Wow! The last few weeks went by in a bit of a blur! First off, I need to apologize for not doing any blog posts or having a presence on social media lately. It just got away from me! However, I just finished my first class of grad school, Sustainable Tourism, with a 96% and a ton of new information.
While the intent of this post is not to inundate you with detailed information on environmental impacts, carbon footprint, and things along those lines, I do want to share some basic information on making your travels more sustainable.
Here Are My 5 Easy Tips For More Sustainable Travels
Book local – This includes hotels, activities, and tours. Do you know that by booking with a local company, you’re helping strengthen the local economy? When booking with a big company, more money goes to the corporation’s pockets than to the host community. A great example of this is cruise ship excursions… Sure you’re guaranteed to be able to participate in your favorite advertised activity, but the cruise ship gets more kickback from your booking with the company they partner with, and other local providers miss out on their opportunity to provide you a great experience.
Shop local – Similar to booking local, this has the same outcome. Avoid the franchise restaurants and eat at local restaurants. Buy souvenirs or items from local vendors and artisans. Again you’ll help boost the local economy and improve the lives of many workers, like this local fisherman.
Be aware of your exotic purchase – While certain items may look tempting, it’s best not to purchase those which maybe damaging or even illegal. For example items made out of ivory, furs, feathers or rare plants. For more information on the 5,000 protected animal species and 28,000 protected plant species, check out CITES’ website.
Keep it green, keep it clean – It is crucial to respect the environment where you are visiting. This ranges from recycling, picking up litter, not taking things from the natural environment, and trying to leave things better than you found it. This also includes being mindful of interaction with wildlife and the habitat you’re impacting for them.
Switch up the sunscreen – Do you know that regular sunscreen is full of chemicals that are harmful to both you and the environment? By switching to biodegradable sunscreen not only will you lessen pollution of your body and any given waterway you might be swimming in, but you will also help minimize harm to the oceans’ delicate coral reef systems.
Again, these are just a few basic things you can do you for a more sustainable trip. If you would like to learn more about sustainable travel, please comment below with what things you might be interested in so I can start gauging the audience and interest as I continue to study Sustainable Tourism. I’m hoping to develop a whole series on this topic, but would like to know what the interest is from my readers.