Sustainable travel is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular among travelers from around the world. Sustainable travel means traveling responsibly and reducing the negative impact that you as a tourist have on the place that you visit. Sustainable travel means supporting local cultures and businesses, conserving natural resources, and leaving a place with a better understanding. The ultimate goal is to not only reduce the negative impact on the place of your visit, but to actually have a positive impact on it.
Most of the things that you can do in order to achieve sustainable travel are small, but if you do enough of them and if enough people adopt the same attitude, we can all have an important impact. Here are four ideas for sustainable travel:
1. Do your research
Before visiting any place, it is important that you learn all you can about its current environmental and social issues. It is important to become familiar with the impact that mass tourism has on the local community and environment (including wetlands, mountains, beaches, and ecosystems); try and counter those impacts. Learn a few words in the local language like "Hello", "Thank you" and "Goodbye".
2. Use less water
Using water sparingly is recommended for when going on a trip to any destination (or in your daily life for that matter). There are many cities and even entire countries around the world that experience water shortages. One of the best things that you can do is to start taking quick showers. Stay in hotels or other accommodation that use dry toilets, low flow fixtures, and/or water optimization techniques.
3. Use less electricity
Saving electricity is equally important. Simple things that we can all do is make sure that the television, heating and cooling units, lights, and other electrically powered equipment including computers are turned off before leaving the room. By doing so, you save both the environment and the local establishment financially.
4. Support the local community
When you go to a different city or country, you can show your support for the local community by only purchasing locally produced products and services. The products might be slightly more expensive than buying something from a supermarket, but it is important to show your support and not haggle about the small difference in price.
You can also choose to stay in different locally owned houses or small hotels and eat at various locally owned restaurants. This way you will also get to learn more about the place you are visiting and have different and probably more interesting experiences than the other tourists.
As you can see, sustainable travel is not something difficult at all. All of us can make these small changes in order to leave the place we visited better than we found it.