It's one thing to want to be more eco-friendly, but it's sometimes hard to put that into action. Eliza Anderson of Intrepid Travel reveals 10 practical tips for environmentally friendly travel that are easy to achieve.
1. Don't bag it
You want memories of your holiday to last for years, but 500 years is far too long. Plastic bags can take that long to biodegrade so take a re-useable shopping bag with you when you go to local markets.
2. Pack lightly
Every kilo counts when flying. The more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Pack only what you need - the environment will thank you.
3. Share the load
Taking public transport is one of the best things you can do for the environment when traveling. It means you're not creating any additional carbon emissions from private transport. It will also add to your travel experience, providing you with opportunities to interact with locals.
4. Travel overland
Cut out just one five-hour flight and your carbon footprint will be a tonne lighter. And you'll get to see more of the countryside too!
5. Enjoy a near beer
Drink a locally brewed beer and not only will you probably enjoy a high-quality ale, but your drink can be low-carbon by cutting down on 'beer mileage.' This applies to eating local produce too. Let your taste buds be adventurous – it's carbon-friendly!
6. Be at home in a hotel
A great tip is to remember to act in a hotel like you would at home – avoid getting clean towels when not necessary, don't have long showers and remember to turn off TV, lights and aircon when you leave the room.
7. Choose a carbon-offset adventure
Not all carbon emissions can be avoided whilst traveling. Intrepid Travel has a range of adventures that it has calculated the carbon emissions for, reduced wherever possible and offset what remains. The emissions from transport, accommodation, activities and waste have been accounted for and the cost of offsetting is included in the cost of the trip.
8. Avoid bottled water
Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste. Intrepid Travel has worked with hotels in Asia to install water filters that travelers can use to fill re-usable bottles with safe water.
9. Stick to the path
When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Going off the beaten path could mean you trample on protected or endangered plants.
10. Power in numbers
Smaller groups tend to have less of an environmental impact, so travel with a small group tour operator that's environmentally responsible. Before you book, ask what size the group will be. While you've got their attention, why not also ask how the operator gives back to the community you'll be visiting.
About the Author
Intrepid Travel is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. With the participation of their travelers, they can help conserve the areas they visit and bring positive benefits to the host communities.