22 Dec 2016

A Guide to Sustainable Travel

A Guide to Sustainable Travel

As travelers, we can all contribute more to the world by making responsible holiday choices. That starts with being conscious of how you travel. More often than not, we see travel as a getaway from our daily lives and neglect the impact we bring to the place. Here's how we can make a change to our travel habits and still enjoy a vacation that contributes to greater good. 

Stay Green
With more hotels going green these days, it's easy to support eco-friendly initiatives when you travel. We can multiply this effort by doing our bit- take showers instead of long baths, re-use the towels and remove the room key to disable the lights and air-conditioning when you are stepping out of the hotel. Natural resources are finite and we should only consume what we need. Reduce, reuse and recycle should be our living mantra even when on the road. 

For the extroverted, homestays and camping make good green options too. 

Green Tours
Reduce your carbon footprint where possible. Rather than renting cars, going on foot or on bike gives you an upclose experience and also a good workout! Find a local operator who can arrange for such specialty tours and avoid taking part in any unethical tours that exploit the nature or wildlife. By doing so, you help to further protect the environment and the well-being of the local people. 

If you have to travel by car due to the distance, rent a hybrid or an electric vehicle which uses less fuel and produces less carbon emissions. 

Eat & Shop Local
Visit a farmers market or a Sunday bazaar. This is one of the best ways to observe local daily life. By buying their fresh produce and locally-made products, you are proactively supporting their livelihood and investing in their future. When it comes to eating and shopping at their local stores, be just as adventurous and giving. 

Remember to bring along your own reusable bag and say no to plastic bags to minimise environmental impact. 

Learn from Locals
Take time to understand the culture so you can bring back the knowledge and share it with others. Check out classes where you can spend a few hours or a few days learning about cooking, wine making, coffee roasting, music, art, language, just to name a few. 

Some of these classes are run by indigenous artisans or social enterprises to raise funds. So while you are picking up a skill or two, you are also improving the lives of others and supporting good causes. 

The next time you are planning a trip, hold these good travelling values which will make for a more rewarding and meaningful experience.