The outbreak of COVID-19 has put many countries around the globe under lockdown. People are confined to their homes and forced to put a pause on everyday life. Therefore, it’s not surprising that carbon emissions, air pollution, and environmental deterioration have tumbled.
The Indonesian government has gradually eased the large-scale social restrictions and is preparing to welcome domestic tourists as it reopens for leisure travel with proper measures and health protocols in place. However, there’s a pressing need for us to become a more responsible traveler and adopt eco-friendly practices. Below are some ideas for a green travel experience in the new normal:
1 | Explore the neighborhood
Taking a short-distance trip can be a great way to travel green. Discover places close to your home: visit museums, take a stroll in the nearby park, go to the zoo with your family, or simply explore the unexplored corners of your neighborhood. However, if you want to wander a little farther, you can drive down to a local tourist destination.
Wherever you go, make sure to be a respectful traveler. It’s important to respect the local cultures, the social norms, and the rules of the places you visit.
2 | Avoid single-use plastic
It’s no secret that billions of tons of plastic have been produced over the past decades which is downright harmful for the environment, but people still tend to generate plastic waste on a daily basis, including on a holiday. Whether you’re buying meals packed in plastic at the airport, sipping your favorite beverages with a plastic straw, or grabbing bottled water after taking a stroll around the city, it accounts for plastic waste generation.
One way to reduce plastic waste is to make a conscious effort to avoid single-use plastic wherever and whenever possible, especially when it comes to food. So, if you’re keen on sustainability during your trip, you can use your own disposable cutlery, bring your own reusable straws, and bring your own biodegradable shopping bags to the grocery stores.
3 | Prepare your own eco-friendly sanitizing kit
The outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in a heightened awareness of sanitation practices. Hence, one thing that’s essential to be carried on a new-normal trip is a sanitizing kit which consists of masks, disinfectant sprays, and hand sanitizers.
However, to be a more environmentally responsible traveler, it’s wiser to use an eco-friendly sanitizing kit made out of safe, non-toxic materials that do not harm the environment and have eco-friendly packaging. By doing so, you will not only protect yourself from the coronavirus but also help protect the Earth from environmental deterioration.
4 | Enjoy the outdoors while staying away from the crowds
Avoid the crowds as you escape to the great outdoors. This will allow you to practice physical distancing and give you a Zen-like travel experience at the same time.
Explore every nook and cranny of hidden gems, plunge in a hidden waterfall, explore a canyon, head to a cave, and hike a mountain, etc. You will definitely spend a blissful time without having to jostle for space in a crowded place!
5 | Buy local
Purchase of local products plays an important role in supporting sustainable tourism. By buying locally, you will not only be getting good quality and authenticity, but you will also be reducing food miles as the local products are produced by local people without having to be transported by tankers or planes that cause pollution.
When you shop local while traveling, it supports the local businesses and SMEs, and contributes to the development of local economy. It also creates news job opportunities. Plus, it gives you the chance to connect with the local people, and you can learn and understand more about the local culture.
Indeed, travel does make you feel better. However, it is also important for you to help protect the environment and support the tourism industry so that they become more sustainable and eco-friendly. Therefore, plan and travel wisely, responsibly, and sustainably with less carbon footprint!
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