As the year-end approaches, many people use their accumulated leaves for well-deserved travel. Travel and sustainability are at odds with each other in most discussions, but that doesn't have to be the case. You don't have to halt all your travel plans; instead, you can reduce your environmental impact by following a few good steps.
Here are our five tips to reduce the footprint while traveling:
- Smart Timing and Destination Choice:
Opt for off-season travel to popular destinations. This not only saves you money and avoids crowds but helps those destinations to manage the tourists better. Consider exploring less-traveled destinations that offer unique experiences while supporting local communities. Nowadays, booking platforms let you choose sustainable hotels with ratings of their sustainability initiatives, as far as possible we strongly encourage you to consider choosing the more sustainable stay options.
- Travel documents:
Opt for e-tickets and boarding passes instead of paper tickets for convenience and reduced paper usage. Similarly, for hotel bookings, save your booking on your phone and say no to print-outs. A pro tip, do pre-check-in at locations where possible, and remember unless you really need them, avoid print-outs of bills, just ask for a copy on your email.
- Smart Packing:
When packing your bags, carry travel essentials which reduce waste and money. Our top 5 recommendations are Reusable Bottle, Bag, Cutlery, Cloth Napkins and your toiletries. When you have these items, you can avoid disposables at multiple points, thus generating no waste. A pro tip consider multi-purpose toiletries, such as coconut oil as a moisturizer.
- Water and Energy Conservation:
While enjoying an occasional bathtub experience is great, remember short showers and use of buckets are better for the environment. Remember to turn off the water while lathering up, shaving, and brushing your teeth. When leaving your hotel room, switch off lights, TVs, and electronics (note that not all hotel energy devices get switched off automatically once the keycard is removed). These small actions can collectively make a big difference. Keep the Energy Leader trail alive even when not at home.
- Before You Return:
Before checking out of your hotel, take any unfinished toiletries with you. Once partially used, most of these end up in the trash. Return brochures, maps, and tourist information materials to the hotel or another traveller if you won't use them. Choose, digital maps where possible to reduce paper usage.
Travel contributes to more than 10% of global greenhouse emissions. But tourism also contributes to around 10% of the Global GDP and supports a lot of economies. The need is to balance both by incorporating Good Steps into your travel plans which can help you enjoy vacations and reduce the impact on the environment at the same time. Let’s continue to travel and explore new horizons with a smaller footprint.