5 Ways to Become an Eco-Traveller

5 Ways to Become an Eco-Traveller

If you love to travel, you’re a lot like almost everyone I know, so this is important. There’s no denying most of us never actually consider our eco-footprint when our bodies and minds are floating along in the bluest of ocean seas. From supporting local economies to experiencing and gaining insight into cultural diversities, travel certainly has a positive impact on the world. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel industry is one of the world’s most powerful—it supplies 10 percent of the world’s jobs, at 313 million worldwide. But there are negative side effects, too, like vacationists putting a strain on cities, the lack of spending directly benefitting the local community, and the use of fossil fuels by major airlines amongst many other environmental adversities.

 

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can ensure you’re being a more conscious globe trotter.

 

1.  GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION 

 

Flying is likely the only viable option to reach most destinations around the world. This is most unfortunate since we know that air quality is one of the leading environmental threats to public health as listed by the 2018 Environmental Performance Index. Given that we may not be able to give up flying altogether, one of the easiest ways to reduce our carbon footprint is to choose an airline that uses sustainable aviation biofuel. Also, don’t be quick to assume that cheaper airlines are less eco-friendly. Filling up capacity reduces the overall footprint of an airline half full. According to the European Environmental Agency, carbon emissions of a plane are 20.5 times more damaging per kilometer than that of a train, making a train over plane our greenest option. Join the slow travel movement and gain a deeper sense of place on your next journey.

2.  WHERE YOU SHOULD GO AND WHY

 

Visiting countries such as Switzerland, France, and Denmark should be at the top of your list, along with many other bucket listed choices. Why? Well for their overall lower environmental impact on our planet of course. Have a look at the country ratings here. If you’ll be booking through a tour operator, be sure to ask whether they support environmental or conservation efforts and how their trips support or sustain cultural heritage or wildlife conservation.

 

Sign up to support Sustainable Travel International engage new travel destinations to protect their natural and cultural assets, enhance the experience of millions of visitors and increase the livelihoods of millions of people living in travel and tourism destinations globally.

3.  CHOOSE LOCAL, BECAUSE LOCAL IS LEKKER*

 

First of all, choose environmentally friendly local activities. An obvious choice would be to opt for something such as a bicycle tour ride to explore a city or town over a local bus or taxi ride. Don’t be a sucker for social media posts that make elephant back riding or whale shark snorkeling look like the most glamorous, most sought after worldly experience. Do your homework people. Secondly, purchase goods and services from authentic local suppliers. These might often not be less expensive, but they won’t be imports from China consuming local trade. They’ll be handmade, unique and exclusive treasures supporting cultural heritage. Your investment will go a long way in positively impacting the real local economy.

 

*Lekker is a South African slang word for – “awesome, great, the best”.

4.  SINGLE USE SUCKS, SAY GOODBYE NOW                                        

 

If you’re not waking up early enough for the buffet breakfast or you don’t fancy eating that dreadful plane meal, then opt out and inform the suppliers ahead of time. Just that one small act can reduce PLA (plant plastic) and other non-recycle packaging from being disposed into the environment.  Carry a reusable friendly water bottle. According to 4Ocean, a single person using a reusable, refillable water bottle instead of single-use plastic water bottles can save as much as 170 bottles from being produced each year. Don’t forget to pack that reusable shopping back for all your souvenirs and gift shopping. Billions of plastic bags are ending up in our oceans every year. “The facts are overwhelming and the effects, damming” – Plastic Oceans

5. TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES, LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS


If you’re not waking up early enough for the buffet breakfast or you don’t fancy eating that dreadful plane meal, then opt out and inform the suppliers ahead of time. Just that one small act can reduce PLA (plant plastic) and other non-recycle packaging from being disposed into the environment.  Carry a reusable friendly water bottle. According to 4Ocean, a single person using a reusable, refillable water bottle instead of single-use plastic water bottles can save as much as 170 bottles from being produced each year. Don’t forget to pack that reusable shopping back for all your souvenirs and gift shopping. Billions of plastic bags are ending up in our oceans every year. “The facts are overwhelming and the effects, damming” – Plastic Oceans 

Inspire, love and create change.

 Bee

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About the Author

Bernita Teixeira, founder of One Green Dream is an eco-enthusiast, passionate educator and optimistic dreamer of a better tomorrow. She’s on a mission to educatre for sustainability and to connect conscious consumers with standout eco-conscious brands whilst equipping individuals and families with attainable sustainable living tips. Read more here.

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