It’s summertime: eco-friendly tourism leaves the smallest impact on ecosystems around the world while also respecting local customs and cultures, native wildlife and the local economy.
Slow travel encourages a thoughtful approach to immersive experiences giving back to local communities. Take the train from one city to another instead of flying, a cooking class instead of restaurants.
The goal of eco-tourism is to encourage an appreciation for nature, minimising impact on landscapes and supporting local cultures tied to nature.
Agritourism, or agrotourism, involves visiting a working farm: you could expect picking fruits from an orchard, attending cooking or baking classes that use fresh ingredients from the farm, or helping to feed and care for animals.
The idea behind regenerative tourism is to give more to local communities and ecosystems: picking up trash off the beach while visiting, participating in a native tree planting event, or participating in other volunteer activities during your vacation.
Overtourism can damage native plants in an area or stress local wildlife, can cause housing prices to skyrocket, and a growing issue for many communities is the rise of people buying property in tourist destinations to use as temporary rentals, leaving less housing for locals, can put a major strain on resources, particularly water.
The world has a major problem with plastic pollution, and the travel industry is no exception. When you’re putting together your packing list, make sure to bring reusables, like water bottles and utensils, snacks in reusable containers, cloths for drying your hands or washing off makeup and other reusables. Dispose of any waste as directed, and don’t take pieces of the ecosystem with you.
If you don’t already follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle at home, consider eating more plant-based meals during your travels.
In addition to supporting the economy by buying things locally, make sure you are supporting communities by respecting their local customs and cultures.
Businesses, from local restaurants and vineyards to major airlines and hotel chains, are working to lessen their impact on the planet. Developments in aviation and carbon capture technology can help reduce aviation-related emissions. New search functionality and eco-certifications can help direct travelers to book sustainable hotels. And individuals can adopt their own approaches, like traveling to less touristy destinations or adopting a zero-waste lifestyle, at home or abroad to minimize the impact of travel. Ultimately, we’ll all need to work together to make traveling less harmful if we want to keep the planet in good health. (source: ecowatch.com)
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