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7 tips to help you travel sustainably and responsibly

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What steps can YOU take to travel sustainably?

We must incorporate sustainable, ethical and responsible travel into our lives. The rapid melting of glaciers, the nearly universal use of plastic, and the imminent extinction of coral reefs are all alarming signals that sustainability should be at the forefront of all we do. Travel is where it all begins because it contributes significantly to global pollution and leaves a huge carbon footprint. 

What Is Sustainable Tourism? What Is Responsible Travel?

Sustainable tourism is defined as travelling in a way that has more good than negative effects on the economy and environment. Always keep in mind that in order to become a sustainable traveller, you will have to make destinations better so communities can live in those surroundings as well as visit them. 

The people who are stated to conduct "responsible travel" are those who consciously decide to follow sustainable tourism practices. Here, when one is a tourist visiting a new location, negative effects are minimised and positive impacts are maximised. 

The following steps would constitute responsible travel:

1. Ensuring that you are conserving the animals, natural resources and environment
2. Benefiting the local community living there and preserving the cultural heritage
3. Integrating tourism with local communities and reaping reciprocal benefits for the benefit of both

Three Pillars Of Sustainability

One has to find a way to meet the needs of the present without disturbing the future generations ability to meet their needs. Economic (profits), environmental (planet), and social (people) are the three pillars of sustainability.

1. The Environmental Pillar

The most significant pillar, where businesses concentrate on minimising environmental harm and packaging waste. Since the procedures reduce spending, they also have a financial impact. 

2. The Social Pillar

This pillar focuses on a social licence. The firm needs the assistance of its employees, stakeholders, and communities. Both locally and worldwide, the company must treat its customers and employees fairly. By giving employees (family benefits and flexible scheduling) and giving communities (scholarships and fundraising opportunities).

3. The Economic Pillar

This pillar focuses on the philosophy that a company has to be profitable to be sustainable. This pillar's components include risk management, governance, and compliance. This pillar is helpful in encouraging businesses to adopt various sustainability practices.

What Impact Does Sustainable Travel Create?

Interaction between two different cultures can be facilitated by environmentally friendly travel. Sustainable travel has a good effect when people are dedicated to having less of an impact on the environment and are more engaged in assisting the local community. It assists in creating revenue and jobs for everyone in the area. 

A satisfying experience that people value, as do travel agencies and the visitor themselves. A few examples of how sustainable travel has an impact include preserving biodiversity, enhancing human well-being generally, protecting natural and cultural heritage, and fostering inclusive social integration. 

How Can You Become A Sustainable Traveller?

Here are some pointers to help you start travelling sustainably: 

1. Selecting a green form of transportation

When travelling, take the train or bus rather than an airplane. If you have no other option but to fly, make sure it is a direct flight to minimise its carbon imprint. 2.4% of carbon emissions are believed to come from aviation. 

2. Choose traditional handicrafts

As opposed to shopping in a mall or airport store, buying locally is better for the environment. You have a favourable financial effect on the community. Their homemade goods are not only a unique souvenir for your house, but they are also less priced.

3. Support local hotels and cafes

Locally-owned restaurants will give you the taste of a local cuisine which you might try for the first time. While locals shop at their local market, hotels typically get their ingredients from large corporations. By eating in one of their hotels, you're minimising your carbon footprint.

4. Pack the appropriate number of outfits

Try to pack with the clothing you currently own rather than going on a buying binge. Human clothing that is owned by people ends up in landfills in 73% of cases. Don't allow items to go to waste. Give them to neighbours or sell them on a platform for thrift stores if you buy anything you won't use again. 

5. Go on a guided wildlife exploration

This is majorly enjoyable bucket list material. Make sure your wildlife expert is qualified, prioritises the comfort of the animals, and is familiar with the specifics of the local habitat. During the safari, don't push the driver to take you closer to the animals. Allow the animals to relax and take it easy while you enjoy yourself.

6. Choosing a green accommodation

Make sure to pick a hotel that uses green practices when you are on vacation. In order to choose a hotel and the various amenities it offers, you won't need as many toiletries, water bottles, or meal packets if you reduce, reuse, and recycle them. Verify the policies and procedures of the hotel, but make sure you are according to a sustainable style. 

7. A strict NO to plastic

Ideally, you shouldn't leave any trash behind you. You shouldn't carry single-use plastic either because it contributes significantly to trash and pollution. Utilising plastic-free products and using your own cloth bag are two examples of travelling sustainably.

There are many other strategies to follow the sustainable route in addition to these seven suggestions. Alternate your modes of transportation, and be careful to go slowly. When it comes to shorter distances, try cycling and walking as these activities will also provide you with a sort of workout. Discover a whole region, interact with the people there; this will only make your journey more interesting, enjoyable, and, most importantly, sustainable.

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FAQs On Sustainable Tourism And Responsible Travel

1. Does sustainable tourism refer to ecotourism?

No, these both aren't the same. Sustainable tourism encompasses both urban regions and natural places, while ecotourism only refers to travelling ethically to natural areas.

2. Isn't it contradictory when someone mentions sustainable tourism but also makes use of a flight?

The triple bottom line balance equals sustainability. While you may encourage the reduction of carbon footprints, you are also enhancing tourism. The majority of people won't stop flying, but they can be persuaded to choose positive effect travel over negative impact travel.

3. How can I limit my carbon footprint and reduce impact?

When compared to flying, taking a bus or coach will leave you with less carbon impact. These are good possibilities in the absence of trains. Coaches and buses release less carbon per passenger, which explains this statement. 

4. Why should I book sustainable tourism? What's in it for me?

When it comes to sustainable travel, one can benefit a community by living a happy, healthy, and helpful lifestyle, which will make them value you more, remember you favorably, and make your visit to the place unforgettable. We’ve included a link that sheds some light on travel and sustainability:

5. How can I volunteer to help?

When it comes to travelling sustainably and responsibly, doing your part is sufficient. Safeguarding cultural heritage while also being beneficial to local people. You can volunteer and support community efforts in many different ways, such as by lending a helping hand with wildlife preservation or landscape restoration.


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-  Harshita Shah

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