If you don’t want to cut down on the things you love to do but you do want to make the world a more environmentally safe place, there are a few things you can do to make future trips more sustainable. All you need to do is plan a little more and make a few small changes, and you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself while helping the planet in the way it needs it most. Let’s take a look at a guide to making your next trip more sustainable.
Go On More Staycations
Going on staycations and not traveling too far too often can make a big difference to your carbon footprint. It’s a good idea to take three or four short city breaks where you can drive each year (if you’re the kind who likes to go on a lot of trips), and then aim to take one, longer trip by plane. Consider which trips you can take by road or rail, too.
Choose Your Destination Carefully
Avoid destinations that are being harmed by the presence of too many people, such as Venice, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Teotihuacan. These places can be further degraded by having too many people visit, so do your research.
Choose Eco-Conscious Accommodation
Eco-conscious accommodation has come on massively in recent years thanks to changing attitudes among consumers. There are CO2-neutral stays on offer in many places, so you should be able to find somewhere to stay that makes a smaller impact on the environment.
Imitate Local Life
The best way to travel sustainably is to imitate local life. Do this by going to libraries, restaurants, markets, and shows. This is the most respectful way to explore. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for their advice and recommendations, either. Many will be happy to help you.
Be Careful When Buying Souvenirs
It can be tempting to buy lots of souvenirs, but you should avoid gimmicky, junky purchases that are likely to get thrown away. Check where an item is made; you want something that’s truly local, not imported from far away. You should aim to invest in things of lasting value, such as art, textiles, and ceramics. This way, you can get some really high-quality souvenirs. Buy less but choose something really worthwhile.
Be careful of buying things like shells and items made from animal fur, too. Many regular backpackers will buy these items, but if you do this you will be using your money to support a growing marketplace for trafficking rare and endangered wildlife products as souvenirs. If you love animals and love the environment, there’s no way you should be doing this.
Always Travel With Reusables
Do your best to travel with reusables wherever you can. For example, you should have a travel mug, a cloth shopping bag to transport purchases, a metal straw, utensils, and maybe a container or two. A reusable water bottle is always a great thing to take everywhere with you, too.
Choose Your Mode Of Transport Carefully
Make sure you choose your mode of transport carefully once you have arrived at your chosen destination. You may even be able to come up with a trip itinerary based on the mode of transport – for example, look at this tesla supercharger trip planner and you will be able to create a trip based around charging points for the electric vehicle. It should give you some inspiration.
Don’t Just Blindly Visit Animals
If you blindly visit animals you may end up visiting drugged up tigers and elephants that are being mistreated, amongst other poor beings. Celebrities even make these mistakes – we’re looking at you Kim Kardashian. It’s not hard to do your research, and the only way to stop this kind of thing from happening is to stop visiting and giving them your money. There are animals you can visit that will benefit from the money spent, but you must do your research carefully. Also if you’re doing this for a picture for your Instagram, selfies, and pictures can be bad for some animals.
Every kilo counts when flying to your destination. The more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Pack only what you need and the environment will thank you. You probably don’t need more than four pairs of shoes and multiple tops/jackets. Be realistic about what you will wear. It’s nice to have options, but it could help you cut down your ‘getting ready’ time if you don’t take as much.