Today we will delve into all the details around travel sustainably, but do you really know what it is about? Well, sustainable tourism is a way of travelling that seeks to balance the pleasure of discovering new places with the responsibility of caring for our environment and local communities. It is about enjoying our holidays without leaving a negative footprint on the environment and without harming the local people.
Now, why is sustainable tourism important? Here’s the catch: our planet and its resources are limited, and if we don’t take steps to preserve them, we could lose these wonderful places. Imagine a world without crystalline beaches, without exuberant forests, or without the rich cultural diversity that these destinations give us. It’s time to become aware! Here, we explain how to make your trip sustainable.
Tips for sustainable travel
- Research your destination: Before leaving, spend time learning about the culture, traditions, and environmental challenges of the region you will be visiting. This will help you better understand how you can contribute positively during your stay.
- Choose local accommodations and companies committed to sustainability: look for places that implement practices that respect the environment, such as the use of renewable energy, responsible water management and waste reduction. Support local businesses, as this directly contributes to the economy of the community that hosts you.
- Opt for greener transport alternatives: Whenever possible, choose public transport, because it reduces carbon emissions and allows for more interaction with the locals. If you are in a walkable city, enjoy long walks to discover its hidden charms. And don’t forget to rent a bike to explore at your own pace!
- Adopt sustainable practices during your trip: take a reusable water bottle with you to avoid consuming single-use plastics. Use cloth bags for your purchases and say “no” to plastic straws and cutlery. Respect the local flora and fauna, avoiding activities that may harm the ecosystem, such as feeding wild animals or collecting plants and corals.
- Enjoy local gastronomy: support producers and restaurants that promote sustainable agriculture. Try the typical dishes made with local and fresh ingredients. Not only will you enjoy a unique culinary experience, but you will also be boosting the local economy and promoting more environmentally friendly agricultural practices.
Start polluted with less CO2 with your transports
Fortunately, today many transport companies have joined the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions and promote more sustainable options. Let’s look at how you can choose the right transport to minimise your carbon footprint.
Firstly, research and compare available options. Many transport companies, whether airlines, bus companies or trains, are committed to measuring and reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Some even provide detailed information about the amount of CO2 emitted per journey. Take advantage of this information to make informed decisions.
If you’re considering a flight, choose airlines that are known for their sustainable practices. Many of them are implementing more fuel-efficient technologies and making investments in carbon offset projects. Be sure to review their environmental policies and look for recognised certifications that back their commitment to sustainability.
If your destination is within a reasonable distance, consider using ground transport. Buses and trains typically have a smaller carbon footprint compared to planes. Moreover, more and more companies are using cleaner fuels and renewable energies to reduce their environmental impact.
Another option is to share the journey with others who have similar destinations. This can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, thus reducing CO2 emissions. Online apps and platforms make it easy to find travel companions with whom you can share costs and experiences.
Choose a verified sustainable accommodation
Across the breadth and width of the world, you can find a wide variety of sustainable accommodation, each with its own particular charm and a common commitment to sustainability. You can find them on our website. You’ll see that all our ecolodges are located in unique and sparsely populated geographical areas, far from urban centres. This is one way to assure you that you have found a 100% ecolodge. The most characteristic areas of these are:
Eco lodges in the rainforest:
Located in places like the Amazon, the Congo, or Costa Rica. These accommodations will give you the opportunity to wake up surrounded by exotic birds and wildlife. Immerse yourself in fascinating jungle walks and enjoy the tranquillity of untouched natural surroundings.
Eco lodges in the mountains:
From the Swiss Alps to the peaks of the Himalayas, these accommodations will offer you breathtaking panoramic views. Access trails for hiking and outdoor activities in the midst of nature.
Eco lodges on paradise islands:
If you dream of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, the ecolodges on paradise islands will take you to places like the Maldives, Seychelles, or Bora Bora. These sustainable accommodations will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the ocean while relaxing in eco-friendly cabins. You’ll be able to participate in marine conservation activities.
Eco lodges in remote deserts:
From the Sahara Desert to the Atacama Desert. These accommodations will give you the opportunity to contemplate stunning sunsets, explore dunes, and enjoy the tranquillity of the desert under a starry sky.
Taste Sustainable Food and Drink
Each country has its own gastronomy and culinary traditions. Discovering sustainable options in each destination can be an exciting and delicious experience. Here are some ways to choose food and drink options that are respectful of the environment and the local community:
- Research local food: Before you travel, learn about the traditional food and typical ingredients of the country you are going to visit. Opt for restaurants and food stalls that focus on using local and seasonal ingredients.
- Look for sustainability certifications: When choosing restaurants, look for recognised sustainability certifications, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label for sustainable seafood. Also, the Rainforest Alliance label for sustainable agricultural products. These certifications ensure that the food and drinks you consume have been produced responsibly.
- Support local markets and area farmers: Look for fresh, locally sourced products. Buying directly from local farmers and producers guarantees fresher food and also supports the local economy and promotes sustainable agricultural practices.
- Avoid food waste: In many countries, especially in the West, food waste is a significant problem. Try to order portions suitable for your appetite or share dishes with your travel companions. If you have leftover food, consider taking it with you in a reusable container to enjoy later.
Engage in Sustainable Activities
As we travel, it’s important to choose activities that are respectful of the environment and the local community. Here are some tips for selecting sustainable activities that will allow you to fully enjoy while taking care of the planet.
- Research local options: Before your trip, research the sustainable activities available at the destination. Look for companies or providers that promote environmentally friendly practices.
- Opt for responsible tourism: Choose activities that focus on the conservation and preservation of natural and cultural resources. For instance, you can participate in guided tours where they will teach you about the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage of the area, without disturbing the natural environment.
- Support local communities: You may choose to participate in community volunteer projects, visit local cooperatives or buy local handicrafts and products as a way to support the area’s economy.
- Choose outdoor activities: From hiking and cycling to kayaking and snorkelling, there’s a wide range of options that will let you enjoy nature while minimizing your environmental impact.
Respect for Local Culture
When you travel, immersing yourself in the local culture is one of the most enriching experiences. To ensure that your interaction is respectful and authentic, it’s important to follow some guidelines.
Start by researching the customs, traditions, and social norms of the place you’ll be visiting. Show a genuine interest in learning about the history and local culture, and be open and receptive to new experiences.
Value and respect local practices, such as dress codes, forms of greeting, and behavioural norms. When interacting with local residents, show courtesy and gratitude, learn some basic phrases in the local language, and be respectful of their beliefs and traditions.
Remember, your aim is to immerse yourself in the local culture without intruding or imposing your own customs. By doing so, you’ll create meaningful connections with the people you’ll meet on your journey and enjoy an authentic and respectful experience.
Travelling sustainably is more than just a trend, it’s a way of exploring the world with mindfulness and respect. By following these tips, you can turn your adventures into sustainable and meaningful experiences.
In doing so, not only will you be protecting our beautiful planet, but you’ll also be supporting local communities and contributing to the preservation of cultural and natural diversity. Every small step counts, and together we can make a difference. So get going and enjoy a sustainable journey that will leave positive imprints on your life and the world you explore!