It’s getting to that time of year where we are all dreaming of a holiday.
Travelling opens us up to new ideas, places and people; travelling can bring together different cultures, bridge gaps, and promote peace, health and well-being. It is understandable that many of us adore getting out of our comfort zones and making tracks to new and undiscovered places. However, there is also a risk that our actions as tourists in new areas can affect these places and their local people negatively.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing global industries, with international tourist arrivals in 2017 reaching over 1.3 million. That’s a whole lot of people globetrotting leaving a mark on our planet.
Here are 5 ways to reduce your environmental impact whilst on holiday:
1. Fly Less
Here’s an example of how much of an impact aviation travel has on our planet: a return trip from Europe to Australia creates over 4 tonnes of carbon, which is enough to drive your car for over 2,000 kilometres. Flying less, taking less stopovers, and taking flights on planes that use biofuel, are ways to reduce your carbon flying footprint. Slow travel, such as taking the train creates less pollution, and can also provide new discoveries along the way! Saying ‘yes’ to carbon offset programs is also a way to contribute towards reforestation and renewable energy projects.
2. No more plastic
Reduce your plastic consumables by bringing a reusable water bottle and bag with you. By reducing your purchases of plastic water bottles, and products wrapped in plastic, you are reducing your contribution to the dire plastic issue we are facing today.
3. Leave no trace
Understandably, locals can feel unpleasantness towards tourists if they see their home being treated with disrespect. When travelling to a new destination, leave no trace of your actions behind. Take your trash with you, follow signage, and stick to the designated paths in national parks. This is not only for your own safety, but for the preservation of the environment you are visiting.
4. Support the local economy
Have a more direct impact on the local economy by purchasing authentic, locally made crafts and souvenirs. Although these may not always be cheaper than alternatives on the market, your contribution is important to creating a positive lasting impact.
5. It’s the simple things
Keep in mind all the little things that make a big difference. Taking shorter showers and reusing your hotel towels in order to save water. Catching public transport in order to reduce carbon emissions produced from extra cars on the road. Treat your holiday destination as you would your own home, reducing your energy consumption whenever you can.