There are so many things you can do to help protect the environment – not least when it comes to traveling! If you follow (at least one of) these simple steps next time you’re going abroad, you’re already helping create a healthier planet.
Choose an ethical destination
If you’re gonna spend your dollars somewhere in the world, let it be in a place where they support a sustainable tourism industry. Every year, the non-profit organization Ethical Traveler, ranks destinations across the globe by their social welfare, environmental protection standards etc. This year, the top 10 destinations are:
- Cabo Verde
- Micronesia (group of islands in Oceania)
Travel with a green tour operator
It’s often a better idea to travel with an independent local guide than a big company. Look out for a green profile and promotion of ethical practices and if the tour operator contributes to the community. It’s often easy to see whether they respect the local flora and fauna or not.
Stay in an eco certified hotel
Certified green hotels are a massive advantage for the environment as they use renewable energy and recycle. They also use eco friendly cleaning products and encourage guests to make an impact (don’t ask for clean sheets and towels everyday…). Today, there are many certification programs for hotels, but some of the most well-known are Green Key Global and Green Globe International. It’s a fact that small hotels and B&B’s are more eco friendly than large chain hotels, but as my heart belongs to luxury traveling, I can’t help but promote this website. From Japan to Switzerland, it shows some of the world’s greenest luxury hotels. Win-win!
Eat local food
Luckily, it’s quite easy to find delicious food from local produce when traveling. If you eat at restaurants supporting local produce (and thereby supporting local farmers), you’ll cut your carbon footprint even more. It’s a delightful way of helping the environment, and it’s usually not expensive as ingredients are not imported.
Respect the local wildlife (and don’t support tourist attractions!)
Respecting nature and its wildlife is evident if you want to ‘go green’. An increasing number of touristic tours seem to appear in exotic destinations, and travelers seem to forget everything about ethics! Getting close to an endangered animal specie or visiting one of the last wildlife human tribes might sound like an amazing opportunity, but stop and think about it for a minute… does it harm the environment more than it does good? Remember only to support businesses and tour operators with a green profile. Just because everyone else are doing it doesn’t mean you have to as well..
Once you’re back home, there are several ways for you to continue your support for a healthier planet, e.g. by donating to trusted and professional organizations. WWF and Greenpeace are probably the two most famous organizations, but there are literally hundreds of them, so pick one that suits you best. For inspiration, check out Friends of the Earth.
There are no sponsored links in this post, and all views are, as always, my own.