Are you concerned about your environmental impact while travelling? There are many simple things you can do to take care for the environment during your travels. Going green may take a little effort at first, but with every trip you take, it will soon become second nature. Remember, you will have a greater travel experience knowing you left a positive impact on the place you are visiting. Below are few golden tips to make your next vacation more eco-friendly:
1. Visit Eco-Friendly Countries
As tourists become more environmentally conscious, ecotourism has become a serious priority in many parts of the world. If you want to visit a new country or landscape, look for destinations that have a reputation for being kind to the environment. Countries such as Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Samoa are paving the way with ecotourism.
For example, Samoa offers a wide range of responsible tour operators. These tours encourage tourists to participate in fun Samoa activities like biking events, running races, snorkelling, and scuba diving without compromising the environment.
2. Stay at Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Making informed choices about where you stay is a key step in becoming a sustainable traveller. Instead of opting for the most appealing tourist hotel, prioritise finding good-quality accommodation that also works to protect the environment.
A growing number of hotels have begun to adopt eco-friendly practices such as recycling programs, energy efficient lighting and water conservation schemes. These hotels are making a positive difference for the environment, so it’s important to support them whenever possible.
3. Support Green Tour Companies
Like green hotels, many tour companies are taking an eco-friendly approach to tourism. Green tour companies aim to give visitors a fun travel experience while still caring for the environment and economy. Before booking a tour, do your research about the company’s environmental practices and ethics.
4. Walk, Bike or Take Public Transport
When exploring a new destination, reduce your carbon footprint by travelling via bus, bike or foot instead of a private car to minimise your environmental impact. Participating in local running races and exploring bike trails will also provide further opportunities to experience the culture at a slower pace and mix with the locals.
5. Pack Reusable Items
It’s your responsibility as a sustainable traveller to be conscious of the products you use and dispose of. Avoiding the use of plastic is essential. Bring reusable shopping bags with you on your trip so that you don’t have to rely on plastic bags.
Similarly, bring your own reusable water bottles and containers to avoid going through tonnes of plastic ones. Some cafes even let you bring your own re-reusable mugs, so take these with you as often as you can.
6. Reduce Your Energy Use
Minimising your everyday energy use is one of the easiest things you can do to protect the environment, yet is something so many travellers don’t bother to do. Simple practices such as avoiding long showers, turning off lights and unplugging electronics whenever you leave the room, and minimising your use of heating or air-conditioning can ensure a more eco-friendly travel experience.
If you’re not staying at an eco-friendly hotel, be extra vigilant about this. Treat the hotel like you would treat your home. For instance, ask yourself if it is really necessary to use the laundry and cleaning service every day. Ask the hotel to only wash your linens and towels when necessary, as you would at home. Every traveller who follows these small changes is making a real difference to the planet.
About the Author
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who enjoys traveling as much as she loves writing. She has produced articles for travel sites such as Active Asia after being captivated by the charm, color, and beauty of Cambodia last year. You can find more of her work here.
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who enjoys traveling as much as she loves writing.