Many people think of sustainable travel as leaving the least environmental footprint as they travel. However, this subject encompasses more than just that. It is all about striking a balance in all aspects of life, including environmental health, human well-being, and economic growth. The goal usually is to heighten the benefits of tourism to the ecosystem, communities, cultures, and the planet at large. Sustainable traveling and tourism have a positive impact today and in the future.
It is the only way to ensure that future generations enjoy today’s same resources. However, for this to become a reality, a few things have to happen right. Below are some of the easiest ways one can contribute towards sustainable traveling regardless of where they are. Keep reading to know what contributions you can make towards this.
Explore New Areas
Unfortunately, many people tend to over visit specific areas because of the expected thrill. This may result from overmarketing as businesses and governments attempt to attract more tourists for economic gain. Unfortunately, this often leads to excess or overexploitation of the natural resources in an unsustainable manner. As you consider moving from US to Canada. Make sure to check out the less visited sites and prioritize those. Popular destinations include beaches, mountains, and areas with unique physical or artificial features. The more people throng such places, the higher the rate of pollution and dep[letion of resources.
This translates to less sustainability as opposed to the expected goal. Before traveling to a new destination, conduct research and use different travel websites to find hidden gems you can visit. Target places that have been under-exploited because of their location or lack of publicity. This way, you will be contributing to the local economy and help decongest the popular sites that many like to visit.
Many people like to maximize their vacation time. This means that they schedule numerous locations simultaneously when on such trips. Unfortunately, this means that they have to visit as many places in such a short time. Consequently, they hardly get to enjoy or get the most of the places they visit since they don’t stay long enough to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the place.
It is better to slow down and visit a place at a time to truly appreciate its beauty. Over time, this space will be exciting, and the community around can also benefit from your visit. This is a subtle way of ensuring you promote sustainability.
What’s more, you will interact and build meaningful relationships with the locals if you take your time to explore the surrounding area. It is impossible to do this if you are always in a rush and seem to be rushing to other places. Sustainable traveling also involves connecting with the environment.
Adopt Efficient Transport Modes
One of the best and easiest ways to directly impact sustainability is to adopt appropriate transportation. Traveling means moving from one place to another. Your transportation mode should be efficient if you are keen on sustainability. Fast and efficient travel means less carbon emission, which positively impacts the environment. Therefore, it would be best to consider using transport modes with the most negligible negative impact on the environment.
For example, travel by rail or use coaches in case you can avoid cars and planes. When you arrive at your destination, consider using buses and cycling to minimize pollution. Hybrid vehicles are also a good alternative for those who need to move around in cars. The bottom line is always going for an option that causes the least pollution. While there may be no perfect solution to fit all situations, there are several alternatives you can always check out. Find one that best suits the environment or situation you are in at the time.
Support Local Business
As already mentioned, sustainable travel also impacts the economy. Once you decide to travel to a specific destination, spend some money and boost local businesses. Choose to eat local foods and buy products from local shops and markets. This way, you encourage locals and empower them economically. Such a contribution ensures that these locals stay in business and that they can grow and expand their trade. Support local entrepreneurs as much as you can, as this shows your appreciation for their work.
Respect Cultures and Traditions
Travelling will keep your mind open and encourage you to embrace different cultures across the globe. Once you appreciate that not all people are the same, you will likely be a better person. It will teach you to be accomodating and appreciate the things different communities do for a living or cultural practices. Once you witness such things, you will not be the same again.
Make sure to acknowledge such differences and appreciate them even when you disagree. Sustainable traveling includes respecting the different cultures you get to witness and not trying to change what you find or brush it off. You will also be embraced by how much you appreciate these differences.
Use Recyclable Material
One of the most significant demerits of traveling is pollution, especially littering. Many visitors tend to dispose of plastic and other recyclable material without caring about how these wastes will impact the environment. Try your best not to use single-use plastics and instead go for the recyclable ones that can be used severally before finally disposing of them. The tourism sector struggles with plastics and polythene bags that are not correctly disposed of.
With many countries lacking adequate waste management programs, the menace of plastics and other non-degradable waste is the biggest challenge even today. Tourists and travelers are advised to develop the habit of reusing materials or using reusable ones such as water bottles. Bring your water in a reusable bottle instead of buying disposable water bottles wherever you go hiking or visit a nature trail for a walk. Many of these parks will not allow you to enter without these disposable bottles because they are unsure how responsible you are. Littering often leads to harm, affecting the wild animals when consumed.
Sustainable travel may not be what you thought it to be before. However, it is one of the most important ways to support the environment and ensure a balance that makes everything work out without straining resources. Investing in sustainable travel is not easy but worth it since the gains spread beyond today. There are different ways that one can embrace a sustainable vacation. Make sure to stick to suggestions that promote the local economy, prevent environmental degradation, and social growth.
Author Bio: This post was written by Emma Wilson, a content specialist with a focus on health and wellness.