February 22nd, 2019 🌴
You may live a sustainable lifestyle at home, but what about while on vacation? Here are some practical steps you can take to limit your impact on the environment.
Even if you strive for a sustainable lifestyle at home, it may be tempting to avoid thinking about the impact your travels could have on the environment. No one wants to feel guilty on vacation.
The effects traveling has on the environment are significant. A study published last year by the University of Sydney found that global tourism accounts for 8 percent of total carbon emissions, three times higher than previously thought.
However, being a sustainable, or green, traveler — one who considers the impact travel has on both the physical and the cultural environments visited — is not as inconvenient as it may seem. Here are some practical steps travelers can take to limit the potential harm that comes from exploring the world.
Hit the rails
How you choose to reach your destination may be the single most important decision when it comes to your trip’s environmental impact.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, aircraft produce 12 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases generated from transportation. Emissions from cars and other vehicles account for an even greater total percentage.
If where you’re heading is accessible by train, consider taking one.
Respect your hosts
“As soon as you remember that you are visiting people’s homes, and see them as hosts rather than homogeneous holiday providers, you become more responsible tourists,” Mr. Francis said.
Ms. Bray suggests following the mantra of “leave no trace” when visiting a destination, as the creation of solid waste — particularly plastic — has significant environmental impacts.
“Travelers can help reduce their waste production by carrying their own reusable bags, straws, utensils, and takeaway containers,” Ms. Bray said.
Tourists can also choose to spend their money with businesses that source locally.
Know your tour operator
Some tour companies are better than others regarding environmental conservation, protecting wildlife, supporting cultural heritage and employing local guides. In general, choose operators that are transparent about their support for the communities they visit.
Source: The New York Times