There has been a lot of chatter about sustainability in travel, and it has almost become a trending topic now. The last few years have seen the rise in conscious travel, eating and habits among people who want to be a positive impact on the planet. The strength of sustainable tourism lie in employing good and friendly practices like reusing, reducing and recycling. One should strive towards protecting natural and cultural heritage. People should be mindful of their consumption and littering habits while they travel. If you are someone who wants to have a positive carbon footprint and want to be more mindful about when you travel, here are a few things you can look out for:
Support the local economy
Locally made crafts and souvenirs are not usually cheap, but buying them guarantees your contribution to the economy will have a more sustainable and positive impact.
In Mexico, some gift shops sell “traditional” Mexican sombreros that are shipped from China because they cost less, while village artisans make the hats by hand but end up charging more. The difference is not merely in the price. When you decide to buy the real sombreros, you support authentic cultural heritage and provide much-needed jobs for the locals who make them.
Support local and sustainable activities
According to a study, $100 spent during a vacation, only $5 benefits the destination, which means that there’s a tremendous missed opportunity for travel to support local economies. Look out for companies that make an effort to provide eco-friendly activities, like REI Adventures’ low-impact hiking, and DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.’s biking itineraries. Try and find activities that balance immersion and exploration. Opt for activities like biking, hiking, swimming to reduce your environmental impact.
Reduce your food and plastic waste
According to a study by Science Advances, only 9 % of plastic is recycled and nearly 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced in the last 60 years. If those trends keep continuing, the number will shoot up to 12 billion by 2050. When packing for road trips, you should consider food options that have minimal waste. Not only are goods like beef jerky and wild salmon portable and packed in recyclable containers, but some brands are also trying to find suitable and sustainable alternatives for eco-friendly packaging for foods.
A sustainable hotel does not have to mean the property skimps on basic amenities. Before you book your next trip, try to consider how your stay affects the local ecosystem. Angama Mara in the Maasai Mara of Kenya makes a minimal impact by adhering to a zero-plastic policy. Many camping sites use renewable energy from solar panels, a rainwater filtration system, and were built using renewable materials like grass, thatch, and recycled composite. Hotels are also building back natural areas, too. Make sure you book a location that are actively looking to decrease their carbon footprint.
Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-03-14