Most people think of eco tourism when they think about sustainable traveling. Eco tourism basically consists of the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. It is not false to say that eco tourism belongs to sustainable traveling, this is just a part of it. If you travel sustainably, you also want to have a positive impact on the culture and economy of your travel destination in order to preserve them. You can easily achieve that, because this is by far not as hard as it sounds. Here are some leads that hopefully help you with it.
- When you are at your travel destination, you are probably looking for some souvenirs for your loved ones at home or simply for yourself. It is nice to have something that reminds you of your journey. If you want to travel sustainably, you can still buy souvenirs, but look for souvenirs from local artisans. By buying their handmade products, you are not only helping them to support their family, you are also saving their authentic cultural heritage because their products are not labeled “Made in China”.
- When you get hungry and you decide to not cook for yourself, then have your meals in the local gastronomy. Like souvenirs, local food places help saving the cultural heritage and supports local people far more than having your meals in international chains. Trying out the traditional food at your travel destination is far better than having the usual fries that you could have anywhere anyway, right?
- Whenever you have to buy something, just remember; It is better to leave money in the community, because this has such a huge impact on the residents.
- If you go out for a hike, stay on the marked hiking path. It is there for a reason. This way you don’t step on plants and you are preventing harm to the environment. Also, don’t leave your trash. Take it with you until you find a garbage can. You can also pick up trash that has been thrown away by others. It makes even more fun if you make a competition out of it. Who picks up the most trash on your hiking trip?
- Remember to bring your refilling waterbottle and reusable bags. This is something you can easily do at home as well in order to reduce your amount of trash.
- Special tip for environment lovers: In order to get to your travel destination, you most likely take a flight, right? Try to book one-stop flights. Starting and landing is far worse for the enviroment than simply flying. Of course this isn’t always possible. But don’t worry. Either way there are ways to compensate your emissions. Foundations like “Atmosfair” and “Myclimate” offer projects that have different ways to reduce green house gases, for example by supporting renewable and sustainable energy sources. Every donation helps them save the enviroment.
By Sophie Fritzen