The tourism industry has been discussing for some time solutions to reduce and offset the carbon footprint in all its areas – from flights to accommodation. And more and more travelers are becoming aware of environmental issues across the planet.
It is important to understand tourism as a responsible activity and to know how to travel in a sustainable way: how to enjoy natural beauty, while keeping beaches and oceans intact, clean air, lush forests and local businesses functioning for the benefit of communities.
Have you ever wondered about sustainable travel and how it can help make small positive changes to help the environment?
Whether you’re researching sustainable destinations, shopping for eco-friendly gifts, reducing your carbon footprint, or participating in a beach cleanup, every little move you make towards sustainable travel helps protect the environment.
To get started on this journey, here are 10 practical tips for eco-friendly travel that are easy to achieve.
1. Do not use plastic packaging
You want your vacation memories to last for years, but hundreds of years is too long. Plastic waste can take more than 400 years to decompose, according to data from the Ministry of the Environment. So avoid plastic packaging on your trip and bring a reusable shopping bag when you go to local markets.
2. Reduce your luggage
Every kilo counts when flying. The more a plane weighs, the more fuel it needs and the greater the carbon emissions. Pack only what you need – the environment will thank you.
3. Use shared means of transport
Using local public transport is a way to help the environment when traveling. This means you are not creating any additional carbon emissions from private transport. You will also be able to enrich your travel experience by creating opportunities to interact with locals.
4. Travel by land
It is not new that air transport is one of the biggest contributors to the high volume of CO2 emissions. Cut your flight by five hours and your carbon footprint will be a ton lighter. And you can also get to know much more about the destination by traveling the local roads!
5. Enjoy a regional beer
After the tours, when it’s time to relax, sip on a locally brewed beer – you’ll likely enjoy a high-quality beverage and it’s certainly low-carbon as it didn’t involve any transportation mileage. This applies to other local products. Your taste buds can also be carbon-friendly.
6. Feel at home in a hotel
A great tip is to remember to keep the same attitudes at home at the hotel – avoid taking clean towels when not needed, don’t take long showers and remember to turn off the TV, lights and air conditioning when leaving the room.
7.Choose a carbon offset adventure
Not all carbon emissions can be avoided while traveling. Many travel operators have already launched sustainable action plans with itineraries that have become more focused on preserving the environment. Emissions from transport, accommodation, activities and waste have been accounted for and the cost of compensation is included in the cost of travel.
8. Avoid PET bottle water
Plastic bottles are responsible for a large part of the waste in the environment, including problems caused by microplastic and the chemical compounds that come out of this type of container. Take your reusable bottle on every ride. This product is becoming more and more popular and can be found in countless models, designs, colors and styles.
9. Follow the trails
When walking, always keep to marked trails and keep a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Going off a certain route could mean that you destroy protected plant species or disrespect the habitat of animals, even those threatened with extinction.
10. Travel with a responsible group
Smaller groups tend to have less environmental impact, so travel with an environmentally responsible small-group tour operator. Before booking, ask how big the group will be and if the trip includes sustainability actions – including how it gives back to the community you will be visiting.
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