Sustainable travel doesn’t have to be expensive
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “sustainable travel”? A luxurious stay in a secluded eco-lodge in the middle of Costa Rica? Comfortable safari lodges in East Africa?
Sustainable tourism’s image has been tied to wealthy eco-travel for years. As many tend to think about it, a typical sustainable traveler cares about climate change more than you care about your family’s budget. They want to travel with comfort and without guilt.
Little do we know, sustainable tourism doesn’t necessarily have to be costly. In fact, it would benefit our planet if it was much cheaper !
In today’s tourism market, having an “eco” label brings more customers. It’s a hot trick in the advertising world. What is sustainable travel exactly?
Eco -travel stretches beyond reusing the towels in your hotel room or choosing a climate-friendly airline. It’s not running around the jungle with a machete and hunting for your own food, either. This sustainable farming experience in Costa Rica , was fun however.
Some simple tips to make a small step towards sustainable travel :
- travel in an off-peak time
- choose places that are not overcrowded ( read as “overtourism”)
- ensure that the money you spend ends up in the local economy
- make sure your hotel uses the local produce and not the bulk supplier on the other continent
You don’t have to stop traveling to impact the environment positively – it would be a major economic disaster if we all did. But to travel more responsively. Use non-stop flights when you can. If you can skip the plane and get to your destination on a train or a bus -do that.
Eco-travel is not just about the footprint- it’s about the handprint too
We get obsessed with what carbon footprint is but never think what our handprint might be.
Your handprint is the way you build a connection with the community. It’s the impact you have on the local community. It’s buying your souvenirs from local craftsmen instead of “made in China” .It’s learning about the culture and buying a local tour instead of a highly promoted experience by a chain tour operator. Hire local guides. Have a short conversation with local people. Your travel handprint is in the friendships that you created while traveling.