Being a Good Eco-Tourist
These days, more people than ever are thinking about how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle so they can help preserve the planet for generations to come.
(Senior Couple Traveling on Vacation Photo: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen via Unsplash)
If you’re looking to enjoy your golden years or are close to retirement, then you probably want to take this time to see the world and experience all of the cultures and countries that you have always read about. The good news is that with a bit of research and some smart planning, you can combine travel with sustainability and have an incredible trip.
Eco-Friendly Travel Preparations
The first step to an eco-friendly trip is researching destinations that prioritize sustainability. Many countries around the world are trying to do their part to help our planet thrive, and by visiting them, you can be confident that you are part of the solution. For instance, one of the eco-friendliest destinations is Denmark because the country is famous for its strict energy efficiency policies that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Denmark is also known for its solar-powered boats, sustainable hotels, and fondness for organic food.
Another great destination that is making news on the sustainability front is Palau, which is an island country in the western Pacific. In addition to their many gorgeous sights and beautiful beaches, Palau trying to become the world’s first carbon-neutral tourism destination by requiring that anyone who enters the country sign a mandatory eco-pledge that says that they will not use single-use plastics and that they will only use sunscreen products that are not harmful to the coral reefs.
You can also make sustainability a priority by being smart about what you pack. For starters, instead of using and discarding wasteful paper cups, you can bring your own reusable bottle that you can fill when you’re thirsty or out exploring. Another good idea is to bring your own earphones for long plane trips. If you don’t, then the airlines may supply them for you, but those will likely end up in the trash, causing unnecessary waste. By bringing your own headphones and using them during every trip, you help avoid the need for the continued manufacturing of those disposable earbuds. These little changes can make a big difference over time.
Be Smart About Getting There
If you are serious about being environmentally conscious during your trip, then you need to think about the more environmentally responsible ways to travel.
One of the easiest ways to avoid creating a substantial carbon footprint is to avoid air travel when possible. Air travel is particularly dangerous for the environment because, for a plane to get off of the ground and fly thousands of miles, it takes a lot of energy, and that power requires the release of tons of carbon monoxide, which is harmful to the atmosphere. When you consider that about 115,000 commercial flights take off every day, you can just imagine how dangerous that is for the environment.
Although we may not want to make that situation worse, some destinations are just easier to get to by plane, especially if you are short on time. The good news is that you can go online and do a bit of research to seek out eco-friendly airlines that try their best to make a minimal impact on the planet. For instance, Virgin Atlantic is making strides in biofuel research in an attempt to reduce waste. United Airlines has also made great strides by improving its fuel efficiency by 30% over the last 25 years. By choosing more energy efficient airlines, you can feel better as you fly to your dream destination.
Keep in mind that you can still have an enjoyable vacation without stepping foot on a plane, which you can do by planning a memorable road trip. Not only do cars produce less pollution than planes, but many of them also have great features that make for more environmentally friendly trips. For instance, some cars have eco-driving modes and automatic engine start/stop so you don’t waste excess energy. Even if your vehicle doesn’t have these bells and whistles, you can reduce your fuel usage by planning your trip so that you avoid constant rush-hour traffic, or by ensuring that your tires are fully inflated for maximum fuel efficiency. And depending on where you’re going, choosing electric or hybrid vehicle transportation alternatives where available, could add another element of interest to your travel adventure.
Make Little Changes During Your Stay
Once you arrive at your vacation spot, you can make little changes throughout the trip to make a difference for that destination and the world in general, and you can start at your hotel. In North America, there are plenty of hotels that rent bikes or are located near shops that rent bikes. The Fairmount Southampton in Bermuda has 3 BMW city bikes for guests to rent.
You can even take a tour bus with other travelers, which will reduce the need for several vehicles to clog the roadways. Sometimes, you can ditch the vehicle altogether and simply walk to your destination. Walking is a great way to soak in the scenery.
You can continue to be environmentally conscious in your hotel room. If you are only staying for a few days, you should put the “do not disturb” sign on the door, which will reduce the need for the cleaning crew to come in and wash your sheets and towels, which will reduce water waste. You can also bring your own toiletries, including soap, shampoo, and conditioner. That way, you can save the products the hotel provides for the next guest and avoid the need to manufacture more of them.
One of the best ways to help the world is to leave your vacation destination in the same condition it was in when you arrived. That means cleaning up all of your garbage and recycling whenever possible. That can also include using natural products that won’t hurt the land or water supply. Just about everything from swimwear, to batteries, to your shampoo and conditioner, has an eco-friendly alternative. Use these products during your trip and when you’re back at come, to continue your sustainable ways.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can pair your love of our planet with an exciting getaway. Consider the tips and advice discussed here, and feel good about your next vacation.
*This article is for general informational purposes only. 50+ World does not endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them. Obtain expert advice – financial, legal, medical, industry-specific, etc. – from qualified practitioners about your unique situation.*