While tourism plays a significant role in stimulating the global economy, it also affects the environment negatively. Reports indicate that aviation accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, you can expect an influx of local and domestic flights in the coming months as government bodies lift COVID guidelines.
Does this mean you should stop traveling? Of course, not! Despite the negative environmental impact of global tourism, you can still visit various destinations worldwide while minimizing your carbon footprint. You don’t have to give up traveling forever to save the ice caps.
If you think a zero-waste, sustainable trip that does not hurt the environment is impossible, keep reading. We have XX straightforward, actionable tips for aspiring eco-conscious travelers.
Rely on Less Cotton Products
Travelers rely on various cotton products. Light, breathable cotton shirts make hot, muggy weather conditions bearable, while cotton pads play a crucial role in skincare and makeup application. We have grown accustomed to these items.
Unfortunately, cotton isn’t eco-friendly. Producing 2.2 pounds of cotton already wastes over 5,200 gallons of clean water, which could keep several households hydrated for a few weeks. If you want to help save the earth’s water resources, swap cotton products for reusable alternatives.
For instance, let’s talk about cotton pads. Instead of packing disposable ones, use compostable cotton rounds from LastObject. Each pack comes with seven faux cotton pads, which you can reuse 250+ times each. Wash and store these rounds correctly so that you don’t have to worry about buying cotton pads for at least a year.
While aviation burns a significant amount of non-renewable resources, you can minimize the damages by flying economy. These flights transport more passengers per liter of fuel consumed.
On the contrary, business-class flights burn significantly more fuel because they carry fewer passengers per trip and offer excessively luxurious amenities onboard. Some business-class flights even assign each passenger an individual cubicle.
Take Public Transportation Vehicles
As a traveler, you can help reduce carbon emissions by taking public transportation. Skip the cabs and rental cars. Nearly 29% of all fossil fuel resources are allocated for transportation purposes, and driving private vehicles around will only increase this amount.
Bring Your Reusable Tote Bags
It is a common misconception that you can only use reusable bags when doing groceries. To eliminate single-use plastic from your life, always carry reusable tote bags of all sizes wherever you go. Ensure that you have one for any occasion.
Reusable bags don’t have to look cheap and tacky. Fashion-forward, eco-friendly brands like the Juvale store carry an array of cute reusable totes. They even come in various designs. You can use them while shopping anywhere, whether you’re at a local market or a high-end strip mall.
Be Mindful of the Tourist Activities You Participate In
You might not notice it, but many tourist activities alter the ecosystem. For example, hiking in large groups causes excessive soil erosion, while commercial diving operations threaten marine life. Overall, avoid activities that disrupt nature. Instead, enjoy the scenery as an observer that will not disturb the local ecosystem.
Support Local SMBs
Global tourism entices large organizations to develop rural areas. They bulldoze through miles’ worth of forests, fields, and grass, replacing them with large commercial infrastructures. While commercialization stimulates the economy, its negative environmental impact outweighs the benefits.
As a traveler, you can prevent excessive commercialization by supporting local SMBs. Urban planning and development typically occur in tourist spots with low-profit small businesses. They buy the location, then use the existing land for their projects.
Carry a Reusable Water Bottle Around
Disposable water bottles contribute to the world’s growing plastic problem. Statistics even show that over 60 million plastic bottles go straight to landfills every day in America. We encourage everyone to play their part by using reusable water bottles. Carry it around wherever you go so you don’t have to rely on bottled water while traveling.
Pro Tip: Choose reliable options like Hydro Flask water bottles. A standard Hydro Flask will keep your water chilled for up to 24 hours.
Properly Dispose of Trash
Society has taught us the negative negative environmental impact of littering since we were kids. Littering is never acceptable. Whether you’re riding a cramped train in New York or on a safari in Africa, only throw your rubbish in the proper trash bins. Otherwise, hold on to it.
Become a More Sustainable, Mindful Traveler
Strive to become an eco-conscious traveler! Traveling is an exciting activity that allows you to experience everything that the world has to offer. However, there wouldn’t be much left to see if you abuse every location you visit.
Newbies can ease themselves into the process with small travel habits. Eliminate single-use products, take public transportation, choose to fly economy, avoid taking cruises, and avoid activities that hurt local ecosystems.