When hearing the words ‘sustainable tourism’, many people automatically think this just means carbon offsetting their flights. Whilst this remains important, each of us can participate in additional ways to reduce our carbon footprint on a larger scale, whether we are holidaying overseas or opting for a staycation.
In addition to the environmental benefits, travelling mindfully results in a richer and more authentic experience filled with genuine connection to nature and the people you meet along the way. This is the true essence of sustainable and responsible tourism.
Below are a few easy ways to travel more responsibly that can also result in reducing your carbon footprint, brought to you by Keeley Warren from Mankind Digital:
- Consider using a mode of transport that causes less harm to the environment. For example, cycling is an effective mode of travelling around in a city—it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and it’s great for our health and fitness!
- Sampling a destination’s cuisine and drinks is arguably one of the highlights when we travel. Consider buying food that is grown and sourced locally, has minimal packaging and waste, and is prepared by locally employed staff.
- Opt for beverages brewed locally. This is a viable alternative to mainstream or international brands, as they will have a much lower carbon footprint than those that need to be transported long distances.
- Make use of reusable water bottles, utensils and shopping bags, and dispose of waste appropriately. This includes food waste which releases high levels of methane when dumped in landfill to rot rather than being disposed of and composted responsibly.
- Learn about and choose organisations, operators and service providers that are conscious of the environment and the community, and are making an effort to deliver experiences that protect and support them.
- Do your research and choose companies with evidence to support their claims of sustainable and responsible practices.
- Choose to book eco-friendly accommodation either directly with the property or through online booking platforms that support communities, rather than through big internationally owned brands.
There are plenty of other ways to become a responsible traveller beyond these sustainable tourism examples.
Keeley recommends learning more about these by following social media pages that post content about sustainable travel, such as her sister company’s platform Wanderlust with a Purpose. You can connect with them on Instagram @wanderlustwithpurpose.