The good thing about the present times is that awareness and consciousness for the environment are at an all-time high. People are making eco-friendly and sustainable choices in every aspect of life. So, let us take it one step further and continue the same practices when you go out on vacations too, if you’re getting into birding or just visiting some of the best wildlife destinations this guide is for you.
Once you’ve selected a safe and enjoyable destination via Australian Traveller, it’s time to pack your bags and prepare to set out on your next adventure. As you plan your boarding, activities, accommodation, food, and destinations to do some wildlife watching, think about how you can adopt a more eco-conscious approach to travel.
What is Eco Friendly Travel?
When traveling, people tend to leave larger footprints than usual. This is primarily attributed to the use of plastic bags, disposable containers, and the like. The good news is there are some ways to reduce that, and it’s Eco-Friendly Travel. It’s traveling, but in a more eco-conscious way.
We only have one earth, which makes being environmentally conscious that much more important. By reducing carbon footprints and utilizing Eco-friendly resources when traveling, you create not only a healthier earth, but a healthier human population.
Here are 12 tips that will help you practice these values and leave a slightly smaller carbon footprint everywhere you go.
Sustainable Travel Tips For a Eco-Friendly Traveler
Reusable Toiletries Storage
Instead of using tiny pre-packaged toiletries provided by your hotel, opt to package your own from home in small reusable storage containers. This reduces plastic waste heading to landfills.
Your difference may only be three to four tiny plastic bottles, but imagine the difference 100 people ditching the hotel toiletries make? 300 to 400 plastic bottles have just been saved from sitting in a landfill and harming wildlife.
Plastic is one of the worst enemies of the planet, and it takes hundreds of years to decompose. Your one water bottle could cause the planet a lot of harm. The best way to combat this is to carry a non-plastic bottle. You can buy one with thermal resistance and many other types. They come in cool shapes and colors and are definitely more attractive than plastic bottles. Similarly, you should avoid using plastic spoons, straws, or any other item.
Bid adieu to plastic bags
You can go to the local markets and collect some location-specific items as a memory token of your trip. However, be sure to not expect your memories and footsteps to stay for 500 years or so. So, don’t take plastic bags to carry your purchases, as that would take centuries to degrade. Instead, switch to reusable or biodegradable bags when you take on the local streets.
Utilize Reusable Convention Bags
Reusable convention bags, made from Eco-friendly materials like poly-canvas, are much better options for company shows than old-fashioned plastic ones. The plastic ones simply get thrown away, while the bags are meant to last.
As a bonus, this isn’t only better for the environment, but your company too. Once the plastic bags get thrown away, your company fades from the mind. Reusable bags allow you to periodically cross potential customers’ minds over a longer course of time.
Travel light and Fast
More load on an aircraft leads to more carbon emission from it. So, keep your load as low as possible by only carrying things that you will need and not find at the destination. However, this may sound like a drop of water in the ocean, but it counts and nature will be grateful to you for your choices.
Traveling light may seem like it won’t be helping the environment, but it does have its benefit. Traveling light reduces your carbon footprint and also helps the airplane consume less fuel. A heavier bag means more energy consumption. Eco-friendly packaging is the best way to pack. You can also look out for direct flights instead of long layovers in multiple places.
Try sharing the load
While sharing the transport allows you to interact with people, make new friends, and reduce your expenses, it is also the best thing you can do for the environment. By avoiding a private vehicle, you make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions.
Weight travel medium and destination distance
When you are planning to fly to the destination, try to ensure that the location is worth it. You can skip a small detour to a station that would take a 5-hour flight to for an hour’s activity. By doing this, you can take tonnes of carbon load off the environment.
Stay homely at the hotel
Treat your hotel room as your home and follow all the practices that you do at home. For example, try to skip getting unnecessary cleaning or towels and other stuff, limit your shower time and save water, switch off the electricity of the room when you leave.
One of the best pieces of advice is to treat the hotel room as your home. Switch off any unnecessary appliances, lights, and air conditioners. Don’t waste water while you’re taking a bath. You should also avoid ordering more food than necessary and keep your wastage to a minimum. You can also ask beforehand if a hotel is eco-friendly or not.
Being an honorary local means eating locally grown and prepared food, drinking locally crafted beverages, and shopping at locally-owned stores. This reduces the need for outsourcing, which greatly reduces carbon levels.
This is also better for local economies and can assist tourist towns in thriving. You will also gain a more authentic traveling experience this way.
Packing food while traveling increases your carbon footprint. You also miss a lot of local food that could be great for your taste buds. This will help you to travel light. Make sure you eat at the local restaurant or your hotel to avoid this unnecessary harm to the environment. Eating at local food stalls will also help the small entrepreneurs grow. If you are traveling to Asian countries like India, you shouldn’t miss the street food at any cost. Thus, keep this in mind on your next trip. While you’re eating local, make sure you also buy local fruits and vegetables instead of bringing them from home.
Avoid bottles for water
The ill-effect of plastic water bottles on the environment are well known these days. So avoid these bottles and try to use openly installed filters to refill your reusable bottles and drink water.
Not every country has recycling cans or a facility for recycling. Chances are that all your foreign waste will be burned or dumped in a pit. To do your part, make sure you don’t create any unnecessary trash or litter. You can always choose to use a paper or cloth bag instead of using plastic bags for everything. You can also make sure you don’t bring any extra things that would add to the trash
Volunteering at home is a great way to be eco-friendly and to do your part. Volunteering abroad is an altogether new experience. You get to make local friends, help people around and also have a meaningful trip. If you’re going on a long vacation, you can volunteer for a day at the beach that is littered or at some program that can educate people on how to be eco-friendly. You can also set an example for your friends and family.
Hike only the path
If you’re planning to go hiking during your vacation, it is best to stay on the marked trail. This is important because you might scare off or encounter any kind of animal. Disrupting their privacy may make them run away from their natural habitat. If you happen to see any animal, try to stay away from it and don’t do anything to scare it away.
When you go hiking, remember the path you are walking goes through the habitat of several other animals and plants. These paths are well established to keep these inhabitants safe. Stick to the preset path while hiking, lest you enter and disturb animals in the protected area or step onto some endangered plants. It will ensure your safety and prevent you from creeping other creatures.