Responsible traveling for beginners: 5 easy tips to be more sustainable when traveling

Hello readers! I hope you are all excited to learn more about sustainable travel as we are. That’s right! This is a guest post by Hanna from the travel advice blog Green Pearls®. If you do not know them, I highly recommend you check them out. They are an information platform for sustainable tourism/for sustainable hotels and destinations. Their blog is Green Travel Blog (www.green-travel-blog.com) where you can find all kinds of articles about sustainable travelling, green lifestyle, architecture, but also eco thoughts on culinary etc. You need to see their IG account @greenpearls for the most beautiful travel pictures. Without further ado, here are Hanna’s 5 easy tips to be more sustainable when travelling.

There are several words for the concept of sustainable travelling: responsible tourism, sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, conscious tourism, etc. While each of them might put a slightly different focus, all of them share the approach not to harm or negatively influence the environment or the locals and their culture in any way. So, in order for you to get a better feeling of the concept and to see how easy it can be to travel more sustainable, we provide 5 easy tips to start with.

1. Getting there

You might have heard about this from time to time (;-)) but flying is, in fact, bad for the environment and only one long-distance flight can damage your personal footprint that you’ve carefully reduced in daily life. Especially for closer destinations, it’s often possible to take the train instead, the same applies for transportation inside the country you’re visiting. If a flight is not avoidable, try to fly without intermediate stops and compensate the emissions with climate protection projects. Some kind of “general rule” when it comes to flying: the longer the flight is, the longer the stay should be.   

No trees have been felled during the building of The Tongsai Bay on Koh Samui. Today there’s a huge variety of eco-friendly initiatives at the resort.

2. Choose an eco-friendly accommodation

Apparently, this is still hard for many people and lots of prejudices can be found; but there are many truly sustainable hotels and vacation rentals worldwide and they usually are not more expensive than the “not-eco” ones. Also, a great idea is to spend some days and nights in a homestay: like this, the locals benefit from tourism and you will get a much more authentic insight into the country and its culture. The accommodation makes up a big part of your trip, and with staying at a sustainable one, you can support the environment as well as the local community and often also projects for the protection of the eco-system and animals. Speaking about that: some hotels offer participation in their programs which is a great way to contribute as well. 

3. Stop the waste

Actually, this is about daily life just as much as about travelling: try to get rid of all those plastic products and bring your own bag, water bottle, etc. Especially when it comes to drinking, it’s sometimes hard to get rid of the plastic bottles when you should not drink the tap water in your destination. However, there are filter bottles which last for a long time and are the perfect travel buddy to reduce plastic. 

4. Eating

If you choose to stay in a vacation rental, you can try to buy organic, local and unprocessed food; search for zero waste and organic cafés and restaurants etc. when eating out. Actually, the same applies for eco-friendly hotels, but they will take care of that for you. Using organic products is important for agriculture, the soil and the biodiversity, eating organic food is of high importance. A seasonal and local diet also is important to make sure your food has not travelled all around the world and arrived with a super high carbon footprint. 

5. Wildlife tourism

An unimaginable number of wild animals are being caught and held captive just for the entertainment of tourists and their selfie-sticks – from tigers to elephants, bears and sloths, just to name a few. However, the animals are often beaten, kept in too small cages or simply cannot survive in captivity – nor do they really want to perform tricks (even though the employees of such shows will tell you otherwise). Make sure to avoid all of these kinds of activities and inform yourself very well before visiting one, as often even the bad ones are called “sanctuaries”. In a nutshell, the most important tip is: inform yourself, stay interested, ask whenever you’re not sure and listen to your gut feeling.

You would like to know more about sustainable and eco-friendly travel, here is Green Pearls website and their Instagram account. As usual, if you like this content please let us know by liking and sharing this post. Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when content is uploaded.