How To Practice Sustainable Travel When You Travel
What is sustainable travel and how can you be more aware of it while you’re exploring another country?
Being sustainable while traveling means a lot to me. You’re choosing a way that allows tourism to be maintained long-term without harming natural and cultural environments. There are three pillars of sustainability, which are the ecological, economic and social.
Becoming more conscious about little things and taking small steps can have a huge cumulative impact all while decreasing your carbon footprint. Here’re my easy tips, that benefit the environment and the social and economic well-being of the local people.
First, consider the length of your trip in relation to the distance you’re about to travel to. I’m aware of that not everyone has the opportunity to take trains/boats or even the bike for a long distance trip. Look out for non-stop flights, as the takeoffs and landings create most of an airplane’s carbon emissions.
When it comes to shorter distances, especially domestic, choose to travel via bus, train, or bike which generally has less negative environmental impact than traveling by plane.
The probably most obvious travel hack and game changer is to have a reusable water bottle. It will stop you from buying heaps of plastic in the supermarket and saves money, doesn’t that sound like a win-win situation? In general, always say no to plastic. Depending on the country you’ll get a plastic bag to carry anything, even if it’s a single item. Just pack your own tote bag before taking off, which also lasts longer than any plastic bag. I’m even traveling with some cutlery and a metal straw, to avoid single use plastic. If you’re using the products (shampoo, soap, lotion) provided by the hotel, you should also take them with you. Not only to reuse the plastic bottles in the future, but also because the leftovers are often thrown away. The following is going to explain how I personally handle the “struggle“ with toiletries, which often come in plastic packages, but I haven’t bought any new toiletries in traveling for six months. I have a shampoo bar (lasts you for ages, saves a lot of space, weight and plastic) and a small plastic bottle, that I refill with shower gel, whenever I have the chance to. It’s usually provided in most accommodations I’m staying at, so it has never been a problem.
A tip that will save you again some money and the environment, is washing your clothes as you shower. The laundry services usually wash your items separately, no matter how many you have.
Another small step that I formed a habit of doing is to return maps, brochures, and other tourist information, once I’m finished with them. That way they may be reused by future travelers and don’t land in the bin right after.
Please never feed or touch wildlife, for any reason. Feeding animals creates bad habits and makes them t reliant on humans, and often leads to attacks. If you get bit, the animal will most likely be killed! Don’t do any elephant riding and things of that nature. By doing so you supporting an industry that illegally captures, transports, and abuses millions of animals each year. Rather visit a rescue centre and support them with your money. You’ll also get to support the rehabilitation efforts of these amazing animals!
Try to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible. Rather be a participant, than an observer. You’ll experience the whole trip in a completely different way. You are more likely to leave your comfort zone, to try out the differences in the culture, like the living habits, food, music etc.
My intention with all the given information is to show how many options you have, to be more conscious while traveling and that sustainable travels don’t have to be an unpleasant journey.
You can also be active and collect trash on beaches, in the ocean or on any paths. That has been a thing that I even enjoyed doing and you can’t believe how many people will join you! There’s always one person needed, that does the first step, so why not being the one?
About the Author: I'm Wioletta, a 22 year old girl, who is living her dream of traveling the world. As I got inspired a lot by social media to explore a lot of the places I've already been to, I wanna do the same. Follow me along, to see what the beautiful earth has to offer and read captions full of motivation, positivity and vegan related nutrition and fitness facts. Follow me here