There are different types of travelers. There is the fan of sunbathing for hours at the pool of the resort with the ocean view. The artist in love with the mesmerizing light, first up in the morning to capture the perfect sunrise with the perfect angle. And there is the explorer on a quest for meaning and simplicity, ready to be surprised and to change his/her perception of life itself with every new trips…
Whatever your profile, everyone one of this archetypes of voyagers can choose to travel green easily and more often. Why is that important ? Because by travelling green, we help ourselves, we help others and we help our finances most of the time.
What does travel green mean exactly ?
Being a green traveler or (ecofriendly traveler) implies different statements:
- Let’s pack light ! Are you going to tropical islands for 2 weeks ? Then, forget « the light sweater just in case it gets cold ». Worst case scenario, you will buy something when you’ll be there in a little genuine local shop. It will help out the local economy and will be a very nice souvenir way more personal than those fridge magnets.
- Let’s think ecofriendly ! Bring your own reusable water bottle and your own totebag with you for when you’ll be grocery shopping on site. Let’s avoid plastic at all costs ! It’s an obvious way to make some savings depending on where you travel. Plastic water bottles cost a fortune and are disastrous for the environment.
- Let’s plan ahead ! Choose the less polluted paved road. Fort short routes, the road transports are less polluting than airplanes transports ( 3 to 7 less times than airplanes). Adventurers will opt for the bus lines even if, comfort is not always part of the journey. The memories are even more peculiar. For those of you who want and need their independence on the road, select the smaller vehicles and hybrids or electrics if possible.
Personnal TIP : Green Motion.
Travelling through the impossible roads in Costa Rica, I found by chance this international green rental company and I was so please with them. Their provide excellent service and their actions are a reflexion of the name of the company, essentially focused on the reducing their carbon footprint with different environmental actions. If you must choose to rent a car, give them a fair chance !
- Let’s sleep green. The choice of the accomodation while travelling is often majorly related to the quality of our holidays. I’m not going to tell you that you must choose local homestays (family, friends, couchsurfing or houseguests) or even to camp outdoor if you are not into that type of things ! I’m not going to tell you what to choose, even if from my personal point of view this is the most green choice you can make ( and the most human way too!). If you want to travel and sleep in hotels, choose to minimize your environmental impact while you are there. Turn off the AC, the lights, the TV set when you are not in the room. Do not ask for fresh new towels every morning. In short, do not do what you wouldn’t do back home!
- Let’s be an outdoor nature lover. Nature must be observed with respect and humbleness. From a distance. You are dying to watch wildlife or marine animals in the Pacific ? Forget the group tour at 60$ a day where you end up packed up on a polluted boat or in zoos or in “private parks”. Animals are very often medicated and mistreated with complete impunity, behind your back, just so the Show Must Go On. Forget the series of selfies with manta rays, sharks, sea turtles or any other animals which is not your dog, you cat, your mouse or your dwarft rabbit. And even then ! Pet selfie seriously ?
While hiking or outdoors strolling, you will have many occasions to observe Nature when it’s free and wild. It will come to you. By chance. Without looking. That’s the only real way to find it.
If you must absolutely see wildlife, check out with the locals wildlife refuges and rehabilitation centers. Visits will be more personal, provided by passionate people, teaching you how to be less harmful to the environment and how to act to preserve these animals. Besides, your money will serve a good cause. You can find some of these centers in almost every countries of the planet.
These are just a few examples of what you can do. Whatever the destination and the duration of your stay, you can easily and surely make more conscious choices in the respect of the environment. Travelling green has never been easier than today. So, what are you waiting for ?