Travel sustainably is a frequently used term. It is a popular word, but what does it mean? Why should you live and travel sustainably? How can you contribute to a sustainable holiday? When you love to travel without leaving a footprint, how to do you right? Travel responsibly. That is the new way of life. Unfortunately, the real meaning of ‘travel sustainably’ stays unclear. To inform you how you can help Mother Nature, we give you the best 9 tips to travel sustainably.
What is sustainable life?
Sustainable living is reducing natural resources and giving back to nature what you have used, according to your best ability. That may sound very difficult, but it doesn’t have to be difficult in practice. For example, you can choose not to eat a product if it does not promote sustainability. It can also be a change in how you do things, so that the result is better for the environment.
Why should you live sustainably?
Why is living sustainably so important? Substances and products from the earth are used in everything that humans use in order to survive. Consider the use of raw materials from the earth, water, air, sunlight and living organisms.
When people started using the raw materials, they did not realize that it could run out. People have made this mistake several times in history. Humans increasingly burden the earth and cause problems. Raw materials are running out, bees are disappearing, biodiversity is declining, CO2 emissions are too high and forests are disappearing. People are working on their own downfall. And those who are looking for solutions end up with human behavior. And no matter how difficult a real lasting solution is, the first step is realizing that things have to change by ourselves.
What is travel sustainably?
The meaning of sustainable travel and what people think it is, differs. Some define it as a more conscious travel, or responsible travel. Others call it traveling without a footprint. However, what it really means remains unclear. If you ask someone what fair coffee is, then the answer is not difficult. But there is no uniform definition for sustainable travel. In a general sense, sustainable travel can be described as traveling with a positive contribution to the environment, leaving a smaller ecological footprint.
How can you travel sustainably?
If you want to travel in a sustainable way, you make decisions in consideration with our environment, the local economy and culture.
Ok, so let’s face it: To travel sustainably is not to travel at all!!!
Or rather: try to keep it close to home. Avoid the plane whatsoever, but rather choose to travel by foot, bike, bus, train (Yes!) or car. And to be honest: there are many spectaculair destinations to discover close to home. There is absolutely no need to travel the world to discover magical places.
But to what extent do you know if a travel agency really takes nature and the environment into account? Because ultimately a travel agency wants to sell a trip that feels good to you. More and more, travel companies have a certificate. With this, they distinguish themselves. You can recognize a sustainable travel organization by the type of travel they offer. For example, trips are offered where the traveler participates in nature conservation. Part of the profit is spent on the local population. They are involved in the trip, which means that the money is actually invested locally. Projects that improve nature are also characteristic of a sustainable travel organization.
Eco tourism in modern times
Ecotourism is a worldwide growing phenomenon that is increasingly accepted. The idea behind ecotourism is to introduce the traveler to areas that deviate from regular travel. Exploring nature in a more holistic way, that is the goal. There are trekking tours through lesser-known roads, visiting untouched nature and visiting remote areas instead of large nature parks. Ecotourism introduces you to nature before humans have been able to influence it.
9 important tips if you want to travel sustainably
Choose destinations close to home
If you want to help the environment, traveling far is not advisable. Travelling for long distant is usually made by airplane. The CO2 footprint is huge. If you choose a holiday close to home, the pollution is already much less. Simply because your travel distance is shorter.
Choose travel companies that put you in touch with the locals
How nice is it when you come close to the locals during a vacation. They teach you the real culture and let you taste flavors that you would never have encountered otherwise. Getting in touch with the locals will make your holiday so much more special.
Opt for non-motorized transport
Whenever possible, opt for non-motorized transport during your holiday. By walking, cycling or even by kayaking, you see the most beautiful places in nature. Because you move more slowly, you can enjoy more.
Choose public transportation
If you want to travel a greater distance, choose public transportation. This is how you divide the emission to many. That makes the CO-2 footprint per person so much smaller.
Use less plastic when traveling
Drinking a lot is definitely recommended while traveling. But instead of buying a new plastic bottle, it is better to take a bottle with you. So buy a one-time bottle and top it up, or go out with a thermos or a special travel bottle. It saves a lot of plastic waste, when every traveler consciously purchases less drinking bottles.
Choose responsible excursions that contribute to the local economy
Excursions make a trip special. Opt for excursions that support the local economy. So don’t choose excursions that make large organizations richer, but opt for local initiatives. These excursions tell you often beautiful stories. People are proud to do their jobs and they radiate that. Every excursion helps to survive the locals. So that is why they will regard the tourists as special.
Choose eco destinations and Eco lodges
Nowadays, more and more hotels are aware of sustainability. It is becoming increasingly important to contribute to sustainability and to reduce the footprint. The initiatives are clearly visible and the guest is asked to participate. Eco lodges are fully sustainable. When you want to go on holiday with confidence and want to contribute to a better environment. Then choose the real eco destinations. In this way, you enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer and you contribute to a better environment.
The term pro-poor tourism is not yet a well-known term. Pro-poor tourism is the choice not to use days off to go on holiday. But instead, visit areas that need so much help. This can be areas where people are hungry, where people need medication or other necessities of life. It is a way of traveling that is meant to have a positive impact on the people on earth who are most in need. By sharing knowledge, skills or money, people in need can actually be helped.
Shop responsibly and use TreeClicks
Sustainable living is also about responsible consuming. If you book your travel online, use the TreeClicks plugin. More than 10.000 online stores and travel websites are connected. Contribute a better environment and plant a tree while buying your travel, plane ticket and hotels!
The future of sustainable tourism
The importance of sustainable travel is increasingly recognized. Young people appear to be more active in eco travel design. Traveling with a social impact is the future. And that is something great, because only together can we make the world a better place.