For those who’ve been bitten by the travel bug, the prospect of seeing the many wonders of the world and all their glory, is probably very alluring. Maybe you’ve got dreams of European escapes or African adventures. Maybe you are drawn to the Caribbean or fantasize about mountain hikes and the great outdoors.
Traveling and experiencing other cultures, places, and ways of living, can truly be a life changing experience, one that should be offered to all people for generations to come. A huge part of appreciating the world is taking care of it.
As your are preparing for your next big adventure, consider the impact that your travels have on the world you are exploring. Sustainable travel means exploring the world without harming the environment. As you are planning your next trip, consider these 9 tips for traveling sustainably.
- Travel Slow
On your next trip, instead of packing an itinerary with ten different cities and locations you want to visit, choose 4 and spend more time at each place. Not only will this cut your transportation costs and allow you to truly savor and deeply enjoy each destination, you will greatly reduce your carbon footprint by cutting your travel time. The less time you spend in a car, plane, or train, the better.
- Rent Hybrid or Electric Vehicles
If you are flying to another country or city, it’s fairly common practice to rent a car upon arrival. When renting your vacation vehicle, choose an environmentally friendly electric or hybrid car, rather than a typical gas motor vehicle.
- Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Instead of using disposable plastic cups throughout your trip, pack a BPA free water bottle you can use and reuse throughout your trip. Packing a water bottle is an excellent way to cut down on your waste.
- Reuse Hotel Towels
Most people don’t wash their towels after each use at home…but for some reason, this is common practice when staying at a hotel. Instead of leaving your towels out to be picked up and cleaned each day, hang up your hotel towels and reuse them the next day. Shrinking the hotel’s laundry load will cut down on water usage.
- Check Certifications
In making your travel choices, look for hotels and businesses with environmentally friendly certifications from organizations such as EarthCheck or Green Globe. These organizations offer sustainability certifications to countless businesses throughout the tourism industry. Making sustainably certified travel choices is an excellent way to care for the environment.
- Support Local Vendors
Instead of shopping in big box stores which typically require massive quantities of merchandise to be imported, support the local economy by purchasing from local vendors. Not only are these products made locally and do not have the same environmental impact of larger companies, but these companies are invested in caring for the communities in which they live.
- Think About The Animals
Depending on the destination, there are many animal centric tourist opportunities available. Activities such as walking with lions or swimming with dolphins may sound attractive, but before you invest in these activities, do some research. Many of these activities are actually harmful to the animals involved.
- Do Not Disturb
If you are staying at a hotel for multiple nights, hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. This one simple action will reduce the amount of energy used to wash your sheets and towels or to vacuum your carpets.
- Environmental Internships
Environmental internships are an excellent way to enjoy traveling while supporting the local environment. Internship opportunities are available all over the world and projects include everything from wildlife photography to water conservation.
Part of appreciating the world is taking care of it. Making sustainable travel choices shows a respect for the places you are visiting and preserves the treasures of the world for generations to come. As you are working on your travel plans, take a look at these 8 travel tips and plan your next sustainable adventure!