Thanks to the increasing awareness, the terms eco-travel, green tourism, etc. dont sound alien to anyone anymore. Still, for the uninitiated, the concept of eco-friendly travel symbolizes a traveler’s conscious efforts to reduce and also refrain from causing any damage to mother nature while pursuing his travel plans.
The practice is quite efficient as it helps sustain the beauty of our environment for years to come. So if you too are an avid traveler who wishes to contribute to preserving the charm of your favorite destinations, then this is where you are supposed to be. Here, we would be discussing the various ways in which you, as a tourist, can make a significant difference to the well-being of our planet, from using a bamboo toothbrush to packing vegan soap – you don’t have to do much!
So, let us begin!
1. Pack light
You might be wondering what has your luggage got to do with being eco-friendly. Well, to start with, when you are flying, every kilo counts. Heavier the weight, the more fuel needed to operate the aircraft. Hence additional carbon emission. And this is not limited to just airplanes. The rule applies to even the buses or cars that you may take en route.
Thus, it is advised to make some teeny-weenie changes to the way you pack, and the environment would be thanking you forever.
2. Go paperless
The concept of saving paper is something that needs no recommendation. As a dependable citizen, play your part responsibly and abstain from getting your tickets printed. Instead, opt for e-tickets. This will save trees that are the real protectors of our planet.
3. Dont leave before you unplug
While going for a short weekend getaway or even a long one for that matter, do not forget to unplug all your electrical applications back home. This may seem like minor-league, but as I had mentioned earlier, every bit helps. Moreover, it will not only save electricity but will be easy on your pockets too.
4. Opt for a green hotel
With this, we forge ahead towards choosing a place that is ecological and performs quite responsibly when it comes to maintaining the natural appeal of the environment.
Look for accommodations that believe in taking all the measures to ensure they do not damage the ecosystem while also providing a comfortable stay for the customers.
Additionally, volunteer and support their cause by vowing to use less energy and not wasting any of the resources, like electricity, food, water, etc. during your entire stay.
You can also consider staying at a working farm that also operates as an inn. This allows you to save money and buying a better experience of the agricultural heritage of the place for you.
5. Ditch private transportation
Opting for biking, walking, or taking public modes of transit instead of renting cabs is one of the most globally hailed acts that contribute notably in downsizing the level of carbon emissions from private vehicles. This, as a consequence, decreases your carbon footprint, thereby making the world a better place to breathe in. To add to the advantages, hopping on public means of transport or covering the distances on foot often lets you connect with the locals, giving you an enriching exposure of the place, it’s culture, and its folklore.
6. Reduce and Reuse
This approach towards creating a healthy environment has been universally acclaimed as the most vital of all since it involves the usage of the dreaded material- plastic.
It is a well-established fact that plastic is hazardous for humans, wildlife, and oceans, as well. Therefore, it is a desperate need of the hour to scale down its presence from the face of the Earth. To make that happen, we must curtail its usage and switch to more eco-friendly options. For eg., forsake single-use coffee cups that end up in landfills of your beloved destinations and inculcate the habit of carrying a reusable mug with you on all your trips.
Similarly, get rid of the practice of buying plastic bottles, wherever you go. This plants tonne of plastic every day into our oceans and landfills. Instead, take along an aluminum bottle with you while on the go. Another way to help aid the green mission is to say no to plastic bags. Whether you are stepping out for flea market shopping or just island hopping, always carry an eco-safe carry bag to store your stuff in.
After you have tried and considerably reduced the use of environmental pollutants, the next step to be followed is to put the used things up for recycling.
Recycling helps in preventing the wastage of potentially useful material, thereby leading to a reduction in the consumption of fresh ones.
Therefore, be mindful of the recycling programs of the location you are visiting. In case they do not offer any such services, sort your trash and bring it back home where you can quickly give them away for recycling.
8. Buying and Eating local
What could be a better way of knowing your dream destination if it’s not through its local produce?
One can not deny that ventures that utilize indigenous resources tend to have the upper hand over those that rely on external supply.
Therefore, as an active member of the ‘environmentally-conscious’ club, you ought to try and eat at restaurants or hotels that make use of locally sourced components.
In the same way, shopping locally is also one of the best ways to support the economy of that particular place.
This does not imply that you go on buying souvenirs that endanger wildlife or the culture of that location. Instead, invest in the domestically manufactured items that make up for a fascinating memory of that place.
9. Act responsibly in Foreign Land
Be aware of the terrain you are heading towards. A carte a gratter can help you a great deal while being in an unknown location. Watch out for the marked hiking trails. They are there for a specific reason, which is to prevent you from harming any wildlife or vice-a-versa. Keep from feeding or touching native animals. This disturbs their natural habitat and, consequently, their ecological balance.
10. Leave no trace behind
One rule of ecotourism states that when you visit a place, you must leave it cleaner and better than before. So don’t hesitate in tossing some empty cans or likewise that you see lying on the beach, into the trash can. It would mean going a step further, but it would be extremely beneficial for our surroundings.
These suggestions may seem or sound like a drop in the ocean, but being conducive to a better environment is the least we can do for our Mother Earth. We have all been in this felony together, and we all need to work in harmony to conserve what we are left with. Therefore, do not think twice before making any effort that promotes ecology.