5 tips to travel more sustainably
Every human being leaves a footprint - be it in nature, with people and animals or culture. Find out how you can lower your footprint whilst travelling, so we can continue to explore our beautiful world for generations to come.
With our 5 tips for responsible and sustainable travel, you decide for yourself what your footprint looks like!
Traveling the world and exploring natural wonders and foreign cultures is exciting. But tourism also has its dark side and the term Ecotourism becomes important for all of us to focus on. We must understand that we impact the places we visit in both positive and negative ways. By focusing on the positive impact and trying to reduce the negative we can travel more responsibly, which is not that hard at all!
Here are our 5 tips on how you can travel more responsibly:
1. Reduce plastic usage
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our planet. Oceans, beaches, and rivers are filling up with plastic at alarming rates. This has devastating consequences for the environment and animals. So please be conscious of your contribution and together we can help make the world plastic free!
- Travel with refillable water bottles – plastic water bottles are the worst!
- Refuse plastic straws, cutlery and cups – bring your own
- Say no to plastic bags - bring a tote bag or backpack for shopping
- Avoid toiletries in plastic bottles in hotels – if possible, bring your own sustainable toiletries
2. Support local communities
The least we can do when we are traveling to foreign countries is to make sure that our money goes to the local community and not to the large tourism providers. By supporting local communities, you strengthen them and help them to enjoy the benefits of tourism.
- Stay in locally owned accommodations
- Eat local food and drinks
- Purchase groceries at local markets
- Support local artisans and buy souvenirs from them - avoid unethical souvenirs like shells, or anything animal-derived
- Don’t litter and pick up trash even if it’s not your own
- Stay ethical and don’t visit zoos or go to animal shows
- Ask permission before photographing people
3. Lower carbon consumption
With the international tourism industry growing the environmental consequences are expanding rapidly. But we can reduce our carbon footprint easily by changing our habits or using alternative travel methods.
- Fly less - only fly when the trip is long and non-stop. Whenever possible, make your journey by train, bus, bike or even foot
- If you have to fly, travel with airlines that are improving their carbon footprint
- Turn Off the AC when it’s not needed
- Turn off taps and keep showers short
- Don’t change your sheets and towels every day
4. Maintain wildlife and natural environments
As travelers we are lucky to have the opportunity to visit the most spectacular places, most beautiful landscapes and view all forms of wildlife on earth. But it is our responsibility not to destroy these places.
- Stay on the path!
- Leave no trace – take all your trash with you
- Don’t touch corals or disturb natural habitats
- Don’t use soap in natural streams or lakes
5. Ensure animal welfare
While traveling we have an amazing opportunity to get close to wildlife, which sometimes we have only seen on television. However, tourism is one of the main contributors to animal cruelty. When traveling, it is important to avoid any animal experience that does not ensure the protection of the animal or its habitat. For example, when on safari, animals live freely within their reserve.
Below are some tips on how to ensure animal welfare whilst traveling:
- View animals in their natural habit and do not get in contact with them
- Do not ride on the back of an elephant, camel or other animal
- Avoid aquariums or marine parks where large mammals are kept in captivity
- Don’t pay to get a photo taken with an animal
- Do not purchase souvenirs made from wild animals
- Never participate in lion cub petting and lion walking experiences
- Do not attend festivals or attractions that subject animals to cruelty for entertainment
These tips are not nearly complete. There is so much more that you can do to make travel more sustainable. Take these tips as an inspiration for green travel and do whatever you can to protect our world during your trip.