By its very nature, travel impact the environment undeniably and the people and cultures who are part of the travel process. You cannot get from one side of the world to other without leading some kind of footprint and so as responsible global citizens, there are loads of room for us to know how to travel lighter and reduce our global footprint. There are so many of buzzwords being thrown around on this topic – from green travel, eco travel, sustainable travel to responsible travel – but what travellers really need to know is how can we use simple yet effective changes to the way we travel in order to make a huge difference.
Reduce the carbon emissions
We cannot deny how plane emits a lot of carbon. So, by travelling internationally we have a lot of ground to make up if we wish to go “Green”. So, begin out right by offsetting the flight emissions and flying carbon neutral. The airline then might pass their contribution to environmental and social projects.
Rethinking how you consume water
You may be great at avoiding plastic bottled drinking water at home but travel seems to be one of the supports when it comes to avoiding the unwanted plastic. We get it. Its feasible. Its safe. And when you are travelling in developing countries the last resort you want is a case of violent diarrhea and vomiting from the water you just knew that could have been avoided. But! There are other attainable alternatives. You can fill reusable bottles with filtered or boiled water.
Whenever possible it is suggested to buy local when you are travelling. Whether its using a local tour operator, stayed in locally owned accommodation, buying souvenirs that are made ethically by local artisans or patronizing restaurants that offer locally grown produce. An excellent way for a country to see real advantages from the influx of tourism currency is to make sure the cash we are spending is directly filtering through to the local economy.
Be culturally sensitive
To me this is just a common sense, but it is also the one that you see violated most while travelling. The number of times I have seen travellers wearing the right clothing or draping themselves over essential cultural sites for images, I cannot even bear the count. It is very simple to do a simple research to ensure you don’t inadvertently cause cultural offense when you are travelling.