Hot outside, sunny weather, glowing skin, finally vacations are coming! Sustainable tourism is all about balancing economic growth, human well-being, and environmental health. It focuses on reducing tourism’s negative impact while maximizing its positive benefits for communities, cultures, ecosystems, and of course our Mother Earth. Here is our super small guide with selected tips for your eco-friendly summer season:
1. Plastic-free hydration
When visiting a new place, especially in a foreign country, remember to check if drinkable tap water is available there! If it is, bring along a reusable bottle of your own and just refill it. If it is not, try to buy a bottle that filters water. Instead of buying a new plastic bottle, you will help to reduce millions of plastic bottles thrown away every year in our waterways and the ocean.
2. Conscious party life
Summer parties are the best, inviting all your friends over and having such great parties until sunrise but this comes with households generating an excessive amount of garbage. Not all plastics can be recycled, and most of them hang around the landfills. Try using biodegradable plates, cloth napkins, or rent dinnerware. Choose actual dishes over disposable ones.
3. Have a drink but make it organic
Having a drink with your loved ones is such a romantic gesture, but do you know that you can buy organic wines and local microbrews? Probably it will cost way less, and it will be even tastier! Of course, it will also have a positive impact on the environment and the local economy.
4. Choose green accommodations
Camping is for sure one of the more sustainable ways to spend your summer nights while being in contact with nature. Or you can spend your nights in green hotels or green farms. A cool initiative is also to swap homes or even to stay in an eco-BnB.
5. Dive into nature
National parks, marine sanctuaries, and other protected areas play an important role in protecting our planet’s natural resources and biodiversity. Many countries rely on fees such as entrance fees or operator permits, to preserve these special places and animals. This will help fund the conservation activities necessary to protect these areas while also providing income to local communities. There you can also enjoy outdoor activities which do not involve more emissions!
6. Mind your transportation
We all know that flying is one of the most polluting ways of traveling for CO2 emissions. When possible, try a different way! Traveling by train is the easiest yet sustainable way. As an example, in Europe, you could buy a Eurorail ticket for a couple of hundred euros and use this to travel all around! If you choose to travel by car, know that Carpool reduces your commuting carbon footprint. Traveling together with your friends is more social, affordable, and environmentally friendly than traveling alone. Think about kayaking, hiking, shopping at local stores, or just visit a nearby town by bike.
7. Respecting others first
One of the incredible things about travel is that it offers the possibility to live other traditions, beliefs, and ways of life. Seize this opportunity by embracing the differences and soaking up the local culture. Immerse yourself in foreign cultures, traditions, but mind your behaviour!
Certain gestures, clothing, or words could be considered offensive in some destinations. Try to leave places as you found them so that future generations of travellers and residents can enjoy them too.