Deciding how to interact with the communities and environments that you visit will determine the mark you leave on each destination. It is up to you to make sure that this mark is a positive one rather than negative. Below are ten ways to a positive impact on the planet while traveling.
Donate to a cause when you book your trip
Kind Traveller is a hotel booking platform that allows you to donate to a charity and gives you a discount on some of the best hotels in the world in exchange. Hotels include the Mondrian in Los Angeles, The Palms Hotel and Spa, and the Virgin Hotels.
Stay at hotels with LEED Certification
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. By staying at hotels that have this certification, you are ensuring that the hotels are being mindful of their impact on the planet rather than being careless about their activities.
Choose the Carbon Neutral option
Companies around the world are trying to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. You can choose the carbon-neutral option on anything from flights to tour operators with a small fee. Some companies, such as Intrepid Travel, even include the option for no extra cost.
Utilise public transport
Using public transport will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will also save you money when travelling. It’s also a great way to experience the cities you are visiting.
If everything is close enough, why not just walk or cycle? It’s a great way to prevent a negative impact on the environment as well as allows you to possibly find hidden gems that you would never have found otherwise.
Go on an eco-tour
Rather than visiting a zoo or observing animals in unnatural and potentially cruel environments, you can take an eco-tour. These tours allow you to observe animals in their natural habitats and learn from the scientists and naturalists that assist you.
Choose tour operators who give back to the community
When booking a tour, try to find out how the brand you are going through is impacting communities. By choosing a brand that employs locals and tries to empower local communities, you will not only be carrying through your values but will have a truly authentic experience too.
Rethink your volunteer idea
As great as volunteering abroad may be, the growing demand has caused businesses to run unethically in order to make more of a profit. One way to avoid this is to opt for community-based tourism. You will be able to share meals and engage in various activities with locals, continuing to make the positive impact that you are striving for.
Go on a cruise that has a purpose
Fathom released a cruise line in 2015 that allows you to go on on-shore expeditions, engaging with students, creating water filters for those in need of clean water and much more. Taking the cruise gives you the opportunity to make a great impact on various communities.
In every destination, there will be different kinds of wildlife. It is important to not disturb or feed animals as they will become too accustomed to humans, resulting in unsafe circumstances for both humans and animals. You should also be sure that any animal tours that you take treat environments humanely. Don’t go on tours where people “chum the water” or where there is a “hands-on” option to experience wildlife.
There are many things that you can do to make sure your impact on the planet, communities and economies is a good one. Just take the correct precautions and planning when taking a trip to another destination and you will be able to leave a positive mark anywhere.
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