Sustainable traveling is not new, but people have only begun to take it more seriously. More people are learning about sustainable traveling and learning how to travel sustainably. However, sustainable travel shouldn’t be “reserved” for a set of people; it should be the only way everyone travels. Traveling sustainably is the only way to reduce carbon footprints on nature, but travelers and travel industries are still oblivious.
As travelers make purchases and buy USDT, other cryptocurrencies, and any other goods and services, they leave behind considerable CO2 emissions. Sustainable travel helps travelers and travel industry operators realize that the world’s resources are limited and tourism can negatively affect the environment.
What Does It Mean to Be a Sustainable Traveler?
A sustainable traveler finds a way to go on long-term tourism without endangering cultural and natural environments. As a sustainable traveler, you reduce the negative impacts tourism has on nature and improve the area you’re traveling to. WTO (World Tourism Organization) defines sustainable travel as development that meets the present tourists’ and host regions’ needs while protecting and enhancing future opportunities. It leads to managing resources such that aesthetic, social, and economic requirements can be met while maintaining environmental integrity.
A sustainable traveler values the environment and is concerned about the earth’s natural resources. Such is awareness of pollution levels traveling causes and how it generally affects local wildlife and the environment. Such is also aware of how tourism affects native cultures, businesses, and the local people of their tourism destination. In essence, sustainable traveler is more conscious of how they travel.
Top Tips to Follow to Become a More Sustainable Traveler
Tourism is a good thing as it can provide help and support to communities and give back to nature. However, that’s only when we travel sustainably; the reverse is the case when we don’t. Below are some sustainable travel tips if you’re ready to become a more sustainable traveler.
- Air travel emits 20% of a tourist’s carbon footprint, so as a sustainable traveler, endeavor to make smarter flight choices. Avoid flying if you can, but if you must, then pack light to lessen the plane’s load. Also, consider booking a non-stop flight rather than connecting flights; this reduces carbon emissions by 100kg per individual.
- While you’re on vacation, pay attention to the quantity of water you use; take short showers instead of long ones. When you’re not using it, turn the water off and fill up your refillable containers with eco-friendly soap and shampoo. Overall, be mindful of using local resources, including hospital beds and emergency services.
- As a sustainable traveler, you want to watch out for greenwashing; research sustainable travel companies to know their specific sustainable actions. A truly sustainable company will include necessary information on its website if they’ve done the work to develop responsible tourism policies.
- Respect natural places and protected areas, remembering that marked hiking trails have a purpose: to preserve the natural environment. Stay away from wildlife, not feeding or touching wild animals for your and the animals’ safety. Take great pictures using some photo tools like a layer mask.
- Help the community by seeking local experiences like hiring local tour guides and homestays. This practice ensures your money is going directly into improving the economy, and you’re learning the place’s culture.
Five Things to Avoid as a Sustainable Traveler
To be a sustainable traveler, there are some things you should avoid doing. Sustainable traveling means being conscious of your environment and not doing anything that’ll harm it. That said, here are five things to avoid doing as a sustainable traveler:
- Avoid using plastic water bottles on your travels, and use reusables instead, including reusable bottles, utensils, and containers. When you eat out or shop on your travels, endeavor to avoid using plastic.
- Avoid single-use travel-size toiletries; they contribute hugely to tourism-related pollution. Instead, use refillable and reusable toiletries or even recycled plastics.
- Avoid visiting places that require a lot of resources, which can greatly impact the environment. Camping and glamping are good examples of sustainable traveling. However, if you go traditional, go for low-impact activities with low to no environmental impact, like hiking or kayaking.
- Avoid unethical wildlife tourism; go to natural wildlife habitats or established wildlife sanctuaries if you want to see wildlife. You can check the International Ecotourism Society and other advocacy groups for organizations that follow sustainable tourism policies.
- Don’t be sustainable at home only; especially if you have a full-time job, if you already practice sustainability at home, take those habits when traveling. For example, turn off the light air conditioning when you leave your hotel room.
We’ve given you ten tips on how to make travel more sustainable, including five must-dos and five don’ts. Remember that sustainable traveling is all about having the environment’s best interests at heart. Sustainable traveling is a conscious practice; you consciously make decisions that won’t jeopardize the environment’s integrity.