Life · Travel

Seven steps to sustainable tourism

When Upfluence, in collaboration with the UN and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) got in touch about international biodiversity day, I knew I wanted to support them in their cause. So I signed up to their thunderclap to raise awareness, but tweets can often get lost after they’ve stopped trending, so I thought I’d write a little piece here too.

Sustainable travel could seem like a bit of a dirty word to people, thinking its all mud huts, no electricity and not being able to indulge yourself. But being more sustainable can be a minuscule act, but if everyone does their bit, we can create a better world, for generations to come to still be able to visit these gorgeous places, see beautiful creatures and experience the world. It essentially means visiting somewhere and trying to only make a positive impact on the environment.

The most obvious thing, actually staying in eco-accommodation. We did this in Sweden and it was rather dreamy, with a lake and private paddle boat, set amongst rugged mountains, chickens run about their coop and the vegetable patch wasn’t just useful, but rather pretty to stroll through. So there was plenty to keep you occupied and there is some sort of eco-accommodation available in most places. Being self sustainable and appreciating what the planet has to offer.

If that all sounds a little too on the hippy side for you, although why anyone wouldn’t want to be a hippy or a Walloon style gypsy is beyond me, there are plenty of other ways to do your bit. Such as:

  • Actively find out where and how your food is sourced, if this is fresh sustainable and good quality the restaurant/market/whoever will be more than happy to brag away about it.
  • Also if you buy locally, you could reduce emissions of having to transport those ingredients.
  • By buying local produce, you’ll be supporting local businessesย and their economy
  • Respecting and supporting the integrity of local cultures by favouring businesses which conserve cultural heritage and traditional values
  • Check if your accommodation do any eco-friendly acts and ask them, as if more people ask, they may be encouraged to do so – they could be: using renewable energy; providing recycling bins; don’t clean towels and sheets daily (but obviously do between guests), unless asked; Serve locally sourced, sustainable foods.
  • If you are hiring a car: hire a hybrid or electric where possible; make sure the tires are at their max recommended pressure; use the cruise control function where possible, especially on long journeys, as breaking or accelerating wastes fuel!

If you can implement any of the above, or just make a small change, you could make a huge difference.

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