As we are all more cognizant of our impact on the environment and the communities that work and live in these environments, it only makes sense that we should partake in sustainable travel too. Taking care of the resources available to us and practicing sustainable activities can ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty and wonder that our planet offers us.
What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel is achieved through leaving as little of a carbon footprint behind while exploring foreign countries or local areas. Sustainable tourism does not only have to be exclusive to foreign countries but can include local tourism activities too. Exploring where you live can be done responsibly and ethically as well. Going to your local deli or coffee shop can include sustainable practices such as taking your own mug with you or insisting on eco straws and packaging. Small efforts done daily add up, which is why it’s a great way of living indefinitely.
Do Thorough Research and Plan Your Travel
Travelling safe and sustainably starts with thorough research and planning. First and foremost, book your travel insurance with a company that cares about your safety on your trips. Staysure offers single trip travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover at no extra cost. You will want to ensure that the destination/s you choose to visit are geared up for safe travel and offer eco-friendly options too. Once you have your travel insurance sorted out, you will need to investigate the best ways to get where you are going and to book it ahead of time.
Ensure you make use of local airlines and tour operators that are based in the communities you are visiting as their operations are geared for sustainable business activities. Always fly economy class and avoid using single use items along the way that end up in landfills, waterways or on the street.
Pack Light and Responsibly
Packing lightly not only allows for ease of travel, but lessons the carbon emissions that are unneeded for heavy items. If every traveller packed lighter, the fuel consumption would add up to much less over time which is great for the environment. When packing, choose clothing items that don’t need a lot of washing or ironing and can be used as more than just one outfit. Saving on water and electricity while travelling is another great way to leave less of destructive footprint. Opt for a reusable face mask instead of disposable ones so as to minimise waste. Reusable water bottles and other personal care items that aren’t wrapped in plastic are another way to travel light and responsibly.
When exploring your destination, choose only the activities that are rooted in eco-friendly practices and support sustainability as a whole. This includes supporting responsible wildlife tourism activities, such as those that do not offer animal encounters or activities and provide tours or walks that disturb the environment as little as possible. When diving or snorkeling, ensure you do not disturb coral, or take home mementos you find on the beach. Shells etc. serve as homes to many creatures at the seaside and coral is a precious resource that is becoming endangered. Avoid any tourist activity that insists on crowds that are noisy and rambunctious.
Shop, Eat & Stay Local
Avoid conglomerate store or food chains that funnel money out of the communities they are placed in and decide to invest your spending money in local eateries, stores and accommodation facilities. Experiencing the destination this way is also a great authentic way to travel, and the money you spend is funneled back into the communities that rely on them.
There are many more ways you can contribute to sustainable and safe travelling, but these tips are a great way to start – whether you travel locally or abroad.