Pining for a vacation but concerned about how your next big trip might be bad for the environment or local area?
You can enjoy your holiday and be considerate of the social and environmental impact you might make on your destination.
From ways to save water to soaking up the local culture, here are six sustainable travel tips to keep in mind ahead of your next trip.
6 Sustainable Travel Tips
Avoid air travel by visiting destinations closer to home.
When compared to other forms of transportation, air travel is by far the method that has the biggest impact on the environment.
With sustainability in mind, consider taking your next vacation somewhere closer to home that you can reach via car, bus, or train. This is not only easier on the environment, but it allows you the opportunity to enjoy all that your local area has to offer. You never know what you might find in your own backyard!
Say no to single-use plastic.
When packing for an upcoming trip, it can be tempting to stock up on single-use plastics like mini bottles of toiletries or packaged snacks. However, it’s no secret that single-use plastics are detrimental to our oceans and marine life.
To limit your environmental impact, try to avoid single-use plastics when possible. You can do this by using reusable toiletry bottles, packing your own snacks and meals in a container that you already have, and bringing real silverware to use and wash on the go. And of course we also strive to reduce plastic as a whole in all the products we consume (hence our plastic-free beach towels).
Watch your water usage.
You’re probably already mindful of your water usage at home, but when on a trip, it’s even more important to be aware of how much water you use – especially if you’re visiting a location with poor water infrastructure.
Some of the best ways to limit your water usage include turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth or shaving, taking shorter showers, and only washing your clothes when you have a full load of laundry.
Eat, drink, and shop locally.
When visiting a new place, do your best to eat, drink, and shop from local vendors. This is one of the best ways that you, as a tourist, can support the local economy, environment, and the people that live there.
You can do this by avoiding chain restaurants and shops when possible, and by seeking out local markets for purchasing locally sourced produce, meats, and souvenirs.
Bonus tip: you can support local businesses and watch your environmental impact by only purchasing goods that are in-season.
Learn about your host community.
Sustainable tourism is all about being respectful of the local area that you are visiting – and that includes the people you encounter. Before heading out on your trip, make sure to read up on any cultural customs, languages, and values prevalent in the local area so that you are well-prepared for any major cultural differences ahead of time.
Remember, you are a guest in a new environment and an ambassador of your home city and/or country. Always be kind, gracious, and open-minded while traveling and interacting with local residents.
Enjoy the sights by walking or cycling.
While you may want to rent a car for a day trip or excursion, never forget that one of the best ways to really experience a new place is by simply walking or cycling through it.
This not only helps to limit your carbon emissions on your trip, but walking and cycling can also provide you with a sense of adventure and an opportunity to stumble upon hidden gems that you might not be able to experience via car.