As more and more people are finally realizing the importance of eco-consciousness for the well-being of our planet, steps are being taken towards the preservation of the precious resources that we have left. While some people are looking to make their living environments more energy-efficient, others are implementing these ideas into their entire lifestyles, from their shopping habits to eco-friendly tourism. That’s right – you can remain mindful of Mother Nature even during your travels, and here are the most important things you need to know about this topic.
What is “green travel”?
In the 21st century, traveling is becoming more and more accessible, resulting in stellar numbers of people venturing out internationally each year. While this is an amazing development for us, individuals, as it allows us to get to know the world better, as well as for the economies of many countries that are able to improve their infrastructure thanks to tourism, it can be bad news for our very planet. That is, if we behave irresponsibly. However, small steps from each individual can really bring a positive change to this landscape, and it requires only a little bit of planning to make our travels more eco-friendly. So, reduce your own footstep next time you take a family vacation in the following ways:
What you pack
When packing, try to think ahead and pack reusable items to reduce the waste you generate at your target destination. Carrying a canvas shopping bag can mean a lot in terms of reducing plastic waste – the same goes for a reusable water bottle. Get cute reusable bottles for your kids and they will be more than excited to use them!
While your destination doesn’t necessarily have to be a getaway far from civilization and disposable plastic straws, planning a trip to an untouched natural paradise and enjoying some time in nature can make you and your family realize what a precious thing it is we are losing. Instead of just taking the kids to an amusement park and calling it a day, think about introducing them to hiking, camping, exploring and having fun while not harming our environment. Going on one of the refreshing walking holidays in Tasmania or spending a week camping in a forest can teach them a lot about being mindful of the world around us. When going on such holidays, make sure you always stick to marked walking paths and don’t harm the local flora.
Your means of transport
Airplanes are a big culprit in the issue of carbon emissions, and takeoffs and landings are the most harmful. Therefore, try to opt for alternatives, especially if it would be a short-term flight. If you cannot choose an alternative to traveling by air, at least try to find a continuous flight. Moreover, some agencies offer eco-friendly travel packages, so if you can take advantage of those, don’t miss out on them.
You have many eco-friendly transport opportunities at your target destination as well. If you can, go for public transport instead of renting a car. However, when traveling with kids, a car can be a simpler solution. In that case, try to go for an electric car or a hybrid. In most cities, there are also bikes that you can rent, so if you’re going on a city exploration, why not go by bike? It can be an extra fun activity for the kids too.
Most people think of tents without electricity or hot water when they hear the word “eco-tourism”. However, you don’t have to sacrifice the luxury of your family in order to stay eco-conscious. You just simply have to do your homework when looking for accommodation, and go for a hotel that employs sustainable energy sources, advocates efficiency when it comes to water use and properly disposes of waste. Recycling bins are a big plus too.
However, it’s also up to you to be conscious of your energy expenditure. You don’t leave the lights on or the AC running at home when you don’t need them, so keep this in mind during your travels as well. Indicating that you intend to reuse your towels and thus cut back on the chemicals hotels use to wash them every day is also something you can consider.
What you eat
Even when it comes to food, you can make this act more eco-conscious. By buying produce from farmers’ markets or roadside stands, eating at small, family-owned restaurants and choosing local over chain, you are supporting local people as opposed to global companies – and it cuts back on the carbon emissions of import too. You can also look up eco-friendly restaurants in advance to make sure you are supporting a good cause.
Considering the current state of our planet, we have to do everything in our power not to cause any further damage. And teaching the next generations about being respectful to both Mother Earth and different cultures will ensure they, too, adopt a green mind when they grow up. This is why eco-friendly family trips are a win-win.
Nina is a lifestyle blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor and fashion design. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on twitter.
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