Responsible travel is about giving back to the environment and the local people while supporting a new way of traveling, with eco-friendly and ‘green’ tourism initiatives. Minimize your carbon footprint, while still enjoying all the joys and benefits of travel, now in a more conscientious way. Green travel also happens to be a lot cheaper than the harmful alternative so you don’t need to be a millionaire to make a difference! So to make it easier for you, whether you are journeying to your destination by Channel crossing or other means, we’ve created a list of the best ways to travel greener and help save the planet:
Travel Slower and Longer
A win-win situation; you get to travel for longer, while helping to reduce pollution! Travelling slower and longer means you take less flights in a year, and with your extra traveling time, you can use more public transport to explore the area. Try to pair up with other people when booking tours, so you produce less waste, through vehicle carbon emissions. This also works great for grabbing taxis, plus it’s cheaper and safer than the solo alternative. When taking a longer holiday, unplug all electric appliances and turn off the water and gas at home. Or don’t waste any energy and find a nice beach to lie on close to home!
Support ‘Green’ Tourism Companies
Many companies nowadays are increasingly aware of how important it is to run sustainable, eco-friendly, ‘green’ companies. When booking accommodation or a tour, do some research beforehand to find out more about the companies’ environmental policies and the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint. The more people that book with eco-friendly companies, the more companies will start to realize how important it is.
Buy Local and Support Communities
Money spent locally is far more valuable to the area than money spent on large international companies. Shop for food at local markets to support fresh grown produce and the farmers who grow it. For other goods and services, go to locally owned shops, restaurants and accommodation, where the business owners are from the area. Hire a local guide to give you a walking or cycling tour of the area.
Leave The Luxuries At Home
When travelling, there is less need for many of the more luxury electrical appliances that you would normally use at home. High voltage hairdryers, electric toothbrushes and razors are all unnecessary when you can go for the non-electric alternative or, simply do without (we’re not recommending you leave your toothbrush at home!). You will save a lot of weight in your luggage and feel liberated by living minimally, without so many material possessions.
Use Eco-Friendly Travel Gadgets
There are just some gadgets that you can’t leave at home, such as your phone or tablet for catching up on work. Now you can check your emails or make a few calls without worrying about the environmental impact on the area. Thanks to innovative eco-friendly technology, there are now more and more ways to work (and play!) online from abroad, such as solar powered chargers for phones, tablets and music devices. You can even buy rechargeable USB powered batteries, great for reducing waste and energy bills. Now, there are no excuses why you can’t get a bit of work done, while sitting on a sunny beach!
Cut Down on Travel Waste
You’d be surprised how many leaflets, brochures, business cards and coupons you can amass, after a stroll down any major tourist street in a city. Business owners and tour operators are desperate to get their brochures and leaflets into your hands, in the hope that you will book a tour with them. Help decrease your travel waste by politely refusing their handouts, letting them know that you don’t need them. You will also save them wasted paper, as well as time.
Water, Water, Everywhere
In most of the world, water is a precious resource. When you’re out exploring in the heat, naturally you’ll need to replenishment yourself with nurturing water. Buy a large 5-liter or more water bottle for your hotel room. Every time you go out for the day, fill up your handy smaller 1-liter bottle and use that instead of constantly buying new ones. This is an easy and effective way to save money and decrease the amount of plastic you throw away. Also try to take shorter, colder showers and to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.