As travellers, we’ve all learned that visiting the iconic destinations and lesser-known locales is a gift we’re always grateful to experience. When exploring our glorious world, it’s important that we always care about the people and places that our visits touch.
At its core, sustainability in relation to travel (eco-tourism) is about making as positive an effort as possible in your travels. It’s about making simple decisions that lessen your negative impact on any given destination. Below, we’ve put together 6 practical tips on how you can be environmentally-friendly during your travels. While each of these tips may seem small, collectively these tips can make a huge impact.
Say no to plastic and pack reusables
Did you know that it can take up to 500 years for a plastic bag to biodegrade? Avoid accounting to the waste and pack reusable items – cloth shopping bag, drink bottle, metal straw, travel mug. Making this a standard practice means you’ll never have to use single-use items.
Use public transport and avoid booking short flights
When travelling locally, use public transport where you can. By using buses and trains, you’ll be helping the environment by not adding any additional carbon emissions from private transport.
Additionally, if you have the time, rather than flying a short distance, consider driving or travelling via bus, train or ship as all of these methods have a less negative environmental impact than plane travel.
Eat like a local and in season
Eating and drinking local produce is not only great for the environment (not needing to be transported means it’s carbon friendly), but it’s also a great adventure for your taste buds!
If you’re unsure of what fresh produce is in season, head to the local farmers market, where you can only buy what’s within season and support local farmers.
Be careful buying souvenirs
Support the local economy and buy souvenirs that are locally made (rather than imported). This way, you can ensure that your purchase will have a more direct positive impact and carbon footprint will be reduced, as the goods don’t need to be flown or shipped in.
In addition, never buy goods that are made from endangered plants and animals or unsustainable hardwoods and ancient artefacts. Also, don’t buy souvenir photographs where wildlife is being exploited.
Apply home rules in your hotel
Adopt the energy and water-saving rules you have at home in your hotel. Avoid getting clean towels when it’s not needed, take shorter showers and turn off electricity (lights, air conditioning, television etc) when leaving the room.
Avoid multi-stop flights where possible
When booking your flights, try to book non-stop where you can; it’s takeoffs and landings that create the most carbon emissions from planes. If you do fly, it’s worth considering flying with an IATA (International Air Transport Association) member airline. These airlines offer carbon offset programs to neutralise the aircraft’s carbon emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects.
On World Environment Day in 2019, the Globus family of brands announced plans to increase sustainability efforts and reduce waste while also contributing to The Ocean Cleanup: a non-profit organisation focused on ridding the world’s oceans of plastics. Click here to read more about GFOB’s dedication to making a difference.