4 Sustainable Travel Tips – Embracing Better Practices

Sustainable travel has become necessary for travelers who live at the crossroads of experiencing the world and concern it and its inhabitants. As many have already seen, global tourism’s massive development in recent years has given rise to serious concerns, including increased pollution, overtaxed cities, and environmental damage. This is a voyage of self-awareness and travel choices aimed at respecting and protecting the local environment, culture, and economy. Here are four things to consider for your future sustainable holiday!

1. Sustainable Travel Destinations – So Many Places to Visit!

As a rule of thumb, the closer you go to home, the smaller your carbon footprint. However, if you wish to go farther, certain places are more sustainable travel destinations than others. A lot of nations and localities are starting to reduce their carbon emissions more drastically. For example, in Costa Rica, 98 percent of power is now produced using renewable energy, while conservation efforts protect 25 percent of the land. Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, has established two of Europe’s most outstanding sustainable travel programs in organic farming and renewable energy use.

2. Getting There – Choosing Airplane, Train or Bus?

When it comes to traveling sustainably, it is all about reducing the negative effect travel may have on the environment while turning it into something beneficial for local areas and communities. Traveling by train reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 90% when compared to flying. When you’re at your location, select the most sustainable ways to get around. You could choose to walk or bike instead. It’s best to utilize public transportation or a taxi for lengthy trips, and ride-shares may save you money and are eco-friendly than renting a car. Occasionally, we need to fly, and we can do it better by selecting airlines that are striving to enhance their environmental credentials. Many airlines have taken on efforts to decrease fuel consumption, use more sustainable fuels and are exploring ways to improve wingtip design to reduce noise and improve efficiency.

If you are flying, take a minute to calculate your carbon footprint and perhaps look for ways to offset those emissions – through donations or otherwise.

3. Go Local

A great way to show your love for a new place is to support locally owned shops. You can do so by going to local markets, booking small family-run restaurants, and staying in guesthouses instead of larger commercial hotels. When you purchase from local establishments, your cash will be reinvested into the area where you’re staying.

Buying locally grown foods that are available at the appropriate season helps promote local businesses while reducing the environmental impact of the food you eat. Eating local also means you get to try some of the regional cuisine – sometimes menu items you would’ve otherwise passed up – and all made with fresh ingredients!

4. Protecting Wildlife

Avoid wildlife excursions that promise up-close animal contact. The relationship with the animals generally reveals if an animal tourism activity is ethical or not, particularly if the animals are not accustomed to human contact. Touching, cuddling, or riding the animals is a negative sign. Consider excursions that don’t disturb wildlife and keep you at a safe distance from animals. Investigate each kind of wildlife tourism to verify it is ethical.

Final Thoughts on Sustainable Travel

Work on changing attitudes (your own and those of others). Much of the available information about sustainability makes us feel bad or recommends we give up something. But learning is enjoyable, and knowledge is power. Knowing our travel is less damaging to the environment, more ethically sound, beneficial to the local economy and pushes us to explore new cultures is extremely fun!

If you’re looking for more sustainable travel tips, check out our earlier article on the subject!