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10 Ways To Become A More Sustainable And Conscious Traveler

We all love to travel and get to know different places, but one thing that we also love and should be careful about is our environment. We should be aware of the impact of tourism on the ecosystems and on the local communities. Therefore, there are a lot of simple things that we can do to lessen our affect. Here are some tips to become a more sustainable and conscious traveler:

1. Go in off season

When planning your trip, it’s always a good choice to go in off-season, if you have that option. This way you’ll support the local community and make less impact on the environment around you, also it’s easier for you to enjoy your trip with less people at the same place as you.

2. Look for the best travel agency

Image Source: Projects Abroad

One of the first things we usually think about when traveling is which tour company we’ll choose go with. When doing your research, try to look for companies that do eco-travel or sustainable programs. There are a lot of these companies that participate in environmental conservation, wildlife protection programs and support the local culture.  As well as volunteer companies that do amazing programs so you can work helping the local community.

3. Reduce your carbon emissions with transport

Taking flights and going places with you particular car produce a lot of carbon emissions, which can be reduced if you have the option to use trains and public transport, if you can’t go by foot, go for the minimum carbon footprint you can! You might also consider looking for people willing to share a ride with you. But be safe, hitchhiking is a good option as long as you’re taking care of yourself!

4. Research for more conscious accommodation

Image Source: City Express

Another thing we first start thinking about is our accommodation. When deciding about hotels, Air BnB’s, homestays or dorm rooms in hostels, always try to choose the ones where you can benefit local families. While helping them, you can learn more about the culture you’re surrounded by. Another option is working for accommodation, this way you save a lot of money! Many cities now also have green accommodation, with lots of eco-hotels popping up around the world you can look for the one that is better for you while helping the nature.

5. Pack less

When packing, be sure you’re taking only the necessary, you don’t need to take your entire closet with you. The less baggage weight you’re carrying will be less pressure on the vehicle you’re traveling on, and it will produce less fuel emissions. And also, it will be a lot easier for you to carry your things around!

6. Keep your waste minimum

While traveling, try to reduce the amount of waste you create. You definitely don’t need all that plastic with you! Don’t buy disposable water bottle, you can always carry your reusable bottle and fill it anywhere. Also, take reusable bags and cups with you. Depending on your accommodation, you’ll get many free shampoos and soaps, so remember: you don’t need to rack up all the tiny toiletries that you get, you can always bring your own!

7. Be conscious about your food

If you really want to get more cultural knowledge about the place you’re at, you can learn by exploring markets around you and buying fresh foods. Also, if you make your own food, it will save you a lot of money and by eating fresh it will make positive impact on your health and on the environment! And mostly, you can avoid going to fast foods and try to eat at local restaurants.

8. Shop local

Image Source: Ribeirão Turismo​

Buy locally made products and use local services, it will help the local businesses and manufacturers. It allows you to give back to communities and honors the cultural heritage. You can also use local tour guides. These will be better ways to spend your money abroad.

9. Respect nature

Many travel destinations give the tourists the option to have nature experiences with animals, which you should always avoid. Don’t support animal captivities, like rides, or swimming with dolphins and going to zoo’s. When going to national parks, stay on the paths and trails that are marked and don’t take anything from nature with you! Always think about not leaving any impact on the place you’re at.

10. Respect the culture you’re in

Always do a good research on the place you’re going to, so you can be sure you’re not offending anyone. You can look if there are any specific cultural considerations you should be aware of. For that, you can ask people who have already visited for pointer. Another thing you can do is try to learn some local language, at least the minimum necessary for you to be kind with the locals!

If we add a few changes to the way we travel, we can reduce our impact on the environment and protect our nature while still enjoying the beautiful places our planet has to offer. Don’t forget that everything you learn while traveling can help somebody else that is going through the same things! Always share your stories with others so we can raise more awareness about being more sustainable and conscious about our environment!  

Giovanna Favero

Casper Libero '21

Journalism student from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Constantly finding herself, telling stories and fighting for a better and equal world.
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