There’s no doubt that travel has a positive effect on the environment, from growing cultural awareness to assisting in wildlife conservation. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel industry is one of the strongest in the world, employing 10% of the global workforce, or 313 million people.
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However, there are drawbacks, such as travelers putting a burden on cities, a shortage of tourist dollars benefiting local towns, and major airlines’ use of fossil fuels.
With everyone jumping on the sustainability trend, many people are torn between living sustainably or traveling. Fortunately, one can do both!
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There are plenty of easy ways to lessen the environmental footprint without completely overhauling your journey, thanks to travel expert advice.
Avoid Air Travel (if possible)
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Trains, planes, and cars are also modes of transportation. Which one is the most suitable? Since it has such a negative impact on the climate, air transport is the natural enemy of sustainable travel.
The Swedes have also invented a new term, ‘flygskam,’ or ‘flight shame,’ to describe the sense of environmental guilt that many people experience when they fly.
The French also banned domestic flights that are less than 4 hours long.
Unfortunately, there are moments when a flight is unavoidable. You will not ride the slow boat to China if you live in New York and need to visit Shanghai. As a result, flying less is the safest option.
Avoid Using Resources Excessively
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Long, steamy showers are a great way to unwind after a long day of traveling. Still, the massive amount of energy and water consumed by tourists has a much greater detrimental effect on residents than most tourists know. According to Nicolas Douillet of the United Nations Development Programme in Europe and Central Asia, “two billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water.”
When it comes to water and consumption, travelers consume more from their host destinations and hotels. A village of 700 people consumes 500 liters of water per month on average, compared to 1,800 liters a night for a luxurious hotel guest. Inquire about your hotel’s water-saving efforts and what you can do to help.
Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations
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Because of shifting market preferences, eco-conscious lodging has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years. Now that the hotel industry understands that what is good for the environment is also suitable for business, hotels are beginning to earn significant eco-credentials.
The Brando in Tahiti, the Olakira Camp in the Serengeti, Vienna’s Hotel Stadthalle, and Kong Arthur in Copenhagen, all part of Arthur Hotels, the world’s first carbon-neutral hotel chain, all offer CO2-neutral stays. You can also visit Zero Island, a tourist-friendly Swedish island that achieved carbon neutrality in a year.
Use Local Products
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According to the World Tourism Organization, just $5 of every $100 spent on a holiday supports the destination, indicating a huge potential for travel to support local economies. Intrepid Travel, a company that offers over 1,000 trips led by 1,000 elected officials, aims to ensure that tourist dollars go directly to cities rather than large corporations.
Other businesses, such as REI Adventures’ low-impact hiking and DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.’s biking itineraries, make an attempt to include environmentally friendly events. “A bike carries you far into the countryside, enters isolated towns, and flies based on local people,” says CEO Andy Levine. But, most of all, riding a bike has no adverse effects on the environment.”
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