How to Be a Responsible, Eco-Friendly Traveler
Increasingly, the average traveler is trying to be conscious about her environmental impact while on the road. With irresponsible travel habits leading to massive amounts of harmful waste piling up, which has sometimes caused the shut down of several popular destinations, people are ready to make a change. With that in mind, here are some responsible travel tips to help you become a more eco-friendly traveler.
Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodations
A hotel is likely where you will spend a significant amount of time whenever you are traveling. Therefore, whenever you are trying to be an eco-friendly traveler, it is important to choose the right place to stay.
One of the first ways that you can determine if a hotel or hostel is environmentally friendly is if they are disposing of their waste in a sustainable way, supporting eco-friendly movements, and using energy efficient appliances. Usually, accommodations love to advertise their sustainable practices. So, if there’s nothing about it on their website or brochure, there’s cause for concern. The best way to know for sure though, is to ask their customer service about it.
Even if you aren’t at an eco-friendly resort, there are way you can be more eco-friendly. This includes turning off all lights and air conditioning whenever you leave the room, as well as restricting yourself from taking long showers.
Reduce your carbon footprint by packing the bare essentials when traveling abroad. Transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, and airplanes are one of the biggest culprits. But, the lighter the plane, the less its emissions. So if everyone packed a kilo or 2 pounds less than usual, the emission decrease would be equivalent to taking over 10,000 cars off the road for a whole year!
Even if your occupation requires you to lug around a heavy laptop frequently, you actually have the option to use it anywhere in the world, without its physical presence. Consider investing in a Virtual Private Server, a hosted virtual machine that allows users to run their computer operating system through a more portable platform, such as a tablet. Both Linux and Windows have their own way of accessing remote systems. You can establish a Linux or Windows VPS on your workstation at home or office, then access that workstation through a Remote Desktop application while you’re vacationing from a different continent.
Although dedicated and virtual private servers share the same function, VPS is much cheaper since consumers can configure the size and quantity of their server to suit their needs, and they can upgrade it in the future if they wish to do so. Setting up a remote VPS can significantly improve your workflow while still remaining convenient, efficient, reasonable, and versatile.
Make Sure Your Money Goes to Vetted Organizations
While it’s always difficult to see street children, there are many risks to handing them cash. One is that it gives parents an incentive to keep their children out of school. Another is that local syndicates often collect the children’s earnings.
Instead, support vetted do-good organizations. When you travel with Visit.org, 100% of host revenue gets reinvested into the work of a local organization working towards social and/or environmental impact. So, you get a unique, immersive experience — while also benefiting locals, their culture, and their economy!
Reduce Your Plastic Usage
Plastic is one of the main contributors to pollution and is rapidly mounting in oceans. This is leading to many of our sea creatures dying due to how much plastic they are consuming. So, it is imperative that we use fewer plastic bags in life, including while on vacation. One simple way to enjoy your trip while reducing waste is to dine in a restaurant instead of ordering take out. Another is to pack your own water bottle instead of buy plastic ones. These seem like small decisions, but the benefits add up.
Use Public Transportation
Using public transportation is a no-brainer when it comes to eco-friendly tourism. You limit your carbon footprint when opting for buses and other modes of mass transport over private cars.
If using public transportation methods is not an option, then rent a vehicle that is fuel-efficient. Better yet, if your destination is within close enough, take a stroll or rent a bike. You’ll get to experience the natural beauty while eliminating harmful emissions.
One of the activities that can have both positive and negative cultural impacts of tourism, is shopping. On one hand, shopping helps the local economy, by bringing in more revenue, and helping the local population. On the other hand, the fuel, and ecological resources that are used to transport these goods from all across the world can have damaging environmental impacts.
That is why it is important to buy locally whenever you are on vacation. Not only will this support the local economy, but it will also benefit the environment.
There you have it! Hopefully, these eco-friendly tips will get you started on being a responsible traveller. Apply these to your next vacation, and help make the world a better place.