S & S Guide To Responsible Travelling

Travelling to the tropics or a frequent flyer in pursuit of cutting down your greenhouse gas & offsetting your carbon foot print?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimates there were 3.7 billion global air passengers in 2016, predicted to rise to 7.2 million by 2035.

According to Booking.Com’s Sustainable Travel Report:

  • 70% of global travellers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not
  • When it comes to recognizing a sustainable place to stay, 72% of global travellers said they weren’t aware of the existence of eco-labels for vacation accommodations
  • 62% would feel better about staying in an accommodation if they knew it had an eco-label

As committed, I am to a sustainable planet, we don’t need to sacrifice global adventures and they enriching cultural experiences they offer, so the latest S & S takes a look at the behavioral changes we can all adopt when we depart on a jet plane. From green holiday destinations, fuel efficient leaders, packing light and ditching the toxic laden sunscreen, read on for the full low down.

Travelling Tips

  • BYOT – Pack your own toiletries decanted into minis, hotel mini’s are likely to be cheap and non-biodegradable.
  • Did you know laundry accounts for approximately 16% of a hotel’s water bill? Save your towels and robes for when they actually NEED washing.
  • Set your sights on a green holiday destination. Here are a few locations for some inspiration (link)
  • Lose some weight. Less is more, plan and pack efficiently. The less baggage means the lighter you are and fewer carbon emissions from the aircraft

Fly with fuel efficient leaders. Sky scanner now also shows you journey routes with less CO2 emissions!

  • Download your e-tickets, save the trees and reduce the risk of losing that boarding pass at the airport!
  • Put foreign public transport to the test, during the day hit the metro/subway/tram. If you’re in remote locations which require hiring a car, seek the most fuel efficient alternative
  • Explore eco-friendly hotels (FYI sustainability and luxury go together hand in hand it doesn’t have to be a backpacking thing). Check out the Global Sustainable Tourism Council  for a comprehensive guide.
  • Love local – whether it’s neighbourhood restaurants, accommodation, markets and artisan shops, support the local traders for a positive economic and social multiplier effect
  • Leave it how you found it; bring your own reusables and put away the plastic whether it’s your glass water bottle from home, minimising the packaging consumed overseas is essential. This is in part due to the lack of recycling and waste disposal infrastructure in many foreign isles, especially in underdeveloped countries.
  • Offset your carbon and environmental impact through other avenues. Technology facilitates our ability to do so through channels such as Carbon Fund and Terra Pass that allow you to calculate the monetary value  of your emissions and donate to other organisations. A number of airlines also offer this by reducing their emissions elsewhere. Also check out Goodshop which is a company that allows you to purchase luggage, currency and a % is donated to environmental organisations such as Conservation Intl or Natural Resources Defence Council!
  • Feel like your favourite airline, hotel or tour is missing a trick or two? Write to them, explain what you think can be improved as you are an invaluable customer!
  • Slather on sunscreen that’s super protective for you and safe for the environment. Chemicals in some suncreens such as oxybenzone and octinoxate increase coral bleaching.

I’ll leave you with a quote from  Samantha Bray, Managing Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). “One of the biggest misconceptions is that traveling responsibly somehow puts a damper on your trip or is difficult. I would argue that the opposite is true. Traveling responsibly doesn’t mean giving something up. It means appreciating the place you are visiting and acting in a way that ensures it is taken care of for the community that lives there and future generations.”

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