The state of our deteriorating climate has always been a result of our own lifestyle and activities. The planet we live in and the resources it provides has been adversely affected by human habits. Due to this, we are time and again reminded to be more conscious about our actions and make changes to help the climate prosper. Traveling is one such activity that has a huge impact on the climate. Hence, a new phenomenon has been getting quite popular among travelers, ‘Sustainable Travel’.
Without realizing it we are creating a huge amount of carbon footprint when we travel. How often we take a flight, how we behave in the host country, what products we use and how much waste we generate during our journey, these are few of the things that contribute to our unsustainable travel habits. Activities like these deteriorate the environment and lead to other problems that on a bigger scale is difficult to solve. Even the economic condition of our destination is adversely affected is we are not aware enough. So to reverse or reduce our carbon footprint as well as to save the environment of the places we are traveling to, we have to contribute as an individual. The most practical approach is to start implementing sustainable travel in your lifestyle.
So what changes do we bring in our habits to start our sustainable journey? You might think that not traveling at all is what seems to be the solution. Though it is the ultimate solution for the environment, that is not practical and cannot be sustained for a longer period of time. Also, that would destroy countries whose economy depends on tourism.
Therefore, what we can do is bring habitual changes to our travel and choices. A great term to keep in mind is ‘leave only footprint’.To do so, here are a few things we can try
- Reduce air travel as much as possible and replace it with local public transport. If flying is necessary, fly wise by taking direct flights and even better book flights from airlines with the lowest emission per passenger mile.
- Avoid single-use plastic, carry your own spoon, foldable cups, and bowls as well as a tote bag to avoid getting polythene bags in the market.
- Not littering tourist destinations like beaches, parks, even streets.
- Respect local wildlife and help protect them, this means avoid activities that require exploiting wild animals for entertainment.
- Prioritize local shops and products to help the local economy and the people. This way you can also be more engulfed in cultural exchange and experience your destination better.
- When traveling, try to do it off-season to avoid over-tourism. When exploring the city take the road less traveled. This way you will discover more local gems and get to avoid overpopulated tourist spots.
These are just some of the things we can do to help sustain travel and be more environmentally conscious.
With people being more travel conscious and taking part in sustainable travel. The major tourist destinations can preserve their resources as well as their charm. When we act responsibly we help preserve our favorite travel destination as they are not being exploited. We help the locals maintain their economy. Taking part in being more conscious to avoid over-tourism( which is a huge contributor to deteriorating the environment) can also make your travel more authentic and help you travel like a local. This we believe is more enjoyable than taking just a picture at a highly advertised tourism spot, that also after waiting in line for hours. So, in the end, it is a win-win situation.