Most people don’t consider adventure travel as particularly green and eco-friendly, but it’s all in planning. If you’re an eco-conscious traveler who wants to experience the world without damaging it, there are a few things you need to consider. To get the best adventure and top adrenaline for no damage to the environment, here’s how to plan your travel:
Choose the right transport
If you can have an adrenaline-fueled adventure in your backyard, that’s definitely the most eco-friendly option, but that’s most likely not the case. But in order to still stay green, it’s important to choose the right transport to your destination. One of the best things that we did in recent years is start romanticizing trains. Countries with a well-developed rail system have a true green gem in their possession, and make sure to use that eco-friendly transport option to your advantage. Certain countries invest a lot in railway, making it a true attraction—Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, etc. When hitting Macchu Pichu, you’re almost obliged to take the train and see all the beauties of nature through a train window—it’s an adventure in itself.
Use local guides
Most adventure travel destinations and activities require the professional help of a guide but make sure to choose someone local. Why? Well, local guides not only know the area the best and can show you all the hidden gems and most beautiful sites, but they also usually produce the smallest carbon footprint. It’s safe to assume that local guides and instructors live nearby, know how to keep nature safe and undisturbed, and have a genuine connection with the area, wanting to protect it and leave it intact for the upcoming generations. Plus, this way, you’re supporting the local economy and putting food on the table of good people.
If you’re planning to take part in a certain adventurous activity during your trip, make sure to stay near so you can avoid polluting the area with daily commuting. For instance, adrenaline junkies opting for exciting rafting at Tara (one of the best rafting destinations in Europe, maybe even the world) can stay in the rafting center and minimize travel time. Their accommodation is totally authentic, picturesque, and cozy, and you can head on to the river whenever you want. An accommodation that has a variety of activities nearby is the best option for any eco-friendly traveler. Plus, avoiding big hotel chains helps the local economy, supports small businesses, and gives money to people who have nothing but good intentions in mind.
Opt for carbon-neutral activities
Things like parachuting, car racing, speed boating, etc., are very exciting and attractive to adventurous people, but they produce a lot of pollution that’s not necessary for a fun adventure. Instead of choosing motor sports and activities that might create pollution or waste resources, it’s best to opt for some other activities that are more carbon neutral. For instance, bike riding is a great activity that’s good both for you and nature. Hiking, if done responsibly, also has a minimal effect on the environment. If you love high-speed and high-adrenaline activities, rafting is a great adventure for your entire travel party that doesn’t harm the river.
Practice eco-friendly habits
No matter how eco-friendly we’re trying to be at home when traveling, we are often too busy focusing on our adventures, producing a lot of carbon and trash in the process. It’s necessary to stay true to your green habits when you’re at home, traveling to another country, or having an adventure of a lifetime. When choosing your accommodation, ask about recycling. It’s also necessary to use reusable bottles, cutlery, and plates, as well as turn to small producers for food. And don’t be embarrassed to ask about plastic-free options, refills, and other eco-friendly options because the more people ask for these commodities, hospitality people and producers will catch on and try to satisfy the customers.
This is one of the most important tips for any traveler—being respectful of the environment. No matter if you’re river rafting, canyoneering, hiking, climbing, or mountain biking, make sure to respect nature and follow laws and recommendations in the area. If you’re required to leave the area by 6 pm or if you’re prohibited from lighting a fire, don’t try to break the law. Your actions can have catastrophic consequences to the area, causing the death of animals, destruction of forests, and pollution of rivers. No stunt or adventure is worth that sacrifice.
It’s more than possible to be a green adventurer even if you love adrenaline, danger, and a high level of activity. Use our tips above to stay eco-friendly on your adventures and minimize your effect on the environment. If you keep these tips in your mind when planning and executing your adventure, you can ensure that nature stays unbothered by your travel ambitions and as beautiful and healthy as before you came.
Author: Diana Smith