Mobility takes its toll on the planet, but you can travel greener and minimise your impact on the environment as a more conscientious traveller. Best of all, you can incorporate these steps into your daily routine and make an even bigger difference in your everyday life.
1. Walk, cycle or take public transport. Doing so exposes you to the daily routine of the locals and saves you money, too.
2. Reuse towels whenever possible. Some hotels, especially the higher-end ones, give you several towels in different sizes on a daily basis. But how many do you really need anyway?
3. Turn off the switch. Save power by closing the lights and airconditioning or heating units when you leave the room. Cooling and heating are often the biggest culprits when it comes to energy consumption.
4. Close that tap. Keeping the shower or tap running as you soap, shampoo or brush your teeth is wasteful. Skip the bath tub. Those hundreds of litres of water could be put to better use.
5. Bring a water bottle. Everybody needs to hydrate, but we don’t need more disposable plastic bottles. Take a reusable bottle and take advantage of opportunities to fill it up as you go (especially at the airport).
6. Dispose of your rubbish properly. Put garbage in its proper place: the bin. Until then, hold on to your trash.
7. Handle with care. When it comes to animals, look for ethical handlers. Zoos may have educational value, but the animal experiences that are the best (for both man and beast) are in responsible sanctuaries and national parks.
8. Buy local. Help the immediate community by supporting their traditional arts and crafts instead of buying mass-produced souvenirs flown in from elsewhere. It’s important that the people most affected by tourism benefit from it as a sustainable source of income.
9. Travel slower. Longer, more in-depth trips lessen your impact on the environment. It’s not about crossing out the most number of things from your list but about having memorable experiences, which are hard to come by if you’re running around like you’re on Amazing Race. Take it easy and enjoy the moment.