Last year I vowed to cut down on aeroplane travel, which I did successfully- making only one trip to Italy and back. Making conscious eco-friendly changes to how we live has become a priority. If we all change our daily habits, collectively we can make a difference on a global scale. For me reducing the number of flights I make, was a relatively easy decision. We ditched our regular overseas holidays, opting instead to enjoy staycations here in the UK. Travelling more sustainably however, does not just mean being more conscious of how we travel, there is much more to consider. If you’ve been looking to make more eco-friendly changes in your life, let’s take a look at 5 ways to become a more sustainable traveller…
Become A Sustainable Traveller
When it comes to Global warming, flying takes a lot of energy, which means releasing a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and jet fuel releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. In turn, greenhouse gases block heat from escaping from the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise just like in a greenhouse! Opt to travel via train and to take staycations instead of flying.
Off The Beaten Track
Minimising the environmental impact of tourism could be as simple as visiting a destination that is off the beaten track. In the past I’ve visited several places that have been eroded or in some cases overdeveloped by the tourism industry. Research your destination, find out about areas that are off the beaten track, think outside the box and look for hidden gems that are not listed by large travel companies. If you’re based in the UK, perhaps you could take the train to a small village in Scotland or France?
Support Local Communities
“responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”.The International Ecotourism Society definition of “ecotourism”
Providing financial benefits and empowerment for local people can be a great way to be a more sustainable traveller. Buy food locally, spend your money on handmade items, that will support the local economy.
When you visit a country, why not donate to a conservation charity working in the area. If you don’t feel that you can spare the money to donate to a charity, why not look up local charities and volunteer some of your time?
Say No To Plastic
Rather shockingly, there is a Great Pacific Garbage Patch, made up of a swirling mass of plastic bottles and carrier bags, stretching across thousands of miles of the ocean. This horrendous swirling mass of rubbish will take hundreds of years, if ever, to break down and in the meantime is wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems and killing off marine life! If you’re travelling to a beautiful sandy beach, don’t take plastic. Remember to pack your refillable bottle and then you can take it home with you. Alternatively, drink from a coconut on the beach or opt for a glass bottle that can be recycled. Take a reusable tote bag and not a carrier bag.
Becoming a more sustainable traveller isn’t just about considering environmental sustainability. In fact, a major part of successfully adopting ecotourism methods, means considering the socio-cultural sustainability and the impact we have on local communities. Consider your destination carefully, think about how you can get there in the more eco-friendly way possible and when you arrive, support the local economy. Hopefully these tips will inspire your 2020 adventures!