Ecotourism is one of the fastest-growing trends in the travel industry right now, with travelers across the world considering how they can reduce their environmental impact while still witnessing the wonders of the world.
Partly influenced by the Covid pandemic, 60% of consumers are making more conscious choices since January of 2020 after a global shutdown gave us much more time to think about the future of our planet.
Though the following measures may seem small and simple, any effort to reduce our carbon footprint collectively will relieve the pressure on our planet’s resources.
We all know by now that planes create the highest level of emissions for any method of mass transit by far. Many climate activists are recommending people only take one long-haul flight every few years to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of flying.
However, this is easier said than done when you want to see the world. If you’re still set on traveling by plane, try to opt for a provider who prioritizes eco-consciousness, using sustainable biofuel, limiting the weight on each flight, and making contributions to green initiatives.
Newer plane models also are the best equipped for sustainability and fuel efficiency, so consider reviewing the carriers your chosen flight provider travels with before you make a purchase to ensure you’re starting off your holiday on the greenest foot possible.
Whether that’s taking a train or ferry to your destination or traveling by bus or tram once you get there, using collective transport throughout your holiday is an ideal way to keep your emissions low while on vacation.
Many cities throughout the world are well connected with train and tram lines that will get you close to the sights you’re there to see without you needing to hail a cab every time you want to go somewhere new.
For more remote holidays, spend time researching local bus routes and connections to understand how much you’ll need to rely on individual travel before you go and consider staying somewhere else if you find it too remote for the holiday you want.
Take Clothes You Already Own
300,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to landfill in the UK each year, often holiday wear which has been worn once and then thrown away. If you’re set on buying a new holiday wardrobe, choose only things that you know you’ll want to wear again and donate them or send them to be recycled once you’re finished with them.
Take a similar approach to what you purchase while out there. Buying things just for the sake of it only to throw them away once you return home contributes to overflowing landfill issues. Whether it’s souvenirs, clothes or keepsakes, try to buy only what you need and consider what the people in your life will really want as a memory of your travels.
Don’t Disturb The Locals
Whether it’s riding an elephant or swimming with dolphins, we now have a much clearer understanding of the harm this kind of tourism can do. Beyond just our emissions and waste, ecotourists need to keep in mind how we treat the world around us.
Elephant rides can be painful and cause irreversible damage and swimming with dolphins in the wild can cause them stress. Animals can also be put off returning to their eating or breeding grounds because of human intervention, so it’s best to look from afar and do your research if you’re going on an excursion.
Leave No Trace
No matter where in the world you go, you will produce waste. However, what you do with that waste is up to you. Besides picking up all your litter and leaving places as clean as you found them, you should also make more thoughtful shopping choices. Reuse bags and bottles as much as you can and try to purchase items with as little packaging as you can, such as fresh fruit and vegetables to trim down your waste while abroad.
Whether you take a train for a city break or fly to another country, how you travel can take a toll on the environment. While there’s no way to completely reduce our travel footprint until structural changes make means of travel more earth-friendly, taking these small steps and passing them on to those around you can help change our mindset towards travel and lighten the impact of vacations on the planet.
This article was written by Damon Culbert from Radiance Fireplaces.