There are so many things you can do to help protect the environment – not least when it comes to travelling! If you follow (at least one of) these simple steps next time you’re going abroad, you’re already helping create a healthier planet...
1. Choose an ethical destination
If you’re going to spend your dollars somewhere in the world, let it be in a place where they support a sustainable tourism industry. Every year, the non-profit organisation Ethical Traveler ranks destinations across the globe by their social welfare, environmental protection standards etc. This year, the top 10 destinations are:
In Qooqot, Greenland
2. Travel with a green tour operator
It’s often a better idea to travel with an independent local guide than a big company. Look out for a green profile and promotion of ethical practices and if the tour operator contributes to the community. It’s often easy to see whether they respect the local flora and fauna or not.
3. Stay in an eco certified hotel
Certified green hotels are a massive advantage for the environment as they use renewable energy and recycle. They also use eco friendly cleaning products and encourage guests to make an impact (don’t ask for clean sheets and towels everyday…). Today, there are many certification programs for hotels, but some of the most well-known are Green Key Global and Green Globe International. It’s a fact that small hotels and B&Bs are more eco friendly than large chain hotels, but as my heart belongs to luxury travelling, I can’t help but promote this website. From Japan to Switzerland, it shows some of the world’s greenest luxury hotels. Win-win!
Trekking through the jungle in Paraty, Brazil
4. Eat local food
Luckily, it’s quite easy to find delicious food from local produce when travelling. If you eat at restaurants supporting local produce (and thereby supporting local farmers), you’ll cut your carbon footprint even more. It’s a delightful way of helping the environment, and it’s usually not expensive as ingredients are not imported.
Bicycling in the Maldives
5. Respect the local wildlife (and don’t support tourist attractions!)
Respecting nature and its wildlife is evident if you want to ‘go green’. An increasing number of touristic tours seem to appear in exotic destinations, and travellers seem to forget everything about ethics! Getting close to an endangered animal species or visiting one of the last wildlife human tribes might sound like an amazing opportunity, but stop and think about it for a minute… does it harm the environment more than it does good? Remember only to support businesses and tour operators with a green profile. Just because everyone else are doing it doesn’t mean you have to as well.
Planting a tree in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
6. Support organisations
Once you’re back home, there are several ways for you to continue your support for a healthier planet, for instance by donating to trusted and professional organisations. WWF and Greenpeace are probably the two most famous organisations, but there are literally hundreds of them, so pick one that suits you best. For inspiration, check out Friends of the Earth and World Green Organisation.
There are no sponsored links in this post, and all views are, as always, Regitse's own.
The Copenhagen Traveler was established by Regitse Cecillie Rosenvinge in 2014, and in June 2016 was nominated one of the world’s best luxury travel blogs at TBCAsia. Join Regitse's adventures and be inspired to travel the world in style yourself. There’s so much out there to be seen!
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