Nurturing the Earth's resources
20th January 2020
By Karen Simmonds

5 Ways to Be a More Sustainable Traveller

Planning a holiday has never been easier. But what does that mean for local communities, wildlife and the environment?

Being a traveller in the modern world involves certain responsibilities as one is an active part of the largest industry in the world. For far too long people have been focusing solely on the beneficial aspects that tourism can provide. It’s time that we kickstart a conversation and raise awareness around the potential negative impacts of this beautiful industry and how travellers can play their part in fixing its current issues.

Transport. The most essential aspect of a trip is transport.

Trains over Planes
Trains over Planes

Although a great number of holidays take place at very large distances from home, it is understandable that sometimes one cannot escape the burden of leaving a big amount of CO2 emissions behind but there are many ways of reducing some of the harm produced. One might be to take fewer but longer holidays rather than numerous short ones. Another method could be to donate money to charities or organisations such as Trees for Cities or World Land Trust in order to offset some of the CO2 produced. You can also check Flightnook for more information on how to lower your travel pollution. However, when possible, opt for a train journey. Think of all the benefits of allowing yourself time to enjoy a scenic train journey through the Alps or through the West coast of Scotland.

Choose a sustainable travel destination.

A wind farm
A wind farm providing sustainable energy

We understand that it isn’t always easy to be a responsible traveller when the system in the country you’ve decided to visit doesn’t allow you to be one. Why not reverse the situation in your favour, as well as Mother Nature’s, and choose to visit a country based on how environmentally friendly their internal system is.

Destinations such as Costa Rica, Belize and Slovenia are only a few worth mentioning in their fight against unsustainable tourism. More and more countries are developing initiatives to slowly but surely become a guilt-free option in the modern traveller’s mind.

Potential positive outcomes that don’t always go to plan.

A crowded beach
Bringing in money is by no means a guarantee of improving local environments

The industry could bring a lot of money to the country, however, it often ends up in the pockets of massive corporations. Think and act local and support small independent businesses. Jobs might be created to satisfy the market’s demand. However, jobs could be seasonal which makes the local community’s life harder during the offseason. New facilities which are built for tourists are used by the locals too but it can lead to overpopulation, traffic jams and discomfort for the nearby wildlife. Consider travelling outside peak season to ensure equality across the board.

Give to the right cause, the right way.

Smiling local children
The best way to donate is to support local charities and community organisations

A large number of very well-intended travellers bring sweets, used clothes and various other items to be handed out to the villagers or kids in developing nations. Although it can feel right at the time, please do avoid doing so. It can cause conflict between the members of the community and encourage a culture of dependency.

There are numerous registered local charities and organisations with whom you can work alongside or donate money instead. A couple that we can recommend are Child Fund or Pack for a Purpose.

Say no to plastic!

Piles of products in plastic bags
Piles of products being sold in plastic bags

It’s a mindset that everybody will have to attain one way or another. Plastic really does take roughly 500 years to decompose. It’s a ridiculous amount of time to wait for it to disappear, especially when more than 50% of the entire plastic ever produced was simply discarded.

Opt for locally sourced water in glass bottles (or just a coconut!) and make the conscious effort to bring a tote bag when you’re out shopping for souvenirs or food. You can dramatically reduce single plastic use by rewiring a couple of patterns in your behaviour.

If you have any more questions or are simply curious as to what steps you can make towards becoming a more conscious traveller, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

By Karen Simmonds

Travel Matters Ltd

Travel Matters’ passion for excellence has always been at the core of our business. We reassure you that every journey will be harmonious and worry-free, empowering you to explore, be inspired and truly come to know and enjoy your destination.

20th January 2020