If you love to travel, you’ve probably realized how each trip is unique and leaves you with memories that will always follow you around like a bright shadow. So how can you take your love of travel and make sure you do it right? Easy, by respecting where you go and what you do. Here are 10 tips from the ultimate guide to sustainable travel!
The world itself is a changing place, but one thing stays the same – being responsible for the impact you leave on Planet Earth. Even the smallest act counts! Here are 10 ways you can practice sustainability when you travel:
1. Travel in small groups
Small groups of 6-15 travelers is ideal. You’ll leave less of an impact on the environment (and hopefully make some really good friends).
2. Support local businesses
Use local services as much as possible (accommodation, restaurants, markets, convenience stores, tour guides). Just by eating at a local restaurant instead of Pizza Hut, you could be helping a family send their children to college.
3. Use public transportation, cycle, or walk
Whenever you can! This way you also get to experience what it’s like living in a place. Or you might get lost and find something really cool you wouldn’t have seen on an air-conditioned coach.
4. Avoid buying illegal animal products
Be respectful to animal rights. I’m not saying you have to be a vegetarian like me (surprisingly difficult when travelling), but there’s way too much cruelty against animals that you don’t have to be a part of.
5. Don’t litter!
Make sure to clean up after yourself. If you can’t find a trash can, put it in your pocket until you do!
6. Carry water bottles
Do this so they can be refilled where possible. You should be careful with water in certain places, but some hostels have safe drinking water that you can fill your bottles with so you’re not buying plastic all the time.
7. Travel with a backpack / small luggage
Using a backpack reduces over-consumption. The less room you have, the less you’ll buy (do you really need that light-up T-shirt you’re never gonna wear?)
8. Stay in dorms / shared rooms
By sharing, you reduce electricity use and share facilities. And you’ll definitely end up meeting some interesting people.
9. Try out sustainable activities
Be sustainable by doing a Temple Stay in South Korea (eating organic food, spending time in nature, meditating) or a Bike Tour in Cambodia.
10. Respect cultural differences
Every country is unique, so remember to respect cultural differences. Locals are usually friendly and excited to meet travellers. They’ll be impressed if you’ve taken the time to learn something about their culture.
To end off the ultimate guide to sustainable travel, think about getting involved in a project that will help a local community directly. Do some research beforehand to find a reputable organization that’s suitable to your passion. Last year, BAMtravels was part of Project Alpha – a charitable book project about “The Trip That Changed My Life”. The project raised over $10,000 for the Save the Children charity! Check out this year’s topic is