Do you worry about the impact of your travel?
According to National Geographic, sustainable tourism is based on three main pillars:
If you want to reduce your footprint (both carbon and cultural) on the places you travel to here are seven tips you can adopt:
Choosing the way you travel has a great impact on the environment because of gas emissions. When you are traveling around the world it is hard to avoid flying, so when you are selecting your flights for the longest leg of your journey take the most direct route possible. Taking off and landing uses the most fuel, so limit the number of layovers. It may be cheaper to choose more layovers but it has a lasting effect on the environment. So choose the more expensive direct route, on the bright side, you will get there faster!
Buses are the best option for shorter legs of your journey, but even taking the train can emit 7 times less gas than flying shorter distances.
For local travel choose public transit and depending on where you are, look into bike sharing program or bike rental company.
Traveling light lessens your impact on the environment in many ways. If you’re flying, your gear weighs less reducing the fuel and carbon emissions used for your trip.
What you pack will depend on the type of trip you’re taking and the gear you will need for it. Many times we hear from travelers that they didn’t use half of what they brought. So pack only what you will need and leave all extras aside.
Traveling light also allows you to use public transport more comfortably (meaning you are more likely to use it), which also lightens your footprint on the environment.
Packing re-useable containers such as water bottles, containers, and cloth bags are a great way to cut down on plastic waste when you travel.
Snack containers will help you make good food choices when traveling, water bottles will allow you to avoid buying plastic bottles, and reusable cloth bags will allow you to buy things without using unnecessary plastic bags.
Adopting the “slow travel” philosophy involves going to fewer places and spending more time in each. This means you can reduce flights, and see more on a single trip. By cutting out one five-hour flight reduces your carbon footprint by a full tonne.
Doing this, and moving overland rather than over air, allows you to reduce your carbon footprint while also letting you see more of the countryside!
Shun the airport stores and bargain outlets when you travel, and choose to buy your souvenirs and treats from local artisans instead. Do a little research before you leave to find out what might be available or ask a local for advice.
There is a wealth of beautiful, handmade objects and textiles in every country, and buying directly from the maker or smaller business keeps your carbon footprint low and helps the local economy in a healthy way.
You’ll take home something beautiful that you’ll enjoy using.
Sunscreen, passport holders, carry-on bags, hats… there are many items that we do really need when we travel. If you’re buying any of these items ahead of your next trip, take a moment to see if you’re buying from a store or choosing a brand that values the planet as much as you do. Choose items that are sustainably sourced and have minimal impact on the environment and the people that produce the items. Make sure to look at the packaging of the items and choose to support the companies that also have environmentally sustainable packaging.
At Sacred Earth Journeys we organize meaningful, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. To take a trip that will change your life, see our itinerary of travel destinations.
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