While, some call it green travel, ecotourism, and eco-tour, others know it as the nature-friendly holiday. During such vacations, travellers are sensitive to environmental issues and make sure they don’t harm the Mother Nature.
While tourists are the source of revenue for most of the countries, many times, they also become the matter of concern. Most nations welcome tourists with open arms. However, they are wary of the trash that they often left behind.
In reality, travel can be much more than just visiting different locations, gorging on delicacies, clicking photos and purchasing souvenirs. When planned effectively and with the least impact on the environment, travel can encourage cultural awareness as well.
Travelling to a natural place doesn’t make you a nature-friendly traveller. The following tips can make you do so. In celebration of Earth Day (22nd April), here are exciting ways to stay ‘green’ during your holiday.
- Pack Light: Lightning up your load not only makes it easy to carry luggage, but it also helps in saving time and money on baggage fees. Carry only those things which are easy to wash and dry so that you can wear them multiple times during your holiday.
- Stay in Nature-Friendly Holiday places: Fortunately, more and more hotels are using ecological stays without disturbing the comfort of their guests. Some of the steps which these hotels are taking are like— no use of pesticides, low-flow toilets, solar energy, etc. In fact, some hotels also plant a tree whenever a guest stays with them. For your holiday, you can easily find various homestays; luxury rented accommodation and nature-friendly holiday resorts which are situated in beautiful locations in India. While staying at these hotels, you not only get a homely feeling but you also contribute towards nature.
- Preserve your travel maps: Every time you visit a new country, you pick brochures. They are handy and useful in knowing the new region. However, make sure that you don’t lose or rip them. You can share these maps with other travellers. Even if you are checking brochure in your hotel room, make sure that you don’t carry it with you. Either you can give it back to the hotel manager or pass it onto a new traveller in your hotel. Maybe you have earmarked some exciting places on the map. Your fellow traveller will surely like your gesture.
- Be prudent while using hotel’s amenities: When you are at home, do you take long showers and always keep lights & fans on even when you don’t need? Do you make the excess use of air conditioners or room heaters? How often do you change your bed-sheets—every day? Probably not, so why are you doing all these things while holidaying as well. Yes, you are paying for the hotel services, and you are travelling to live a luxury life than what you would have received at home. However, it doesn’t mean, you can ditch green living practices.
- Choose public transport: Instead of hoping in a private car for travelling, always use public transport. If it is feasible, you can always walk or rent a vehicle. In this way, you not only save the money, but also get a chance to explore the city.
- Use hotel amenities carefully: When you exit from your hotel room, make sure to unplug all the necessary electrical appliances. Unplug mini fridge and coffee maker unless you want to use them. During daytime, instead of switching on lights, just open windows to let sunlight into your room. There are so many little things which you can do to make a difference. Remember, it’s not about staying in a nature-friendly holiday hotel, it is all about staying in the green lodging frame of mind.
- Leave ‘only’ your footprints: While travelling, wherever possible, stick to marked trails only. Also, don’t harm animals and natural flora. Unless necessary, going off the beaten path could mean harming natural flora as well. Though, leaving footprints while travelling is a good move, leaving carbon footprints are not.
- Bolster recycling: Most of the plastic is non-degradable and thus, take years to decompose. Once you leave the destination, locals will still have to deal with your garbage. So it becomes your responsibility to decompose plastic properly. You can also check with your hotel’s recycling program to recycle your waste accordingly. If possible, always carry an extra bag to dump trash. Not only it is a wonderful way to keep your surrounding clean, in this way, you can also protect wild animals from eating or tangling in the garbage.
- Restrict the use of plastic bottles: Do you know, on an average, a traveller in Asia purchases two large water bottles in one day? It means, if you are on a 10-day trip to an Asian country, you would be consuming minimum 20 bottles during your trip! In February 2017, the number of foreign tourists stood at 9.56 lakh in India. Imagine the number of plastic bottles used by tourists! It is daunting to degrade plastic, so carry an aluminium water bottle while travelling. Wherever you find clean water, fill it up. This way you can also save money.
- Be a smart shopper: While purchasing an item, read the label and ask questions like, “what is this item constitutes”? Around the world, many people sell such items which are made from endangered species and non-recyclable materials. Though in their nations, it may be fine to buy or sell such items, however, you can still cast your vote against them by not purchasing during your nature-friendly holiday.
- Eat local food: The reason is simple— if you consume such food items which are not flown in or trucked from other location or continent, you are curtailing the carbon footprints and emissions. So, while holidaying, make every effort to support local businesses that grow and serve local-made food. Vacation is the best time to cut your ties from monotonous life and try something new. Believe me eating locally produced food is one of the amazing ways to do so during nature-friendly holiday.
- Go with online travel insurance plan: While you are travelling to relax, unforeseen events, like passport/baggage loss, personal accident, flight cancellation, etc.; can arise to disrupt your journey. So, it is imperative to buy a travel insurance policy before you travel. But make sure to buy a travellers insurance policy online to save on paperwork. Further, buying a travel insurance policy online is cheap due to the absence of agent’s commission. In this way, you can keep both your pocket and Mother Nature happy.
Stay Close to Nature; It Will Never Fail You: Frank Lloyd Wright
As sung by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, “Green is the colour of Spring….I am green, and it’ll do fine. It’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” In reality, you don’t need to be an environmental expert to find out new nature-friendly tips. In fact, by taking a small but meaningful step and becoming conscious about HOW you travel, you can save the Planet. Don’t wait for the government to frame any rules. Be a front-runner and frame your own rules to save the planet. Collectively, you can make a big difference.
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