It’s time to make a change for yourself and the planet. Experiencing the world in a new way through ecotourism allows travellers to explore natural areas that conserve the environment and stimulate local economies.
Travelling sustainably has many factors to it; from the location you choose and the things you pack, to the way that you explore! Make your regular vacation a little greener, or become the ultimate ecotourist with this list of 19 ways to make your next vacation as eco friendly as possible!
- Look for alternative ways to travel, such as a road trip, boat or train. If you have to fly, look for non-stop flights wherever possible, as the most emissions are released during take off and landing.
- Choose a green hotel. Many accommodations have sustainability efforts in place such as recycling programs, solar power, locally sourced food, and low consumption appliances. Where you choose to stay has a great impact on the size of your travel footprint.
- Choose green excursions. It’s easy to find environmentally-focused, human-powered experiences while on vacation! Look for excursions that focus on hiking, kayaking, cycling and walking tours, and avoid the ones that require lots of transportation or unhealthy treatment of wildlife.
- Opt for e-tickets when possible. Save on paper and space by choosing electronic bookings and tickets. Every little bit counts!
- Search for a non-profit that your travels could benefit. Pack for a Purpose is one of our favourite ways to give back with very little effort.
- Pack lightly. The more your plane or car weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Every pound counts, so only pack what you really need!
- Bring a reusable water bottle to avoid wasting plastic ones. Some can even be purchased with small filters inside for extra ease of mind.
- Travel cutlery is useful for eliminating the need to use plastic cutlery if you plan on eating takeout.
- Buy eco friendly sunscreen. Search for options such as Kokua Sun Care that are free from biologically toxic chemicals that could harm reefs or other environments.
- Unplug your home before you leave. Even when they are not in use, energy seeps into items that are plugged in. Save the planet and your wallet by unplugging before a big trip.
- Stay on marked paths to avoid trampling on protected or endangered plants.
- Keep a respectful distance from wildlife. It is important that tourists do not impose on the ecosystems around them. This will help to ensure the safety of both you and the animals.
- Use public transportation when possible. Avoid the use of cars and taxis to reduce your carbon footprint. Walking and cycling are also excellent alternatives!
- Be aware of what souvenirs you purchase to take home. Aim for local purchases to help stimulate the economy, but don’t purchase anything made from endangered species or ancient artifacts.
- Do not buy photos or experiences that exploit wildlife. Walking with tigers, riding elephants, or watching seals perform out of their natural habitats are a few examples of tourist attractions that often abuse their animals.
- Leave no trace. Do not litter or remove anything from an ecosystem. Remember that you are a visitor.
- Eat and drink locally. Travel to the food, don’t let the food travel to you! In other words, try local cuisine rather than food or drink that has been shipped to your destination in order to avoid adding its travel mileage to your footprint.
- Make yourself at home. Treat your hotel like you would home – that means turning off unused lights/appliances and using towels more than once!
- Avoid the buffet. With so much food being set out for people, a significant amount goes to waste, either on the plates, or at the counter. Due to health regulations, a lot of this uneaten food cannot be donated. It’s best to steer clear of buffets and opt for locally sourced meals that won’t go to waste.
If you are looking to add some extra meaning to your next vacation, ecotourism might be for you! Read part one of our series to learn more about ecotourism and how it can benefit you and your next destination, and part two for some awesome eco friendly locations to travel to.
Tired of holding and swapping SIM cards every time you travel? Try our global SIM card, available for use around the world! For those with compatible devices, our eco friendly eSIM data solutions eliminate the need for cards at all, simply scan a QR code for instant connectivity!
Now until November 30, 2020, experience connectivity like never before with 20% off all data plans and products using code “ECOTRAVEL20” at checkout.*
*Offer code valid online only from 02/11/20 until 30/11/20. Not combinable with other offers.