With the earth’s precious resources diminishing more every day and the rapidly growing populace causing a high level of pollution and carbon dioxide, the future can seem grim. But, our society and economy are in a state of transition, which brings lots of hope for a sustainable future.
You may have witnessed this shift, or you might already be doing your part by purchasing green products, recycling, and making every effort to reduce the impact that you leave on the environment. While there are several products you can buy to help to do your part, if you really want to make a change, you need to aim much higher.
Surprisingly, there are ways in which you can make a huge impact on the preservation of the environment while you are traveling, or vacationing. In fact, the travel and tourism industry largely impacts the environment and our chances for a sustainable future.
So, before you plan your next vacation, consider traveling green. In case you need a few pointers, we have included everything you need to know about eco-travel and why you will love this travel trend.
What is Eco-Travel?
Eco-friendly travel is also referred to as “traveling green,” and is a term to describe your vacation or travel habits. When it comes to eco or green traveling, what makes this form of travel unique are your decisions, which you should make with the environment in mind.
So, when it comes to where you can go and what you can see, you should choose areas that are undisturbed by the harmful effects of the environment. In fact, the focus of green travel is to visit fragile, and intact natural areas, so, often, the locations you will see are more beautiful.
Further goals in eco-travel are to select environmentally friendly activities, travel ethically, and to be both ecologically and culturally aware and sensitive. As an example, an eco-traveler might avoid staying in hotel establishments that are known to drain environmental resources or abuse human rights.
The Benefits of Eco-Travel
It is always a little intimidating to try something new, so if you are considering sustainable travel, you might be wondering what the benefits are. Well, there is a reason why sustainable tourism is one of the hottest travel trends, actually, there are several reasons.So, if you are thinking of giving sustainable travel a try, but need a little boost, here a few of the many benefits:
Although you can easily pack a vacation full of adventure on your own, many people find that eco-travel is a journey unlike any other they have ever experienced. You will have the opportunity to go far beyond the standard hiking, fishing, or camping experiencing.
When you are traveling green, you can immerse yourself in different cultures, backpack in exotic locations, and experience intact species and ecosystems.
When you are going green, you should make every effort to take alternate traveling routes, which means using public transportation, trains, and anything that leaves minimal impact on the environment. If at all possible, you should avoid traveling by airplane, and if you do, try to take a short haul flight.
The good news about all this is you will save money in airline fees, baggage claims, taxes, in-flight meals, and all the other costs that add up when you fly.
Visiting Exotic and Undisturbed Locations
Unfortunately, the effects of humanity have changed the world, and there are very little areas that are left untouched. However, thanks to our National Parks Systems and the efforts of scientists and humanitarians, there are areas of the world that are left pristine.
When you choose the eco-travel route, you have the unique opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful areas in the world. This can include intact forests, rainforests, and pristine ecosystems, with trees and plant species that are hundreds of years old.
As you have probably figured out, the purpose of eco-travel is to promote sustainability, and if you have planned your trip correctly, you will be successful. When you travel green, there is markedly less reliability upon resources, but you still experience the same benefits. Also, you will interact with people around you and can share your experience and spread awareness.
Planning Your Trip
Now that you have heard all the amazing benefits of eco-tourism, are you ready to start planning your next trip? If you are there are a few things that you should know because it will not be like preparing for any other vacation that you have ever had.
Remember, everything that you do will be aimed at reducing your carbon footprint, and sometimes we may not even realize how our actions can impact the planet. Here are a few tips for you to use as you prepare for your trip:
Choosing Your Destination
The first step with any trip is to select a destination, and in this case, you have the entire world at your fingertips. However, when you are green traveling, it is important to choose an environmentally friendly, or ethical travel destination.
When choosing your location, you should look for a destination that has natural resources, which can include rainforests, savannahs, mountains, and much more. While you are searching, make sure that the ecosystems are well cared for and preferably, pristine, which means they have managed to stay intact despite any disruptions. You could also look for locations that have various wildlife species, plants, or coral reefs.
You should also choose places that maintain a commitment to sustainability and encourage other local businesses to do the same. The following five destinations are the most popular eco-tourism destinations because they combine everything detailed within this list:
Palau – This location might sound familiar from its appearance on the popular television show Survivor. If you enjoy diving, you will love the clear blue water, which features over 500 species of coral and 1,400 different types of fish.
Norwegian Fjords –This tucked away location features snowy mountains, waterfalls, and crystal clear waters. While you are there, you can also witness the majesty of a variety of rare animals.
Costa Rica – This country has become one of the most successful eco-tourism countries because of their black sandy beaches, rainforests, and a wide variety of rare animals.
Kerala, India – On the southwestern coast of India, you will find a very small state, which is often referred to as, “God’s own country.” While you are there, you will see hundreds of unique animals, over 10,000 plant species, and several endangered animals which roam freely within a wildlife sanctuary.
Kenya – If you choose Kenya for eco-travel, you will be visiting wild savannahs filled with elephants and lions. You can also see rainforests, beaches, deserts, and over 50 national parks.
Making Responsible Choices
After you have selected your destination, you will have several decisions that you will make along the way. The choices that you make regarding where you stay, how you travel, and even what you eat are what encompasses the very foundation of eco-travel.
While you are traveling, remember to respect the environment around you, never leave trash, or take anything home with you. Also, choose environmentally friendly products, and only do business with hotels and tour operators who support the cause. Finally, limit your energy use, which includes how much you are using lights, air conditioning, and hot water when you are in your hotel room.
This all might seem new to you and a little different, but eco-travel is a rising trend, so you should do your part for the environment and see something beautiful along the way.