Probably anyone knows that tourism is not the most sustainable industry. Traveling means using transportation for long distances which causes CO2 emissions; staying in hotels which are well known for using chemicals in everyday cleaning; eating in catering establishments, which are known for food waste and seeing some nature tourism objects which are being damaged that way. So does that mean you have to give up travelling if you want to become eco friendly?
Traveling doesn’t necessary needs to be harmful to the nature. Usually our choices makes it that way, but if we dedicate some time to think how can we change our traveling habits to become little bit more eco friendly, we can do it without worrying about ecological problems that we might cause.
Travelling always is related with motorized transportation, which usually is airplane, cruise ship, bus or car. They all are causing CO2 emissions. Some more, some less, but we cannot fully avoid that for now. First step, of course would be to choose the less harmful variant from those which are available. If you are traveling alone, of course public transportation would be a better choice, but there are at least three travelers than economic car also would be appropriate. You will leave some ecological footprints, but you can reduce the harm by planting the tree. It is proved that one tree can absorb emissions of 12 hour flight in airplane for one person. So plant tree each time you travel.
The next big problem is the hotels. That is one of the most eco unfriendly industries in the world. Most of the hotels use chemicals for cleaning the rooms and doing the laundry. If we think about the amounts of chemicals and water used because of these actions each day, we can only imagine the harm they are doing to the environment. The good news is that there really are some eco friendly hotels which use organic materials not only for cleaning, but also for other things. For example they are using furniture made of fast growing natural materials such as bamboo. Also they let you choose how often the towels and sheets must be washed and garbage taken away. If that still isn’t green enough for you, there are also alternatives to hotels such as camping.
While traveling, people are usually eating in restaurants or other catering establishments. They are the biggest cause of food waste which is important global problem. Eating at them doesn’t go along with green philosophy, but also catering establishments can be eco friendly and work by sustainable principles. Some of the restaurants have contracts with animal farms and all the uneaten food is given away to these farms so nothing is wasted. Even more, some restaurants are using only green, organic products and really dedicate some time and money to become fully green. If you can’t find these kind of establishments or just don’t want to go to them for some reasons, you can also buy the food at shop, during the travel.
Also seeing nature tourism objects doesn’t need to do any harm if you are not knowingly doing that. If you only go near them and look at them from a distance, not actually touch them, you won’t do any harm. Even more, there are entering fees at most of the nature objects which are later dedicated to the conservation of them. So basically you are doing more good than bad by visiting them. Just be careful and don’t leave any waste behind yourself.
Everything can be done in eco friendly way if you really want that and think of ways how to do that. Green lifestyle doesn’t mean any kind of restrictions only creative thinking and desire to save our planet.