When we travel to different places, there is much to gain from the experience. Travel not only expands our minds and provides a unique perspective to many of our beliefs, but it also promotes an understanding of cultures unknown to us. However, our travel has an environmental impact on the earth and widens our carbon footprint too. Since the theme for World Tourism Day this year is sustainable travel, here’s how you can play your part in reducing the environmental impact of travel:
Take the train wherever possible
By opting for trains over a quick flight, you can significantly contribute towards the environment since CO2 emissions are lowered considerably. Take the train to destinations that allow connectivity and help to save the environment from harmful emissions. You could travel to fewer destinations and spend more time at each one, to give you a deeper sense of the place you are at.
Pack Light, Travel easy
While travelling by air, road or rail, it is advisable to pack light, as a heavier aircraft/train/automobile, needs more fuel, and in turn, emits more greenhouse gases. Pack only what you think you will need, and the environment will thank you for your prudence
Say No to Plastic
Plastic bottles contribute in a major way to waste generation, and when we travel, water is one commodity that is frequently needed and replaced. Fill your water container with filtered water generally available at the hotels you stay and save the world from being turned into a landfill. Several railway stations and airports have been lately equipped with bottle-recycling kiosks that provide discount coupons etc. in exchange for plastic bottles
Treat your hotel as your home
Act as if your hotel is your home and you will amazed at the things you could do. Turn off lights, fans and air-conditioners when you leave the room, turn-off the TV if no one’s watching and generally make prudent use of water during showers or at the toilet. If possible, select a LEED-certified hotel (It is often proudly displayed).
Support local economy
To have a positive and a more direct impact, choose to buy the local produce as a part of your contribution to the economy. Local souvenirs are often handmade, support the cultural heritage and haven’t been part of an environment-polluting industry in another part of the world
Wildlife Products? No way
The world has woken up to the cruelty inflicted on wild animals for fur coats, hats and trinkets of various kinds, and as world travellers we can do our bit by saying no to such products. As soon as the demand for these products reduces, supplies will take a hit, thus keeping the animals safe from being hunted.
Get fit while travelling locally
Grab a bicycle where ever possible, at least for shorter distances, and give the polluting auto-rickshaws, taxis and buses a much-needed break. Walk when possible and give that heart of yours a chance to pump in the fresh, invigorating air the location offers. Now isn’t that a novel way of combining travel with fitness!
Travellers are always looking out for ways to do more as responsible citizens and contribute wholesomely to a cleaner environment. While this may not be possible always, every little bit of effort, in this direction will surely add to the cause.