Everyone loves traveling. But, have you ever thought that travel impacts the place you are visiting, both positively and negatively? Consider the global sustainable tourism issues. Well, it seems like a monotonous task for a traveler. However, if everyone takes baby steps towards preserving the planet and minimizing the footprints, it will make a difference.
So, here we go. Discover the six thoughtful ways you can save the natural, cultural riches of the destination by traveling responsibly-
Conserve The Natural Environment
As a traveler, you have a great opportunity to conserve the earth’s natural resources. If you want to understand how to help, conduct some research and figure out what issues affect the environment you are visiting.
Generally, tourists consume more than locals. And, many destinations are struggling with limited natural resources. For example, if you are visiting Cape Town, South Africa, you should know about the water crisis and be careful while using water.
Minimize Pollution And Waste
Travelers tend to overuse the earth’s precious natural resources, creating excess waste and pollution. Developing countries or small islands lack waste management. Moreover, they are highly vulnerable to climate change.
As a responsible traveler, you can take small actions, such as avoiding the use of disposable or plastic products, bringing reusable water bottles, refusing plastic shopping bags, etc.
Besides, it is necessary to do some research on how to recycle or dispose of waste. You can also ask the residents about the same. Use public transportation, or better explore the destinations on foot.
Some travelers can’t avoid flights to reach their destination. In this case, prefer the most direct route and pack your bags as light as possible.
Respect The Culture, Tradition Of The Place
Traveling provides you with a brilliant opportunity to learn about different cultures and preserve them. It is your responsibility to respect and celebrate their traditions. Be careful about the cultural norms, such as languages, general behavior, cuisines, dress code, etc.
Different gestures mean different in different cultures. Before visiting any religious or cultural sites, it is good to learn their cultural etiquette. Be mindful while visiting the heritage sites.
Aside from this, visiting during the off-peak hours will help you offset the lack of infrastructure. It will let you explore things better.
Help The Local People
As a traveler, be mindful of where you are spending your money. Make sure that most of your money goes to the locals and contributes to the welfare of the community. Support the businesses that employ the locals, for example, by eating in the restaurants that offer local cuisines and use local ingredients.
You can also visit local markets and interact with the locals. Buy locally. You can buy handmade souvenirs from local artisans and encourage them. Another thing you can do is join a charity or welfare organization to help the poor and needy.
Most importantly, treat the locals with respect and talk politely. Suppose you are a photographer. Snap the photos of locals only if they permit you to do so. Ask first.
Make Animal Welfare A Priority
Some travelers are animal lovers but lack experience and awareness of tourist activities. Moreover, they harm animals unintentionally. If you also love animals, prioritize animal welfare.
First, do your research to know which activities can cause the animals to suffer. Refrain from the tourism activities that allow a traveler to interact with animals abusively. Visit only those attractions that don’t capture animals from the wild.
If you are planning to spend time in the water, wear reef-safe sunscreen because some chemicals in sunscreen may cause coral bleaching. Further, don’t touch, disturb, or feed wildlife. This may change their natural behavior and affect their survival.
Give Back To Place You Are Visiting
Giving back means you contribute in a way that makes a positive difference. For this, you need to do thorough research on the volunteer experiences and check if they are ethical or legal. If yes, you can volunteer groups, such as teaching the poor children, donating the supplies, or cleanup events.
This is a short list of the ways you can save the environment by traveling sustainably. Take these points into consideration; it will make a big difference.