Travelers increasingly look for tours and companies that prioritize sustainability, such as locally-owned businesses that support community tourism initiatives, non-governmental organisations (NGOs ) or social enterprises.
Avoid hotels by staying in hostels, eco lodges or camping. When staying at hotels, hang your towel to reduce unnecessary washing (and water consumption). In addition, choose carbon offset tickets when buying tickets to minimize your environmental footprint.
1. Travel Slowly
Adopting the slow travel mindset is central to being an environmentally-friendly traveler. Slow traveling centers around the concept that spending more time at each destination allows you to experience more deeply its culture and place of origin.
Traveling slowly offers you an excellent opportunity to avoid tourist traps and explore local businesses, supporting the economy while giving back to the community. Furthermore, taking things slow makes travel much less stressful; opting for walking, cycling, or public bus transport over driving or flying makes for an altogether more pleasant trip overall!
Traveling slowly can also be more environmentally-friendly; while some travelers might enjoy collecting passport stamps, true enjoyment comes from immersing oneself in another culture and building genuine connections with locals – something you won’t do if constantly racing between destinations or worrying about packing and leaving. Slow travel enables travellers to build genuine bonds that keep them coming back again and again.
2. Reuse and Recycle
Reduce waste is of equal importance in travel, with each action having an enormous effect. Look out for activities labeled eco-friendly so that you are choosing an environmentally responsible tour experience.
Bring along a reusable water bottle, cloth bag, utensil set and storage containers that are also reusable so as to reduce waste during your journey. Also bring along package-free shampoo bars, tooth paste tablets and bamboo toothbrushes as these will cut back on disposable toiletries during travel.
Hotels and resorts produce significant waste, with food waste being among the worst forms. Intrepid Travel works with hotels to encourage them to reduce food waste by offering food and beverage credits when guests stay at properties committed to sustainable practices, while encouraging travelers to let these establishments know of their appreciation through direct messages or feedback forms.
3. Eat Local
Travel is important not just in terms of its environmental effects but also for supporting local economies. By purchasing food and products made locally, you can ensure your money doesn’t flow to large corporations from other areas; buying local also promotes agriculture and businesses in your destination.
Forest Green travelers are passionate about eating organic and locally produced foods when possible; for example, she may forego takeout schwarmas in order to reduce waste but might stop by the local street stand after an evening spent drinking hostel beer.
When booking hotels or Airbnb rentals, look for sustainable options that use solar power or other energy-saving measures, like energy saving bulbs or LEDs. Check if the hotel supports local farmers or uses local materials in its construction; additionally, avoid participating in activities that negatively affect wildlife such as taking elephant rides or petting tiger cubs unless these ethical wildlife encounters are helping conservation efforts; otherwise if participating in wildlife tourism be sure to research its tour company thoroughly and ask about animal welfare practices before signing on the dotted line!
4. Stay in Eco-Friendly Accommodations
Travel experts agree that accommodations are key components of a sustainable vacation experience, which is why it is imperative to select eco-friendly hotels which have several practices in place.
There are a variety of strategies for doing so, such as reusing towels (instead of sending them off daily to be laundered), using only recycled paper and plastics in guest rooms, recycling all non-reusable material that cannot be reused or recycled, providing guests with reusable water bottles and encouraging them to display “Do Not Disturb” signs so their sheets and towels won’t need changing daily.
Many hotels also utilize renewable energy, like solar panels. For the more adventurous traveler, there are even eco-friendly accommodations that use solely wind or biodiesel fuel as power.
5. Support Local Businesses
As part of your eco-friendly travel efforts, it is crucial that you support local businesses and communities. This could involve contributing money or time towards social or environmental projects in your destination city or simply shopping and eating locally whenever possible; doing this helps sustain local economies while creating more sustainable economies.
Visit your local farmers market to take advantage of fresh produce, tasty snacks, and meet new people while supporting local communities and tourism initiatives through donations to charities, community projects, women empowerment programs or similar initiatives.
Travelers looking to reduce their carbon footprint often opt to offset it through giving money to carbon reduction projects such as forests. Donating money to carbon offset projects is a great way to make up for environmental impacts while still taking advantage of travel abroad and enjoying its many advantages; plus it is one of the easiest ways to become greener!