Sustainable travel is on the rise. From improving knowledge and cultural wealth to helping conservation of wildlife, the positive impact that travel also has on the world is not disputed.
So fewer trips and longer vacations.
It is a concept that may not be appreciated by a people of travelers, but it is a notion that we should all regain possession of. Of course, it's also a question of budget, who can afford the longer holidays? However, we can optimize our departures, perhaps avoiding to make so many and bringing them together in one or more trips that allow us time to better discover the chosen destination. For example, this time I stayed 3 weeks in Málaga instead of traveling 10 days at the beginning of the summer and 10 days at the end.
All this I tell you because one of the main problems in terms of "sustainable travel" is limiting harmful emissions due, in the first place, to air flights, which are responsible for 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, cars, but also trains and more. Fewer trips and returns mean fewer emissions and less pollution, if we avoid taking many flights in a year, we greatly reduce the negative impact of our travels to the planet. And if we move in place with greener means, the contribution is even better.
It has been affirmed and proven that after the Covid-19 pandemic, travel this summer was certainly more ecological: both in terms of means of transport and in terms of accommodation, so much so that 2020 is called "the year of the tourist train". Self-catering accommodation and holiday homes surrounded by nature have grown. Interest in glamping has also grown, from tree houses to Berber tents or yurts surrounded by nature.
The travel industry is one of the most important sectors in the world as it provides nearly 350 million jobs around the world. However, the travel industry also has unintended consequences. For once, visitors are putting the cities they visit to the test.
Nevertheless, if you're looking for sustainable ways to travel alone, here are some tips on how to offset your environmental impact.
Choose the right Location
Did you know that European countries such as France, Switzerland and Denmark occupy the first places as the most sustainable nations in the world? Furthermore, despite the peak of tourism, Albania and Croatia have risen in the ranking of sustainable travel, thanks to the protection of wild areas, supported by the Global Environment Facility and by the United Nations Development Program. But if you think you know Europe well, then the time has come to explore the African continent.
Namibia became the first African nation to include environmental protection in its constitution. In addition, with the assistance of the World Wildlife Fund, local communities have the power to conserve, manage and benefit from wildlife on their lands.
Sustainable travel is defined by the idea of choosing a country that respects the environment, and as Jim Sano, WWF vice president, says
“The most magnificent and pristine places on Earth that WWF is working to protect are also premier tourist destinations. Travelers to these locations receive great joy from their experience and are looking for a way to give back.”
Book sustainable accommodation
Your choice of accommodation has a great impact on the local ecosystem. Therefore, when booking your sustainable travel vacation, consider where you are staying. Instead of selecting the hotel or camping simply based on the swimming pool, beach and restaurants, you should also focus on certain important details, such as:
construction in green building
autonomous energy production for the structure
separate collection and disposal of waste
reuse of water
limitation of the use of plastic
use of food at km 0
use eco-sustainable cosmetics and body care products