You already pay attention to using less plastic, reduce your meat consumption or try to buy most of your clothes second hand? Great, because it’s exactly these “little” things in everyday life that contribute to a big difference. Awareness of sustainability has already gone from being an individual lifestyle to a social movement – fortunately. Because that’s how people are engaging with the extremely important issue that affects us all. Today, you’ll get to know how you can go beyond your efforts in everyday life and travel sustainably on your vacation as well.
Why sustainable travel?
Climate change affects everyone. Although some people are currently more affected than others, sustainability should be an issue that everyone in society is equally committed to. Sustainability does not only refer to ecological aspects, but also to economic and social factors. Those who travel sustainably and therefore also in a socially equitable manner are thus driving the sustainability vision forward in the tourism sector and counteracting further climate catastrophes, but also inequalities as well as injustices in the world.
Sustainable tourism is among other things about saving resources, financially supporting the local economy in the destination region through one’s stay, promoting nature and wildlife conservation, preserving cultural identities and differences, and expanding knowledge as well as awareness. A sustainable tourism development aims empowerment in all concerns in a destination. To give you specific advice for your next sustainable trip, we have 5 tips for you that you can implement wherever you go.
1. Use climate-neutral means of transportation
You can’ t avoid a flight to get to your chosen vacation destination? Then try to compensate your flight. You could do this by either traveling to the destination region for a longer period of time, so that the local population benefits from your expenses on site, or by compensating the actual CO2 emissions caused by you for the flight with a monetary donation. You can take this into account when booking and support ecological compensation programs with your donation.
Nevertheless, try to avoid flying too much. If the number of vacations in which you use a plane, for example, remains moderate, but you still feel a little bad about it, then try to use alternative means of transportation locally. Explore with a bicycle. Bicycles are the most environmentally friendly means of transportation and let’s face it – you’re much more aware of the environment! It’s also fun to actively experience a city, town or region.
2. Book a sustainable accommodation
If you want to travel sustainably, then sustainable accommodation should be on top of your list. You can identify such an accommodation by its focus on environmental protection. If an accommodation takes care to use resources responsibly by using sustainable energy concepts, providing local and organic products and paying employees fairly – then you’re right. Most hotel chains cannot offer you this, which is why you should rather look for local and personally managed small businesses. In all-inclusive hotels, not only the food waste is much too high, but also the authentic travel experience is missing.
Our beautiful socialbnb Earth Company in Indonesia is an eco-hotel that is ecologically and socially oriented in every possible way – because we remember: sustainability also refers to social aspects. Since 2014, Earth Company has been providing key resources and offering support to stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region to implement sustainable change.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.
According to this Native American proverb, Earth Company supports fundraising efforts to build schools, clinics and youth centers that will bring about social change for future generations.
3. Do local shopping
When we travel, we want to discover cultures, try new things and experience authenticity. A dinner at a chain restaurant can be nice, but is it really authentic? If you want to go on a culinary discovery, you should dare to use local shopping options or restaurants and bars away from the tourist masses. On the one hand you will save money anyway, on the other hand you will support the local economy. Every country has unique traditional things to offer you, not only regarding food. Instead of a souvenir store for tourists, you can also go to local flea markets etc. – because that way your money will reach the local people.
4. Book local activities
When booking activities locally, it’s like shopping: the local people benefit when you book these activities directly from them! It’s much more exciting to get a cooking, language, pottery, dance or fishing class from locals anyway. Our socialbnbs often offer on-site activities that allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and have authentic experiences. For example, during your stay at our socialbnb Penduka Trust in Namibia, you can participate in a craft workshop to meet inspiring locals, go on nature excursions, or take a tour of the bustling village and see how the houses are traditionally built.
5. Be part of #5minutesbeachcleanup
An initiative started by Carolina Sevilla, #5minutesbeachcleanup encourages travelers to take five minutes on their vacation day to pick up trash on the beach or anywhere else they go. Those five minutes don’t stop you from having a great day or even keep you from exciting activities. You can take this short time in your day to contribute to a cleaner environment at your vacation destination. Even your small help contributes to a big impact. For example, Jule and Kerstin from socialbnb collected trash on the beach with other volunteers during their trip to El Salvador.
If you’re looking for some alternatives to traditional travel, let this blog post inspire you. You’ll be amazed at the other options that are available to you.