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Sustainable travel: How to be a responsible tourist

How sustainable are you travelling? © NAN728 /

Everyone longs for a holiday; not only is it something to look forward to after months of work, but it offers new experiences you simply can’t get in your home country. However, as we’re becoming increasingly aware of the climate crisis the world faces, many of us are looking to become more eco-friendly. Don’t panic – this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a holiday or two, but rather change up the way you undergo your trip. By implementing just a few changes listed below, you’ll be able to become a more responsible tourist and enjoy your sustainable holiday.

Change the way you travel

When looking at holiday websites, opt for air travel over cruises and boats if you’re going abroad. According to the Telegraph, a cruise ship emits three times more carbon emissions than aircraft so if you do want to experience the culture a new country has to offer, avoid this type of travel. Regardless of the transportation you choose, consider offsetting the carbon of your trip by making a donation to a charity and projects that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You can do so via a myriad of websites, allowing you to enjoy guilt-free travel no matter where you’re going.

Travel beyond the plane

So you’ve stepped off the aeroplane – now what? Rather than booking expensive taxis, which aren’t very cost efficient nor good for the environment, have a look into renting a bike or using public transport. While this may be daunting at first, most cities have excellent public transportation systems that are easy to navigate. Many popular destinations, like Amsterdam and Berlin, promote the use of bicycles or electric scooters over any other form of transport. Some would say cycling is part of the experience when visiting such countries, and you’ll easily be able to get partake as there are affordable hire shops dotted all around.

Dine locally

One of the best, and most respectful ways to reduce your impact on the environment is dining locally. Not only is this more rewarding than purchasing from larger food chains, but locally sourced food takes significantly less energy to make as it doesn’t have to be imported. As well as this, consider cutting out or reducing the amount of meat and dairy you eat; animal products are known to be carbon-intensive. In fact, adopting a plant based diet is thought to be the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact. Consider reducing your intake of animal products while on holiday and sample some of their fresh natural produce instead.

Be respectful

Sometimes it’s the small things that make all of the difference when visiting another country, especially when trying to be sustainable and responsible. Be careful and considerate when exploring the city, ensuring you don’t drop litter anywhere. Carry a small shopping bag, a reusable straw and water bottle to avoid contributing to the world’s growing plastic crisis, and try to shop locally to help the economy. These seemingly insignificant changes can have a big effect on the environment, plus will help reduce your carbon footprint in general if you continue doing so when you get home.

With making some quick and easy changes, you can easily enjoy travelling with remaining as eco-friendly as possible. It doesn’t have to be a difficult feat, but rather remaining conscious of the way you treat the planet, regardless of where you’re heading to next.

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