A Guide To Sustainable Travel: 7 Ways To Be A Sustainable Traveller
As countries all over the world gradually begin to open their borders to non-essential travel, many people will likely take this opportunity to cure their travel bug. While there is nothing wrong with a desire to explore the world, it’s important to be mindful of the planet during your travels. Sustainable travel is more essential than ever as the effects of global warming on the planet approach the point of no return.
What Is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel or sustainable tourism is defined by the World Tourism Organization as a way of travelling that considers current and future environmental, economic, and social impacts on the local environment and communities. “This approach is in direct response to the rise in overtourism,” explains Donna Norman, business blogger at Write My X and 1Day2Write. “Overtourism occurs when an excessive amount of tourists visit a popular destination causing damage to the local environment and diminishing the quality of life for locals.”
In contrast, sustainable travel aims to safeguard the environment, minimize the negative impact of travellers on a destination, and boost the economy of the local communities affected.
7 Tips On How To Travel Sustainably
If you have travel plans and want to be as mindful of your impact as possible, here are seven ways you can be a sustainable traveller.
Consider Eco-Friendly Modes Of Transportation
Approximately 2.4% of carbon emissions are produced by aviation. Therefore, it’s best to limit the number of flights you take during your travels. If taking a train or bus to your destination is an option, consider that instead. Similarly, if you have multiple destinations planned for your trip and they are relatively close together, go by train or bus instead of flying to your next destination.
If you have no choice but to fly during your travels, book a direct flight to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.
Slow travel is the sustainable travel approach of taking your time to reach your destination and fully immersing yourself in the experience. In addition to considering alternative modes of transportation to flying, it also means slowly experiencing the culture, history, and cuisine at your destination.
Research Eco-Friendly Accommodations
Fortunately for sustainable travellers, there is a growing number of eco-friendly hotels around the world. To travel sustainably, research any eco-hotels at your destination and their environmental efforts. It’s important to research these hotels thoroughly as some might not actually be environmentally friendly. Many hotels simply brand themselves ‘green’ to increase profits.
If there are no eco-friendly hotels available at your destination, choose a hotel close to the attractions you want to visit instead to reduce your travel time and carbon footprint.
Only Support Responsible Wildlife Tourism
If the purpose of your trip is to see the local wildlife, ensure to only support responsible wildlife tourism. “Just because they promote themselves as a sanctuary doesn’t necessarily mean the animals are treated humanely,” warns John Atherton, a technical writer at Assignment Help and Britstudent. “It’s imperative to research your options carefully before supporting any wildlife tour.”
Consider Hiring A Local Guide
Thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to find the best local experiences and local guides. During your trip, consider hiring a local guide to support the local economy.
Locals tend to know the best of what their community has to offer. As a result, you’re almost guaranteed a far more immersive and culturally-rich travel experience with a local guide.
Support Local Restaurants
Instead of dining in the restaurants available at the resort or hotel, support the local economy by dining in locally-owned restaurants instead. Not only does this allow you to fully experience the local cuisine, you’re also boosting the local economy.
While most large hotels source their ingredients from large suppliers, local restaurants tend to buy locally sourced ingredients. By choosing to support them, you’re also reducing carbon emissions.
Purchase Traditional Handcrafts From Locals
Instead of shopping for your souvenirs at the airport or larger retail stores, support local artisans by purchasing their pieces. This increases your positive economic impact on the local community. Their handcrafted work probably makes for a much better souvenir than anything you can purchase at an airport anyways.
Chances are, it’s also a lot less expensive. Shopping local is more environmentally sustainable and budget-friendly than shopping at airports.
Now more than ever, it’s essential for all forms of travel to be sustainable. In addition to doing your part by being a sustainable traveller, urge your friends and family to do the same.
George J. Newton is a travel content specialist at Coursework Writing Services. He has been married for ten years, perfecting the art of the apology throughout.