"Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination." - Roy Goodman
With travel becoming easier these days, the rapid growing number of tourists can actually do more harm than good. Therefore, it is more important than ever for travelers to travel consciously to ensure the protection of natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
Here are 5 simple ways to become a more responsible and conscious traveler.
1. Fly direct
The most environmentally friendly way is to not travel - but that's not realistic at all! The most realistic way is booking direct flights instead of multifarious layover routes. While a layover or two may save you some money, taking off and landing a plane contribute an estimated 25% of a flight's total emissions. Therefore, flying direct at least can help to reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Carry a reusable water bottle
Ocean plastic pollution is worldwide phenomenon and the problem will only get bigger if nothing is done to control it. We all know that single-use water bottles can lead to more waste and hurt our environment. So what we can do to help reduce plastic consumption during your travels is to carry a reusable water bottle and a coffee mug if you are a coffee lover.
3. Mind the little things
Switch off your air-cons and lights when you leave your room or not in use. Take quick cool showers instead of long hot baths to save water and energy. Opt not to have your towels laundered every day. Use your own reusable or recycled bags instead of plastic grocery bags while shopping. These small changes can make a big difference to our Mother Earth.
4. Support the locals
Supporting the local community is a really important aspect of conscious travel. Eating local food in local eateries instead of international chain restaurants. And opting to drink coffee in a local cafe and snack on street food are simple ways to be a socially conscious traveler. Supporting local produce and farmers markets also means supporting the farmland and green spaces in that area.
5. Practice empathy and respect
Being kind to locals and fellow travelers alike is a new cool way to preserve harmony amongst your surroundings, both geographically and emotionally. By forging real connections with locals and immersing yourself in the their culture and see each destination through local's lens, you are far more likely to return home from a trip feeling enlightened and transformed.
With travel becoming more of a necessity, sustsinable travel or conscious travel should be on every traveler's mind. Everyone can be the change we want to see in the world, and it is never too late to begin with these simple steps towards helping the planet while traveling