The easing of COVID-19 restrictions has allowed us to return to some of our daily activities and domestic travel has been resumed with strict health protocols. Whether you are planning to venture out into nearby towns, embrace a staycation, or jet off on a well-deserved weekend getaway, don’t forget it is important to protect the Earth while you soothe your soul.
You can support green tourism to help create a better world. Here are some effective ways to reduce your travel footprint and minimize environmental degradation while traveling:
1 | Choose A Green Hotel
Choosing the right accommodation is important when planning a sustainable vacation and supporting green tourism. Instead of choosing a hotel that offers a myriad of luxuries but ignores the aspect of sustainability, you should choose a hotel that offers environmentally-friendly services. Sustainable hotels are usually designed using eco-friendly strategies, such as the use of environmentally-friendly products, sustainable water-management systems, material selection, efficient lighting systems, and pollution control.
While staying at the hotel, it is also important for you to act responsibly and sustainably, such as save water as you would at home, turn off lights and other electronic items when leaving the hotel, and avoid daily linen service.
2 | Ride a Bicycle, Walk or Use Public Transportation
The transportation sector is widely known as one of the largest contributors to anthropogenic carbon emissions. Thus, if you get the itch to explore your favorite destinations, it will be much wiser to find alternative ways of commuting instead of renting a private car so that you reduce your carbon footprint.
You can opt to walk, bike, or use public transportation. You can carpool with your friends or families for longer distances. By doing so, you will not only help minimize environmental pollution, but also help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, pinch some pennies, and of course, maintain your health.
3 | Eat Locally Sourced Food
What, where, and how you choose to eat at your travel destinations has an impact on the environment and the local community, and of course, it can make a positive difference! Noshing on street food snacks and having dinner at a local eatery are simple ways to add sustainability to your travel experiences and practice green tourism.
Eating locally-sourced food will give you an authentic cultural experience and help you reduce your food miles because the local products are produced by local people without having to be transported by tankers or planes that cause pollution. On top of that, you will also benefit the local community and its economy, and get opportunities to make personal connections with the local people.
4 | Leave Less Footprint
Yes, travel should be chill and relaxing, but there are simple ways to lessen your carbon footprints and avoid damaging the environment during your trip. Bringing your own water bottle, using water and electricity responsibly, carrying your own cutlery set, keeping reusable bags at hand, packing light, and taking your trash with you can help leave less footprints during your trip.
You can also avoid flying if your destination is reachable by bus, train, or other alternative travel methods and reduce flight-related carbon footprint. If flying is the only option, you can choose direct flights to your destination and make use of the e-ticket feature to reduce paper waste.
5 | Always Communicate with Locals
Another aspect of sustainable tourism that you need to pay attention to is respecting local cultures. If you are going on vacation, try to communicate with the locals, get to know their way of life and cultural norms, and learn a thing or two along the way.
Take time out for cultural exchange with the locals so that you can be a more conscious traveler. Make sure that you are well-informed about local traditions, religious beliefs, and local customs so you will know how to behave and won’t unknowingly offend the locals.
Clicking the ‘book’ button and packing your bags to travel to a new place for a much-needed break is truly soothing and rejuvenating after being stuck at home for months. However, apart from complying with the health protocols, it is also important for you to adopt green tourism practices and contribute to a better world. By doing so, you can have meaningful, safe, and sustainable post-pandemic travel experiences!
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