How To Take Part In Sustainable Tourism When Travelling

How To Take Part In Sustainable Tourism When Travelling

In an era where travel is at its peak, the idea of sustainable tourism is unknown to many but is slowly on the rise. Sustainable tourism and travel is more than a concept, it is a way of life for many and crucial for the future of our planet. Minimising your environmental impact when travelling might not be at the forefront of your mind, yet it is something that should be prioritised once you can grasp an understanding. In this blog post, we will explain what sustainable tourism means, and how you can do your part to make the environment a better place, no matter where you go. Take a look at the following suggestions:

Understanding Sustainable Tourism

If you are still unsure as to what sustainable tourism is, it is quite simple. Sustainable tourists keep the preservation of the environment at their heart when travelling, whether that be through their mode of transport or their waste consumption in the area, it covers a wide scope of factors. Whilst avoiding unethical and sustainable consumption, they also do their part to leave a positive footprint in the location they visit, whether that be through supporting local communities or simply shedding light onto any environmentally damaging practices in the area. Travelling can open up a world of opportunities to individuals, but it can also do more damage than good to the country visited should travellers be uneducated. Tourists have the power to shape the future of the countries they visit, and doing good for the environment in one area can help the rest of the world to do better. 

Choose Green Accommodations

The journey towards sustainability begins with accommodation choices. Opt for eco-friendly hotels, lodges, or guesthouses that implement energy-saving practices, waste reduction, and water conservation. Many hostels, hotels or serviced apartments now proudly display certifications indicating their commitment to sustainable practices, providing an easy way for travellers to make responsible choices.

Embrace Eco-Friendly Transportation

How you transport to, within and from your destination of choice can impact your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of tourism contributes to roughly 8% of total global emissions, which is astounding. When travelling overseas, do your best to find greener flights if flying is the only option, or interrail on electric trains to significantly cut your carbon footprint. When you arrive at your location, opt for electric vehicles such as cars or electric scooters to cut any carbon emissions for short commutes by 100%. Renting a bike is also a great way to be sustainable whilst engaging in cardiovascular exercise. Minimising your environmental impact when travelling is simple as long as you research your transport options.

Respect Cultural Norms

Sustainable tourism goes beyond preserving the environment; it involves respecting and supporting local communities and their cultures. Make sure you have carried out thorough research about the place you are visiting. Respecting their culture and way of life without trying to waver over their boundaries is a basic necessity that all tourists should abide by.

Support Local Businesses

Avoid dining at global franchises that have made their way to your destination of choice. Instead, experience the real food culture from natives of the country, and eat at local small businesses. Also, be sure to shop for souvenirs with local business owners, and if you need to buy garments, go for handmade ones and avoid buying from fast fashion retailers to which the clothes will end up on damaging landfill sites. 

Conservation and Responsible Activities

Engaging in responsible activities ensures that your presence enhances, rather than harms, the natural beauty of a destination. Responsible activities may include assisting with farming in the local area and going to tourism sites that only engage in ethical practices. For example, some elephants in East Asia, unfortunately, engage in abusive practices to keep their animals entertaining guests. Do your research about the facilities you visit, and make sure their priority is the wildlife and environment, instead of generating money.

Leave No Trace

Whether hiking through pristine landscapes or strolling through a bustling city, adhere to the principle of "Leave No Trace." Dispose of any waste responsibly, and do your best to only pack what you need to avoid leaving waste at the location you visit.

Educate and Inspire

Another great way to engage in sustainable tourism is to educate and inspire your community to take the same action. Use your social media channels to document your journey and share what you do to minimise YouTube's carbon footprint. All these costs are a few moments of your time to inspire others and share the message with potentially thousands of people.  

Support Sustainable Initiatives

Donate or volunteer for local conservation projects during your travels. Whether it's participating in a beach cleanup or assisting with wildlife protection efforts, your involvement can make a meaningful difference.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, sustainable tourism is not a restrictive set of rules but a mindful approach to exploring the world. By making conscious choices, we can all contribute to the preservation of our planet's beauty and cultural diversity, ensuring that future generations can also experience the amazing wonders that travel unveils.