We can all witness the increasing number of news headlines regarding the detrimental effects mass tourism is having on the environment. The biggest factor of destruction of our planet is definitely travelling. Airplanes, hotels, food, etc., are all contributing to the destruction of nature in the most visited places on Earth, like summer resorts and big cities. Luckily, more and more travellers are becoming eco-aware so tourism workers are opting towards a greener approach to their profession. If you too want to join in on the trend, then here are 6 ways in which your travels can be made eco-friendly.
Most travelers do not give much about the weight of their luggage. However, even a few kilos less can make a difference. Planes, buses and rent-a-cars need less fuel when transporting lighter cargos. If you’re struggling with an over-packed rucksack, don’t think that engine doesn’t either. You will use more sweat but a jet engine will use more power, thus wasting fuel. There is a reason behind the carry-on luggage on airplanes, as well as in the cargo hold. By packing light, you are ensuring that each step, kilometer, and a mile of the way is cheaper in terms of transport cost.
Trying local delicacies
One of the best ways to decrease the overall weight of your suitcases and backpacks is to pack the minimum amount of food. Carry only the food and drinks you will need during the trip. Once you arrive at your destination, it is time to try out the local delicacies. What good is a trip to Hunter Valley in Australia or Tuscany in Italy if you’re going to bring your own wine? When in Rome, do as the Romans do! English fish and chips, Mexican tortilla, and Japanese sake are an integral part of the culture of the host country. By purchasing this and similar products across the globe, you are actively helping the small entrepreneur stay financially afloat.
Using public transportation
Although the terms “mass media” and “mass tourism” don’t convey the most positive meaning, mass transport is a friend of planet Earth. Once you arrive at your destination of choice, use the local public transportation network to get around. In some places, buses will take you anywhere you like to go, while in others a subway functions just fine. Rickshaws are more exotic forms of transport but they are just as efficient. The point is not to rent a car if this is not entirely necessary. Perhaps you will have to get your own ride if you’re on an island that lacks a proper public transport system.
The electric scooter hype
Speaking of transport, if there are enough paved surfaces in the destination you are travelling to, why not get an electric scooter. You can use the hype (and controversy) surrounding this popular form of transport. They are easy to fold so you can even pass them off as luggage but a much more environmentally friendly option is to rent them. In fact, there are many more forms of electricity-powered transport, as you can read on DrivrZone blog. Even you don’t fancy a scooter; know that there are always alternatives to fuel as the driving force.
Sightseeing on foot
Electric cars, scooter, and public transport are all nifty when it comes to getting from one part of the town to another. However, don’t expect to see much out of the windows if you’re on an underground train. The only proper way to sightsee any place is the old-fashioned style: on foot. Even if you want to visit one of world’s metropolises you can use public transport to get to the desired location and then proceed on foot. Once you’re done visiting (and photographing) a particular sight, just hop back on public transport to the next location. Sightseeing on foot is not only super eco-friendly but it helps you stay in shape, as you walk around 15 kilometers in a single day without ever feeling too tired.
The “only footprints” rule
One of the best rules that an eco-friendly traveller and a tourist can stick by is the “only footprints” rule. As you might have guessed, the only footprint you leave in the place you stay at should be … well, your actual footprint. For instance, a day spent on a beach in Thailand means that all the trash goes into the trash can or with you to the nearest dumpster. You might be changed as a person from the inside witnessing the stunning landscapes our planet has to offer but the place you have visited must remain unchanged by your visit. This zero-impact tourism is slowly becoming a standard rather than a mere fad.
As you have seen from our 6 examples, travelling in an eco-friendly fashion is more than viable. In fact, you don’t have to overspend in order to preserve nature. Quite the opposite, taking care of the ecosystem means that you actually get to save money in the long run.
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