How To Be A More Responsible & Eco-Friendly Traveler 

Traveling is an incredible experience that can open our eyes to parts of the world we didn’t know existed. With it also comes a great responsibility to make sure that we’re leaving the environment as we found it and not taking away any of the local cultures livelihoods. Becoming a responsible traveler and aiding in protecting the environment ensures that we, and generations to come, will have access to the beauty of nature. Here’s a guide on how to be a more responsible and eco-friendly traveler.

Plan Sustainably

The first step in being a responsible traveler is to plan your trip responsibly and make sure your journey is sustainable and ethical. By considering the impact of your travel before you arrive and making thoughtful decisions, you can reduce damage to the environment through pollution, over-tourism and exploitation.

  • Research your destination: Before visiting an area, try to gain a better understanding of the environment and culture of your destination. Look into the local laws, customs, and expectations so you can ensure that you’re being respectful of the area and its people.

  • Choose eco-friendly packaging and transportation: Try to use biodegradable and sustainable packaging such as cardboard boxes, reusable cloth bags, or recycled paper bags for all of your travel items. When selecting your mode of transportation, opt for eco-friendly options like carsharing, public transport and bike hire.

  • Choose local and sustainable accommodation: For accommodation, pick places that are as local and sustainable as possible. Consider staying in eco-accommodations that are powered solely by renewable sources, or look for local guesthouses, bed & breakfasts or homestays situated in the region you’re visiting.

Follow Sustainable Practices

Once you reach your destination, there are many things you can do to ensure that you’re protecting the environment while you enjoy your vacation.

  • Travel light: It’s not only important to travel light, but also to make sure you’re using as little plastic as possible. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee mug with you so you can limit unnecessary packaging used on single-use items.

  • Leave no trace: If you’re participating in any activities that involve trekking or camping, make sure to leave no trace of your stay. Follow the “leave no trace” principles carefully and don’t leave any garbage or litter.

  • Practice water conservation: Always conserve water when traveling, whether you’re in a hotel or camping outdoors. Be mindful of the amount of water you use and make sure to turn off the tap when it’s not in use. Your daily habits can have a big impact on the environment.

  • Don’t buy products made of endangered animal ingredients: Many souvenirs may contain ingredients that are illegal or endanger animal species. Only buy animal products if they were produced in a way that is legal and sustainable.

  • Be mindful of your steps: Be aware of your footholds when visiting places of cultural or religious significance, and be respectful when engaging with locals.

Support Responsible Companies

Whenever possible, try to support local businesses during your travels that are mindful of their environmental and social impact. By supporting such companies, we support those who promote sustainable activities and make sure their actions benefit local communities.

  • Learn about the Clean Travel Movement: Join the Clean Travel Movement, a global initiative to combat climate change, pollution and inequality. The movement advocates for low-carbon transport, sustainable travel experiences and social responsibility.

  • Shop locally and Eat locally: Shop and eat locally as much as you can, supporting local farmers and artisans while giving back to the community. Try to source food and goods that are organic, bio-diverse and sustainably produced.

  • Don’t support animal tourism: Avoid any tourists attractions that profit from the exploitation of animals. Many animals are subjected to horrible conditions and are bullied and mistreated due to tourism.

  • Research the companies you support: Learn where the money you spend goes by researching the companies you’re supporting. Make sure they’re supporting environmental and social initiatives, and that their work is ethical.

It’s never too late to start acting in responsible and sustainable ways when it comes to travel. With these practices and tips in mind, you can be sure to be an eco-friendly and responsible traveler next time you plan a vacation!