colours, just saying!
3.Pack light, or go retro!
Pack light, as every kilo counts when flying. Essentially, the heavier the plane the more carbon emission it expels. Also, consider a non-stop flight over breaking your trip up. It could mean a little longer between stretches, but will significantly reduce the carbon emission which is produced more with every take-off and landing. Better yet, if you’re travelling in a smaller group and your destination is within driving distance, do things the old-fashioned way (wow, makes us feel a little older), grab your keys, pack the snacks and your road trip playlist. So retro! Oh, and don’t forget to hire a hybrid or electric vehicle for extra green points!
4.Travel like a local
Take public transport, it’s more sustainable on the environment and on your pockets, win-win. Many cities have great, easy to use transport systems, so why not give it a try. Or, grab a map and get your step counts in! Walking the streets is a great way to get to know a new place, not to mention all the things you’ll see travelling the backstreets like a local. People pay good money for that kind of tourism!
5.Support the local economy
One of the better things about travelling to a new country is, of course, the food and drink! Eating and drinking local cuisine is not only a great part of experiencing a different culture, but it’s also more economical. If you eat
6.Stick to the path
Stick to the path when hiking, it’s not only there for your safety but to help preserve the terrain. Paths are also kept as a way to keep tourism from destroying the native habitats and ecosystems, which are half reason us adventures love to get out in nature and enjoy the view in the first place.
7.Hotels and Homestays
Homestays are a great way to immerse into the local community. Experience life with the locals, have traditional home-cooked meals, and what better guide to have then someone who actually lives in the community!
If you’re in a hotel or hostel, always ask if they have a recycling program, and make sure you dispose off and separate your waste accordingly. Recycling is the least we can do when travelling. Switching the lights off when you’re not in your room, reusing your sheets and towels and hand washing small items can make all the difference when using these services. And why not take and use the
Being an ethical and eco-traveller doesn’t need to bust the budget, it’s more about keeping mindfulness and exploring what this wonderful world has to offer without the environmental costs!