With major global climate changes occurring around the world, sustainable tourism has become a need of the hour. Today responsible tourism, ecotourism, and green travel are some key topics of discussion among the tourism industry and travellers. Eco-friendly travelling is necessary in our modern world and doesn’t require a lot of money. If we all take simple steps by being aware of our impact on the planet, ecologically as well as culturally, we could make a great change.
Here are some 10 simple ecotourism tips to help you travel more responsibly:
1) Pack Light & Smart
Carrying light luggage saves money on extra baggage fees while increasing fuel-efficiency of the plane. Pack items that can be hand-washed and hang-dried easily or can be reused multiple times. Carrying less will give you more flexibility as well. Check out some packing tips!
2) Preserve Water
Just because it’s not your house doesn’t mean you can waste water lavishly. Limiting water wastage is very important part of ecotourism. Take short showers, wash clothes by hand when possible, and turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth.
3) Preserve Power
Always make sure to turn off the power (lights, tv, aircon) when you leave your hotel room. Let housekeeping take every other day off in order to save on strong chemical cleaners or electricity for vacuums, etc.
Use chemical-free and reusable water bottles, take just one soap bar for both shower and sink (or bring your own soap to avoid all the wasteful packaging of hotel toiletries), and return maps and guidebooks once you have used them. Try not to litter and recycle as much as possible.
5) Reduce Footprint
Keep to the designated trails and make sure not to disturb the delicate flora of the region. Always carry a bag to for your trash as you travel and don’t leave anything behind. Pick up other people’s litter when you see it. It’s always a good rule to leave a place even better than how you found it. This will help you contribute in preserving the nature and wildlife.
6) Respect local traditions
Different cultures have different traditions, so embrace local art, culture, and food and enjoy unique cultural differences. Discover the local way of life, and understand and respect local traditions.
7) Return the favour
The place you are visiting might be in need of some basic life necessities that you take for granted. As travellers it’s important to give back to the communities who have opened their home to us and given us so much. Giving something back is a means of saying thank you and helping others grow. Maybe you can even teach locals about environmental problems as a volunteer.
8) Local & Smart Shopping
Always check product labels to see what they are made of. Everywhere people are mostly selling non-biodegradable products, but you can be selective and opt to buy sustainable products instead. Also, by supporting local businesses and eating local food, you are also cutting down on a lot of unnecessary materials and resources that international chain restaurants and businesses use for shipping and packaging their products.