It’s really great to see that ecotourism has become more popular in the past few years, with more travelers than ever making an effort to help protect the planet that they’re going to see.
We’re also more conscious about our own health. With this in mind, there are lots of things you can do to make sure you’re being eco-friendly and looking after your health while you enjoy traveling.
Make eco-friendly choices when you book
If possible, book your trip through an eco-friendly provider. There are some companies who offer trips that support sustainable development, do not impact negatively on the environment, and are conscious of their effect on the local communities.
If this isn’t an option, see if you can opt for a more environmentally friendly way of getting to your destination — generally speaking, driving or taking a train is better than short-haul flights. However, if flying is your only option, opt for an airplane that is more efficient and has higher occupancy rates.
Protect your health
There are a few things you can do to stay healthy while traveling, and ensure you have the best time. Make sure you take out good travel insurance and research the health care provisions in the country you are visiting, just in case — it’s far better to be well-informed and not need to use them.
Stay somewhere green
A green hotel should be transparent about what they do to help with sustainability, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about water usage, energy efficiency, and site development. If possible, choose a hotel that has an accredited seal of approval from a respected environmental program, as they will have done the research before you. If you stay somewhere that doesn’t offer a recycling program or partakes in a practice that doesn’t seem very green, be sure to leave a suggestion on a comment card when you check out.
Eat and drink safely
This falls in the category of eco-friendly and healthy! It’s important to check the drinking water quality before you go, so you know whether you need to take your own reusable bottle, or avoid the tap water. Eat locally where possible, as this is more sustainable and will allow you to try some authentic local food and support the people in the area. Check that everything is cooked fully before eating, as you don’t want to be getting sick on your travels.
There are so many reasons to choose walking over getting a taxi or public transport when you are exploring a new area! Walking will allow you to see parts of the place that you might not have been able to see on the subway system, for example. You will be saving money, as walking is free, but also saving the planet as it has no negative impact. On top of all this, walking is great way of getting exercise and keeping active — especially if you are sampling a lot of the local food.
Remember that while you are staying in the hotel, there are a few easy things you can do to be greener, but also make things easier for those who work in the hotel; without taking anything away from your trip.
Hang up your towels after use, as most hotels know that this means they don’t need washing and replacing with clean ones every day. In fact, where possible, leave the ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door and save on cleaning, as this usually requires the use of chemical cleaning supplies and extra energy. You don’t have to do this every day, especially if things are looking a little grubby, but even just a few days out of a week trip can make a difference.
As you can see, it’s not too difficult to make changes that allow your travel experience to be eco-friendly and healthy. The more people who make these decisions, the better off we will all be! Comment below if you have any tips for being eco-friendly and healthy while you travel.