Travelling Responsibly and Sustainably
So, you know exactly what impact your travel adventure can have. We think of travelling responsibly and sustainably as a movement of respectful travellers who live at the intersection of more profound travel experiences and caring for the planet and its people.
This is most definitely a journey of travel decisions and awareness which aim to protect and respect the local culture, environment, and economy.
Travel holds awe-inspiring potential. For travellers, this offers a path to experience and personal transformation. However, many destinations and environments feel the pressure and negative impacts from high numbers of visitors.
So, what can travellers do?
We really need to understand the impact travelling has on the environment. The solution is not to stop travelling, but to travel differently. This is where responsible and sustainable travel comes in as part of the journey.
But before we go deeply into this, let’s quickly address what Carbon Footprint and Carbon Offsetting really is.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon Footprint is the emissions of greenhouse gasses that are associated with any specific activity. When it comes to travelling, the Carbon Footprint is primarily made of CO2 emissions from accommodation, flights, and ground transportation.
Commercial aviation has a Carbon Footprint which accounts for at least 2% of global human induced CO2 emissions, this is as a result of the wide range of activities involved and the fuel required. With the current aircraft technology, these emissions are just unavoidable.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
This is a climate action that allows organizations and individuals to address the CO2 emissions they cannot avoid by supporting projects. Carbon Offsetting also allows travellers to balance the carbon emissions that are being released as a result of their travelling.
Now that you’ve gotten a clear picture of what Carbon Footprint and Carbon Offsetting really are, let’s take you further on what it means to travel responsibly and sustainably, including actions you can take.
What is Responsible and Sustainable travel?
Responsible and Sustainable travel minimizes negative social, environmental and economic impacts, and supports the well-being of the host communities. In fact, Sustainable and Responsible travel should be the only way you travel.
There are so many beautiful, enchanting, untouched, and natural places on our planet and as such, their existence is being threatened by mass tourism. Nature, history, and culture should be preserved and not commodified.
Responsible and Sustainable travel minimize the negative impacts of tourism, which is ideally beneficial to the destinations you travel to. This is about looking after our natural resources and valuing the environment you find yourself in.
As a traveller, you need to be more conscious and aware of the level of pollution caused by travel and how that affects the environment.
What does it mean in terms of some simple actions you need to take on your next travel adventure?
Here are a few sustainable travel tips that address environmental, cultural, and economic considerations that you can apply whenever you are going on a travel adventure:
1. Remember that you are a guest
2. Research travel destinations
3. Choose a destination that values sustainability
4. Consider how you will get to your chosen destination
5. Book an eco-conscious accommodation
6. Pack light and sustainably
7. Pack eco-friendly essentials
8. Opt for sustainable activities and support local economics
9. With ethics and sustainability in mind, curate your plans
10. Reduce food and plastic waste
11. Set a good example when it comes to trash
12. Limit energy use and conserve water
13. When you are at your destination, use the most sustainable form of transport
14. Travel more slowly
15. Only participate in responsible wildlife tourism
16. Join community tourism projects and volunteer with NGOs
17. Endeavor to leave a place better than you found it
18. Ask for more sustainable travel
Share your sustainable travel experience
The more we talk about the way we travel, the more we reinforce how important it is to travel Responsibly and Sustainably. Take the right action and share your experience.
Note: The above isn’t just applicable when we travel. We can all be a good responsible traveller, even at home. The most responsible thing we can do for our environment and planet is to reduce our environmental impact as much as we can.