Are you aware of the buzz ‘sustainable travel’ has created? Let’s delve into what sustainable travel aka conscious travel actually is.
Well, sustainable travel is all about valuing the environment by looking after our natural resources. This is done by keeping a check on your carbon footprint. Carbon footprint simply means how much of carbon emission you as an individual are responsible for.
Carbon emission comes from
the electricity we consume,
the fuel we use up to commute,
gas used for cooking,
leather goods consumption,
shopping choices (buying from brands like Zara, Mango, H & M, Forever 21, etc.)
and so much more.
Did you know that travellers need to be a lot more mindful because their choices are leaving a heavy duty impact on the environment.
According to a study, if we go around travelling at the current rate without making any mindful changes, travel & tourism will contribute to 40% of world’s carbon emission. This is alarming and will result in a ferocious impact on the planet’s climate change.
If this is what we come to face, there will be nothing left for our future generations.
Landslides, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, sandstroms will become a part of our everyday life.
Now, do we really want to live like this?
Do we want to live with this insecurity that tomorrow morning we may not be living in our current home because it can get shattered by an earthquake or washed away by a tsunami?
My intention is to draw your attention to the serious consequences!
50% of the carbon pollution is caused by aircrafts and the other 50% by the type of accommodations (hotel, lodge, resort, Air BnB) you choose to stay in.
You can help improve this situation by tweaking your travel choices.
Here’s how you will become a sustainable traveller —>
Bring your awarness to the fact that airplanes emit way too much carbon dioxide while landing and taking off. So, take fewer flights and direct flights. Stay over flights are usually cheaper on the pocket but expensive to the environment. So choose direct flights, even if they are a tad bit expensive.
Embody, slow travel. Take trains & buses & shared cabs wherever possible. This will reduce the carbon emission you are leaving on this planet.
When you travel to far off destinations, stay there for longer and give business to the local community. Buy handicrafts from the locals, stay with properties that have green certifications and are using eco-friendly methods to wash, clean, recycle. Don’t feel shy to ask if your hotel or accomodation hires locals and pays them fairly.
Check if the hotel you are staying GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY!
Look, readers, when YOU ASK THESE QUESTIONS you tell the hotel staff that you are well-aware of what’s going on in the world. Your questions will definitely leave an impact!!!
Don’t support hotels that are cutting down trees left-right-centre to accomodate you.
Interact with the locals and understand their cultures. Buy from them without negotiating too much. Appreciate them and learn from them. After all, you are on their land.
Do not litter when you travel. Please don’t dump your old clothes/shoes or even plastic in any foreign land. You never know how the recycling process is- you don’t know if the coutry burns the waste or throws away in landfill. Please be mindful and DO NOT LITTER.
Do not use plastic bottles and carry your own glass/copper/steel bottles that you can re-fill. Little things like these will make a ginormous impact.
Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags while packing & commuting to reduce the pollution and carbon footprint you leave while being Dora, the explorer.
Avoid staying in all-inclusive properties that those don’t encourage you to go out and explore the local community.
Eat at farm to fork restaurants that grow their own food ethically and serve dishes made from freshly harvested ingredients.
Indulge in local food & local experiences. Eat local & think global. Eat at hole in the wall places owned by locals. It’s an excellent way of supporting local communities. Avoid international food chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s where your money doesn’t enter the local economy.
Always remember, when you travel abroad, you are representing your entire race, your country so please hold your horses, be polite and compassionate. Don’t forget that you’re a guest in a local’s land.
Share your sustainable steps with the world so that everyone gets inspired.
Research your tour operators by asking them what their eco-friendly practices are?
Ask them if they hire locals as their tour guides and pay them in a fair manner?
Ask them how are they supporting the local community?
If they are unable to give you a proper answer, please drop them and look elsewhere.
IF you do this even once, you will coerce them to give back to the community that will in turn benefit lots of under-privileged locals.
Imagine how much value your rejection holds?!
Be mindful when you’re going for ‘Wildlife Tourism’ – centred holiday. If the company or hotel group or tour operator offers you to touch & pet the animals, it means the animals are being held in captivity and perhaps heavily drugged.
You cannot contain and control a wild animal so please don’t support such groups. I am myself guilty of going to a Tiger Park in Pattaya, Thailand. I am ashamed of my actions but I wasn’t aware of any of this back then. NOW, I know better!
I have never ever even considered repeating that blunder again ++ I now educate others.
Do not visit events where you are allowed to feed sharks/ swim with whales or kiss dolphins. We have no right to meddle with them. Let them live in their natural habitat please!
“If you’re snorkelling or scuba diving, be careful not to tread on the coral as this can damage the fragile ecosystem. 25% of coral reefs worldwide are now damaged beyond repair. If we want to preserve our beautiful reefs, we must snorkel and scuba dive responsibly. When you snorkel or dive, go with smaller groups to avoid overcrowding. Do not try to touch or feed fish or animals. Make sure to wear reef-friendly sunscreen. Many supermarket shelf sunscreens contain titanium dioxide. This mineral does not biodegrade and it reacts in warm seawater to form hydrogen peroxide which is harmful to all sea life.”
While staying in a hotel, as much as possible, reduce the the number of times you throw the towels for wash and if not required put a “do not disturb” sign so that unecessary electricity is not wasted to clean your room. See little things like these matter!
Stay with hotels that are transparent about their environmental practices and support them by staying with them please.
Travel during off-peak seasons and go to off-beat places. This will help reduce tourism pollution and also help diversify the business to slightly off-peak months ensuring an on-going income for locals.
Travel is a good thing for our world provided we do it sustainably!
The more conscious you are while travelling, the better & brighter will your future be.
Let’s not be selfish and nurture our planet, our heaven in this reality.
Love & Light,