When travelling, it’s more important than ever before to think about our impact as tourists. How can we be more sustainable travellers?
Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we ‘pull’ back the curtain on tips to ease our impact on the planet, even as we explore its many beautiful places.
Here are some ways to note, according to a July 2014 report in the National Geographic:
1. Embrace slow travel
Wherever you can, become part of the ‘slow travel’ trend – go to fewer places and spend more time in each. One great way to do this is via train travel. You won’t just be able to reduce your carbon footprint, but also experience the destination more deeply, and gain new appreciation for the land you’re in. Places like India, Southeast Asia, China and more, are all accessible by scenic rail routes.
2. Say no to plastic
When travelling, don’t buy and then discard plastic water bottles when you’re done. Opt for recyclable glass bottles instead that you can refill multiple times a day. Remember to pack environmentally friendly tote bags in your luggage, so that you can bring them with you when you visit street markets and shops. These small actions can help you cut back on plastic waste.
3. Support the local economy
Often, locally made crafts and souvenirs are not always cheaper, but purchasing them helps ensure that your contribution to the local economy will have a direct and positive impact. Your money directly supports authentic cultural heritage, and provides jobs for the local people who often handcraft those unique items.
4. Never buy wildlife products
If you’re in Mongolia, you might be offered an eagle hunter hat made from plush wolf fur. Just say no. As travellers, if you buy products made from animal skin or fur, you’re inadvertently helping support a growing marketplace for trafficking rare and endangered wildlife products as souvenirs. It’s never worth it.