Sustainable Travel can at first look a bit overwhelming but it all starts with education and awareness. I have called upon my fellow travel bloggers (experts in their field ?) to share with us some tips and tricks they themselves use when travelling!
With more people travelling than ever before, tourism boards and companies are raising the standards in eco-tourism. Millennials and frequent travellers, in particular, are very aware of the impact their experiences are having on the planet and are focusing on ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
Incorporating responsible practices like opting for train and bus travel, boycotting cruel animal attractions, reducing waste, using resources efficiently and shopping fair trade, are all incredibly important in sustaining the environment and providing a more positive and rewarding experience for all involved.
Daniel James | danflyingsolo.com | Instagram
One of the most important topics to me when it comes to sustainable tourism is the discussion around Volunteering or trying to help others abroad. I think given the political landscape around the world many people want to support organisations but it can get a little confusing. A huge question when it comes to volunteering or giving your time is to know how much it will directly benefit the local community – will it be sustainable for them? If you are going in and taking away local jobs, not qualified to be teaching children or quickly building a house that will fall down a few weeks later you aren’t being sustainable and are likely causing more problems than you have solved.
I’m a huge believer and co-founder in the Empowerment Tourism movement which focuses heavily on creating skills and job opportunities in these communities and as such, leaving them the chance to shape their own future without the constant need for outside support. Sustainable travel isn’t just about how we do things as tourists, it’s about how we leave the beautiful places we visit in the most positive way possible and having a truly sustainable impact.
Working on a beading project in Vietnam to create sustainable income for the locals after we have left
Jackson Groves | thejourneyera.com | Instagram
How can we travel in such a way to leave a place the same or better before we arrived? That is the question many travellers are beginning to ask themselves before they reach a new destination. It isn’t about changing the world all on your own. It’s about changing any habits you may have or adopting new strategies to help reduce your environmental footprint as you travel.
One incredibly easy way to minimize your footprint is to buy a water bottle with a filter. In many countries around the world, the water is not suitable for drinking. I’m talking about India, Indonesia, Guatemala, Laos. In all of these countries, tourists buy four or more litres of water a day. That’s four plastic bottles a day. 28 plastic bottles a week. If they travel all year it’s 1456 bottles per year. Or you could buy just one bottle with a filter. You may need to replace the filter after a few months but the cost will be cheaper than all of the bottled water and you will have 1455 less plastic bottles in landfills, oceans and river systems around the world.
Amy Poulton | pagetraveller.com | Instagram
I’m a huge fan of the menstrual cup. 1) It’s reusable, so you won’t be contributing to the millions of non-biodegradable sanitary towels and tampons that end up in landfills. 2) You don’t have to worry about buying tampons in countries where they may be taboo. 3) You save luggage space. 4) You save money.
Basically, it’s the best thing since sliced bread!
Claire | clairefootsteps.com | Instagram
Take the Train! One of the ways that I travel sustainably is slowly exploring a country by taking the train. I recently travelled China by train; which not only hugely lowered my carbon emissions in comparison to if I had flown or drove the distance but enabled me to really engage with the culture as it changed around me. Train travel helps you see the country evolve rather than just being transported from place to place.
Buying train tickets also often funds the country directly rather than independent airlines, meaning that the money you spend is being put straight back into the economy. So, next time you’re travelling within a country, or even around a continent (Europe has excellent rail links and a lot of Asian countries are connected by train!), skip the flight and take a train to be a more sustainable traveller. I just published this relevant post about taking the trains through China.
Jennifer Ambrose & Ryan Victor | passionsandplaces.com | Instagram
Travellers – people whove seen the world first-hand – should be especially committed to taking care of planet earth. But the truth is that the tourism industry often wreaks environmental havoc, especially in places that are least equipped to respond to it. One step you can take to become a more eco-friendly traveller is to be aware of the waste produced during your trip.
Many travellers end up using things like plastic water bottles, Styrofoam take-out containers, disposable silverware, and plastic bags even more than when at home. But especially in developing countries, trash like that often either gets burned or ends up in the ocean, usually after just one use. Anything you can do to avoid using disposable items, like packing along your own reusable version, reduces the amount of waste created and cuts down on your environmental impact while travelling.
Wendy Maes | worldwidewendy.be | Instagram
If you love to travel but want to reduce your ecological footprint, I can highly recommend The Eight Bells Mountain Inn, in Mosselbaai (between Stellenbosch & Oudtshoorns). The hotel has beautiful rooms and many of them are great for families. The most important reason to stay here is the fact that the owner attaches great importance to the environment and the hotel is fully self-sufficient. The water here comes from a local source, electricity is generated by its own generator, and hot water comes from two conventional boilers. Horse manure, leaves and waste are composted to fertilise the garden. If you pass this region during your visit to South Africa, I can highly recommend The Eight Bells Mountain Inn.
Namrata Bhawnani | ecophiles.com | Instagram
It’s great to see that people are consciously looking to make choices that will reduce their carbon footprint. We always encourage our readers to choose eco-friendly activities like hiking, kayaking, exploring cities on foot, etc. Always choose public transport or rent a bike where possible. Respect wildlife and keep your distance from the animals. No matter how cuddly they seem. There will be no touching. Take nothing, and leave nothing behind!
As we love to say, travel far, travel light!
Sarah Ambler | deepbluedigitalmarketing.com | glutenfreetravellers.com
Having travelled in Queensland, Australia for some time and done more than 30 dives on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef I am extremely passionate about marine conservation and ecotourism. It is great to see so many dive vessels gaining eco-certifications and making the effort to protect the reef. Of course, we should never touch or take anything, throw anything overboard or put marine life under any duress. But have you considered what you take into the ocean with you? When I go scuba diving I wear no products; no makeup, suncream, deodorant, nothing. I also don’t clean my mask with any chemicals. I encourage others to do the same; we should be very aware of the chemicals we are putting into the oceans and the impact that this can have on coral and other marine life.
Kayla Manoe | kelanabykayla.com | Instagram
My tip is all around becoming more aware and making conscious decisions on how we interact and respect the wildlife and animals when we are visiting destinations. I know (because I was a contributor of this myself not too many years ago) how easy it is to forget and look past the environment of which you are visiting if you get to take a picture with a lion, ride on an elephant or swim with a dolphin. World Animal Protection says that at least 550,000 wild animals suffer at the hands of irresponsible tourist attractions and that an estimated 110 million people visit these places every year. Do your research on these types of attractions before visiting. Have a read of this study by World Animal Protect to get more of an insight.
Jennifer Riley | therainbowroute.com | Instagram
When I travel, I realise what a privilege it is to be able to choose to be environmentally conscious. We come from a city where curbside recycling and composting are second nature. It is actually illegal to throw recyclables in the garbage in Vancouver, Canada. While many other countries may not have this luxury yet, one can still reduce their waste by packing reusable containers. My wife and I will shop at local markets for fresh, locally grown food which we cook at our accommodation. We can then pack healthy meals in Tupperware for long days of travel or sightseeing, reducing our need to rely on packaged foods (it also makes it easier to stick to a gluten-free diet).
Hopefully, these quick tips get you thinking about how you can be more sustainable. For more information and tips check out this amazing list!
Do you have any tips on how you can travel eco-friendly? Comment below! xx
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I use these eco-friendly products in everyday life and take them with me when I travel. Reducing your waste is an easy and great way to help the environment! All the products below are from my all time favourite eco store Nourished Life. Shop all of your makeup, skincare, baby and house products in the one shop!