The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. -Robert Swan
During my last visit to Canada, I got to learn a lot about nature, and what Canadians are doing to sustain it. It got me thinking…because it takes an eco-friendly country like this one to educate its tourists about being respectful towards the environment, and just responsible travellers altogether.
Anywhere and everywhere we go.
For this reason, besides being a green traveler myself, I decided to give back to the environment by helping spread the message. Hopefully this will help anyone not sure about how tourists contribute negatively to the Earth, by giving perspective, insight, and ideas to inspire sustainable travel.
1. REFUSE PLASTIC
The best you can do to start is refuse plastic altogether. Whether that is plastic water bottles, the hotel’s toiletries, or plastic shopping bags, to name a few. If demand decreases—in time—we’ll make its production pointless, making reusable materials the alternative, and with this, decreasing the amount of waste we leave behind.
2. PACK YOUR OWN REUSABLE ESSENTIALS
Before you go, think ahead and bring with you those things you’ll know you need like a thermos, and a reusable bag. Bringing your own makes the difference. I can only think back at how many water bottles I’ve purchased, and thrown away to really wish I would’ve brought my own. Besides, it’s cheaper in some countries to refill your own than to purchase a plastic bottle.
Same goes for the reusable bag. You can purchase one of those bags that fold into themselves. They take up almost no extra space, and can fit many things in whenever you need to use them.
Other things that can help, if you feel like you will need them, is packing your own reusable straw and cutlery. It really depends on where you’re traveling, and what your plans are, but if you know you’ll find yourself requiring this disposables, bringing your own is a great way to go green.
3. SUPPORT LOCAL
Wouldn’t you prefer to purchase your souvenirs, and try out locally owned restaurants to support small businesses, as opposed to leaving your bucks at the big corporations? This makes you a sustainable traveler because producing in small quantities is far less endangering to the environment than the mass production of big corporations. This can also help the local economy of where you’re visiting thrive. So far, there’s more positives obtained from supporting local. Don’t you think?
4. TRY TRANSPORT ALTERNATIVES OTHER THAN USING A CAR
I know this can be a hard one. There are some countries or cities that are not built to promote biking or walking, or some that don’t offer a reliable and safe public transportation alternative. My hometown for example; Monterrey in Mexico is a car city. If this is your case as well, try car pooling, and whenever you find yourself in an eco-friendly country, go nuts and walk, bike, and ride the public transport as much as you can.
5. RECYCLE AND RESPECT THE COUNTRY’S SYSTEM
If you see there are several bins to separate the trash, please respect and throw away the waste accordingly. Being respectful, wherever you are, is the best way to be an eco-friendly traveler. The idea is to visit a country and not damage it while you’re at it.
6. VISIT NATIONAL PARKS AND SUPPORT NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
National parks are created because of the outstanding natural value of a place. They are taken care of by a group of professionals, and occasionally offer guided tours for anyone interested in visiting. If you visit one of this places while you travel, you support their preservation with the ticket and/or tour fare.
For this reason, whenever you find yourself in a country with places like this, help out by visiting. Besides immersing yourself in the beautiful silence, and natural abundance, you’ll help maintain it.
Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time.
These are some of the easiest recommendations to follow.
If you have any you would like to add to the list, please share on the comments! I would love to add more, and help the world’s current habits change into something eco-friendlier.
If you’d like to help out by raising awareness, please share this post!
Just Pint it!