Sustainable travel is the new buzzword, but it’s not always clearly defined! The three pillars of sustainable tourism are:
- Employing environmentally friendly practices (reduce, reuse, recycle);
- Protecting cultural and natural heritage (restoring historic buildings or saving endangered species);
- Providing tangible social and economic benefits for local communities (ranging from upholding the rights of indigenous peoples to supporting fair wages for employees).
However, when it comes to putting it into action, it might not be that simple. So, here are 6 steps to more sustainable travel for you to employ on your next trip!
1. Say NO to plastic
Did you know there is a swirling mass of human trash floating across the ocean? And it is mainly composed of throw-away plastic bottles and bags that will take hundreds of years, if ever, to biodegrade. Do you really want your holiday memories to last that long? Be part of the solution by opting for reusable shopping bags and locally purified water in recyclable drink bottles. Reducing our dependency on plastic is one of the most import steps towards sustainable travel and a healthier planet!
2. Pack Light
Only take the things you really need. This will not only make it easier to get around but also have less impact on the carbon emissions. Because the more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces!
3. Share the load
Taking public transport is one of the best things you can do for the environment when travelling. It means you are not creating any additional carbon emissions. Plus, it is an excellent opportunity to interact with local people.
4. Drink, eat and buy local
Locally made crafts and souvenirs are not always cheaper! Unfortunately many markets in Latin America are now flooded with cheap Chinese imports so it is even more important to buy carefully. Buying locally made products supports authentic cultural heritage and provides jobs for the artists who make them.
5. The fewer, the better
Smaller groups tend to have less of an impact, whether it’s on the environment or the local culture. That’s why our Small Group Tours have a maximum group size of 16 travellers.
6. Give, the right way
We know your intentions are good when you bring used clothing, books, and pencils to hand out to people in the street in developing countries. However, this type of giving sometimes has unintended consequences. In fact, it can sow community conflict and encourage a culture of dependency. So it is usually better to give to a reputable local organization that works on social welfare programs or NGOs that partner with them.
If you would like to know more about sustainable travel, contact us. We have a range of social and environmental programs that can be incorporated into your itinerary!