As more and more people are becoming environmentally aware many are taking this awareness with them when they travel. Here are some simple tips to make sure that your impact on the planet is as positive as possible as you visit its most beautiful destinations.
Unfortunately one of the biggest contributors to climate change is air travel. It takes a lot of fuel to get you off the ground so try visiting sights near you. As great as it is to travel abroad you’d be surprised at how many spectacular spots may be just a few hours from your home.
Find reputable Eco Tour Companies
This may seem a little obvious but it is an important tip. There are many businesses which have realized that there is money to be made in this new sector, and there are those that label themselves as eco-friendly despite making little or no effort to practice sustainable tourism. Do your research! Find companies with certification and read reviews.
Take a Refillable Water Bottle
The plastic bottles from purchased water have been increasingly one of the primary sources of garbage. It may be difficult sometimes to find a spot to refill your bottle especially in underdeveloped countries but in general, you will cut down on the amount of trash you create.
Be Careful With the Menu
A big part of traveling is food, and it is always great to try new foods and local cuisine. However sometimes what may be served up is an endangered or threatened species. Again here it is important to be informed. Do a little research to find out if any endangered animals could possibly end up on your plate.
There is almost always a list of people that you have to buy something for every time to leave the country and locals are always ready to help you check that list off with a variety of crafts and souvenirs. It is quite common for crafts to made up of animal parts including feathers, claws, teeth and bones. Remember that these are never given up willingly by their original owners nor where they collected without harming the animal. It is worthwhile to be careful because many countries are quite strict with what you can bring back and you don’t want to have something you spent $50 on confiscated at the airport.
Don’t Support the Captivity of Wild Animals
It is quite common to see animals in captivity on display for tourists in underdeveloped countries. They provide for an appealing photo op but resist the temptation! By taking your photo with the captive animal you are showing the locals that that is what tourists are interested in seeing. Also beware of zoos and other attractions that are uncertified, unlicensed or are clearly not taking proper care of the animals.
Visit Sanctuaries and Rehabilitation Centers
For those of you interested in seeing wildlife this is a fantastic option. You are sure to see local animals and the money that you spend helps get these animals healthy and back into the wild.
When you do see practices that are not environmentally or ecologically sound let your voice be heard. Many times it is simply out of ignorance that people run their operations in a certain manner and they generally are ready and willing to meet the expectations of tourists. You can also file a complaint to a local agency or bureau. You could be the one that helps that sad little monkey get back into the wild.
Catch and Release
This is obviously aimed at the anglers who like to travel. Fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy nature but it’s important to be responsible fishermen. As much as possible practice catch and release, that way we ensure there are fish for future anglers to enjoy.
Spread the Word
Your experiences are a valuable resource for others. Help fellow travelers by sharing what you know. Post reviews on pages like trip advisor, share your experience on travel forums and maybe even create your own travel blog.