The What and Why:
It is that time of year when many of us travel to or host friends, visitors and family. We can impact climate change by consciously understanding our impact socially, culturally, economically and environmentally.
This week’s focus is to learn how to be a sustainably conscious traveller or become a sustainably conscious host.
The How of Sustainable Hospitality:
Although this link is basically for hotels, it is worth viewing to understand how you can DIY your home and hosting to become a more sustainable host or hostess.
The How of Sustainable Travel:
- Book your vacation or holiday at a sustainable resort, hotel or location. There are regional, national and global certification systems that you can research on the internet that will help you determine if your destination actualized sustainable best practices. There are many locations that use renewable energy only and are in some of the most exclusive remote locations and they are affordable! Airbnb is a sustainable way to travel and the hosts tend to engage in sustainable practices.
- Learn about your destination’s history, politics, cultural events, cuisine, geography, etc. This will enrich your experience and show your respect for the community and culture you are visiting. Consider your impact and try becoming an accidental ambassador!
- Learn some basic phrases in their language; such as “please”, “thank you”, “can you help me”, etc.
- Dress appropriately, act respectfully and realize that you have an impact on the community you are entering.
- Buy local, eat locally produced products and purchase services from local owners. If you want souvenirs, get them sustainably.
- Use water sparingly and carry a reusable water bottle.
- Save energy by using your towels as long as you would at home. Turn off the lights, and conserve heat and air conditioner consumption.
- Choose your activities wisely so that fossil fuel usage is limited.
- Bring some local treasure from home to give to hosts and hostesses.
- Protect your natural surroundings and wildlife, wherever you go.
- Practice the 6 R’s away from home too! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, Refuse, Rethink.
- Consider your travel destination’s sustainability practices regarding housekeeping, waste removal, composting, fair labor, environmental record and commitment to peace before you book your trip.
- Whatever hobby or interest you have, try pursuing it at your destination to enjoy their point of view or technique.
- Contribute something besides money to the community you are visiting by researching volunteer opportunities beforehand.
- And above all, have fun! Get off the beaten path, remain open, flexible and get out from behind the camera, away from your smart device and immerse yourself in another culture.
The Deep Dive:
Ethical Traveler’s 13 tips for the Accidental Ambassador
Green Globe – global certification for sustainable tourism
Go Green Travel Green’s article Sustainable Souvenirs: How to Find Them and Why Buy Them