How to be a Responsible Traveler
Like many modern industries, tourism impacts the world we inhabit. Most of us would rather be responsible tourists and work toward logical, sustainable practices as we travel the world—and that’s perfectly possible with the right tools and knowledge.
Here are some tips to help make you a less impactful, more sustainable traveler:
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
+ Consider packing a reusable water bottle instead of purchasing plastic ones.
+ Conserve water by making your showers shorter (can you imagine how many gallons of water the average hotel uses?).
+ Reduce your energy consumption by unplugging your phone and laptop when possible.
+ Pack foldable bags to use instead of taking plastic bags when shopping.
+ Try to use public transportation. It is obviously more energy efficient and more affordable, but also gives you a chance to experience life in a new place as a resident, rather than a visitor.
+ Purchase locally made souvenirs to preserve the memory of your travels when you get home.
+ Eat at local restaurants instead of global chains. Not only are you supporting the community you are visiting, you’re also getting a chance to experience the local culture.
Support Responsible Tourism Organizations
+ When you have the opportunity to choose, consider the tour operators, cruise lines and resorts that make sustainability a priority in their corporate mission.
+ Many travel companies have foundations that give back to the areas they travel in. Consider donations to these organizations to help bolster these communities.
+ Do research about the provider you are using; look into their green practices and whether or not they have fair labor laws, an environmental policy, a composting practice, etc.
Sail the Rivers
+ River cruising is not only one of the most popular travel trends, it is also one of the greenest and least negatively impactful.
+ Compared to cars, planes and larger ocean sailing ships, river cruises are a much more eco-friendly way to travel the globe.
+ Viking River Cruises, one of the leaders in the river cruise industry, has also invested in new technologies and innovations such as onboard solar panels to help reduce its footprint.
+ In addition, the Viking Longships also have organic herb gardens onboard providing fresh herbs for the ship’s kitchen.