6 Essential Tips from Eco Tourism Backpackers
With your eco-friendly holiday booked you’re already several steps closer to being a responsible traveller. You’ve chosen a great destination like Tanzania or Nairobi to see the endless skyline filled with wildlife. You’re starting your journey along the Amazon River in Ecuador and spending the end of it in an eco lodge amongst the towering trees; yet there’s another element that remains that you may not have considered – are your habits green?
Are you applying a green way of thinking to the way you behave? To how you purchase items?
Are you thinking green and responsibly when you book your taxi from your home to the airport?
With a little consideration and access to the right knowledge with experience you can easy make changes and be the perfect responsible traveller, just like these six green travellers.
Pack A Reusable Water Bottle
by Dale Davies of angloitalian | slow vegan travel blog
Throughout the world plastic water bottles fill landfills in numbers in the tens of millions, all of which take over 1000 years to degrade. In order to avoid contributing to the problem whilst travelling in hot countries where rehydration is a top priority, pack a reusable water bottle in your luggage and avoid purchasing bottled water where possible.
Be Eco-Aware about Accommodation Choices
by Charlie Marchant of Charlie on Travel
When deciding on accommodation abroad, look for locally owned guest-houses, home-stays or airbnb apartments where your money supports local people, or hostels and hotels that are eco-conscious and work to reduce their impact on the environment. Try to avoid large chain hotels as many of them leave a huge carbon footprint from excessive energy consumption, unnecessary overuse of water, poor waste management and other similar issues. It can really be worth taking the time to search a little further for more responsible accommodation.
Explore the World With Pedal Power
by Randi Delano of Just A Pack
Over 600 cities around the world have bike sharing programs, and that number is constantly growing. Bicycles have the obvious effect of lowering overall carbon emissions and reducing stress on traffic infrastructure. They are also a good way to see parts of a city you might not have otherwise explored (not to mention a good way of getting exercise while on the road). So use pedal power when you can!
Shop and Consume With Local Entrepreneurs
by Suzanne Van Der Veeken of Destination Xploration
Give back to the places you visit. By spending with the local entrepreneur the money goes to their family, to the destination, and not to a second holiday home of Mr. Big Chain Supermarket. This helps to maintain identity of the location. Little or no fuel is burned to get a meal to you, less packaging is used, and foods are more fresh and healthy. By making the supply chain smaller, more money goes back to where the product comes from. Local economies are stimulated and less dependent on distant buyers.
Last but not least, it’s an experience! Engage the senses, experience the local scene, and you’ll come home with a story!
Be a Smarter Travelling Shopper
by Bret Love of Green Global Travel
Buying souvenirs when you travel is a good thing, especially when you buy directly from local artists and ensure that the money you spend benefits the community – but there are nefarious folks all over the world who are knowingly selling black market products made from endangered species or ancient artifacts. It’s important to ask questions before you buy (such as “What is this made of?”) and familiarize yourself with WWF’s Buyer Beware Guide.
By spending your money wisely, you can choose to support vendors who help conserve nature and culture rather than exploit them.
Use Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags
by Ivana Grešlíková of Nomad Is Beautiful
We collect way too many non-degradable plastic shopping bags in our households and backpacks so we can re-use them as garbage bags. In fact, there are 100 billion of those bags used annually in the U.S., and 90 billion in the EU (around 190 bags per person). Tons of them end up in the open ocean where they become a big danger for marine fauna (floating bags resemble a jellyfish and can be eaten by marine mammals). To help to reduce these numbers, use different types of biodegradable bags for garbage, and get a cotton bag for your groceries at home or abroad.