Sustainable Travel: A New Trend?

Sustainable Travel

With the increasing demand for traveling to different countries, either for work or to see the world,
we are facing a planet crisis as we have finite resources.
Whether sustainable travel and tourism are emerging trends or not;
the main question is what measures we are taking to minimize our tourism carbon footprint.
To leave no trace on earth and have a guilt-free journey.

Well, who doesn’t want to travel and see the world through the naked eye?
I’m also a travel enthusiast!
For me traveling and experiences are life. Call it therapy or a healer.
Staying or settling in one place doesn’t make any sense to me.
If you’re not seeing the world and living for the experiences, then what’s the meaning of life?
Well, everybody has different perspectives!
The ultimate goal is to live with purpose and passion.
No matter what others think or speak about it.
But it ought to provide joy, fulfillment, and refreshment to your soul.

Before we continue, let’s know what exactly Sustainable Travel is.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism is defined as:

“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

In my own simple terms,
To travel in alliance with nature and the local communities. In a way, we call it co-existence.
A WIN-WIN between us and them. Protecting and conserving it by providing no harm or disturbance to nature, wildlife, and the host community.
Being aware of the harsh impacts of travel and tourism. By keeping track of and minimizing your own carbon footprints.
Thereby adding more life to planet earth.

Mass tourism imperils the planet’s ability to survive due to its scarce resources.
Understanding the effects of tourism on the environment and taking the necessary steps
to lessen those effects are prerequisites for traveling sustainably.
Sustainable travel is a wise decision if you want to preserve the environment
as opposed to commercializing it to attract tourists.

Sustainable travel is the implementation of a long-term tourism plan without
putting the natural and cultural ecosystems in jeopardy.
Sustainable travel should minimize the negative effects of tourism and,
ideally, be advantageous to the area in which it is taking place.

Not following sustainable travel and tourism is definitely gonna pay you harder sapiens.
Never live in FOMO.
Let’s revolutionize it!
Leave no trace on me & get more wonders to travel.
Have a guilt-free journey!

Mother Earth

Travel-related pollution, including how it affects the ecosystem and native wildlife,
has to be better understood by tourists.
Furthermore, they must comprehend the effects that tourism has on
local communities, indigenous cultures, and firms.

The definitions of responsible travel, sustainable travel, ecotourism, and green travel are all related.
All of these ideas speak to increasing our awareness when traveling.
They make an effort to have a positive influence on local economies and communities
while limiting negative environmental repercussions.

We can all opt and work together to make tourism a positive force by supporting sustainable travel options in the following ways:

1✅ Prefer Homestays/Staycations/Workations

Ever stayed at homestays? Ever gone on staycations? Ever tried working on vacations?
If not yet, start adapting and evolving the way you travel, work, and lifestyle now.
It is affordable, reasonable, and sustainable. It leaves less carbon footprint and it acts as a mind healer.
Let’s know one by one what exactly it is and how it contributes to sustainable travel and tourism.

Homestays:-
As a type of hospitality and housing, homestays allow guests to stay in the home of a local resident (the host) while on a trip. The purpose of the homestay program is to host visitors with a local family so they can learn about the local way of life, culture, and natural environment.

Staycations:-
The words “stay” and “vacation,” which are the roots of the term “staycation,
” were originated in the United States.
It refers to vacations that you take close to or at home rather than too far away from home,
as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary.
When you take a break during a staycation, you could focus your energies on your body and use the time for relaxation and healing on all levels—spiritual, emotional, and physical.
You get a chance to consider new ideas when you have some downtime.

Workation:-
Envision it as “work away from work.”
The words “workation” and “vacation” are related.
Enabling employees to unwind and be more productive, involves integrating work and pleasure.
A workation is essentially taking a break from your regular work while continuing to do your work.
Consider it as working while on vacation.

2✅ Become a Slow Traveller

Well, let me clear this up, slow travel doesn’t mean lazy travel.
It is less harsh on the environment than fast traveling, as you get to experience and explore more.
You get to interact and be involved with the local community.

As per the Journal of Travel Research,
“Slow tourism is characterized by reducing mobility and by taking time to explore local history and culture while supporting the environment. The traveler’s main goals are relaxation, self-reflection, escape, novelty seeking, engagement, and discovery.”

Embracing local people, cultures, food, and music are all important components of slow travel.
It is predicated on the notion that a journey should be sustainable for nearby communities and
the environment while serving as a means of education and emotional uplift both now and in the future.

3✅ Transform accommodations into a more sustainable one

Sustainable hotels employ eco-friendly best practices in their operations, maintenance, services,
logistics, goods, and supplies to dramatically lower their environmental effect.
Waste minimization, energy conservation, and water conservation are the three main components.

Sustainable accommodations

Questions to be asked before booking sustainable accommodations:-
✔Do they use a few percent to 100% Renewable/Green energy?
✔Do they use eco-friendly materials like mud, bricks, wood, and locally sourced materials to build property?
✔Do they have rainwater harvesting?
Do their property have a minimum of 33% tree coverage?
✔Are they having waste management systems?
✔Do they have a system, program, or certifications for carbon credits? (Steps towards Carbon Neutrality)

According to this, FTF (Fitness Travel Food) gives accommodations sustainability ratings to resorts and hotels we visit from A to F to increase awareness and influence on sustainability.

4✅ Choosing sustainable means of Transport-Low to Zero Carbon Emissions

sustainable travel

Any form of transportation that is “green” and has no impact on
the environment is referred to as sustainable transportation.
In order to be sustainable, transportation must balance our present and future needs.  
Walking, cycling, taking public transportation, carpooling, car sharing, trains, and
using green automobiles are examples of sustainable mobility.

5✅ Switching to Green Energy

Energy production without the release of harmful greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming and a reduction in some air pollution.
Expanding the range of available energy sources like using green hydrogen for the production of energy,
ethanol blending and solar-wind-powered energy while decreasing reliance on imported fuels.

6✅ Limit overcrowding at destinations

Have you ever taken a trip when you were detained in traffic for hours,
struggled to find a place to even stand or sit on the beach,
or heard about habitat loss, pollution, landslides, soil erosion, or land degradation in the mountains?

Well, these are the causes of excessive tourism!

In 2022, over-tourism is recognized as a global issue as its negative impacts on the environment and the local population become more evident and unavoidable.
It results in the disengagement of locals, tourist experiences deteriorate,
infrastructure becomes overburdened, the environment is harmed,
and hazards to culture and heritage are increased.

Overtourism should be evaded at all costs, 
as more people travel and find inspiration online,
and many destinations are now overrun with tourists and
are forced to deal with the detrimental repercussions of over-tourism.

7✅ Giving preference to local and traditional foods and stuff over imported

Sustainable Travel

As you travel to different cities, states, and countries you get a lot of exposure.
You can interact and learn about their local food, music, and lifestyle,
which results out to be economically sustainable.
It overall protects their culture and food.

8✅ Proper waste management- The 3R

Accommodations adding recycling units at their premises.
Later reusing it as a new product, for example,
✔Using restaurant or kitchen food waste and switching them to fertilizers/compost. Can do organic farming.
✔Using refillable soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers
✔Replacing disposable bottles with water filters
✔Using washable products and dishware in place of disposables
This helps in the reduction of waste and might become a waste that brings profits!

♻Reduce Waste, Recycle, and Reuse It.

9✅ Eco-friendly Cutlery

Eco-friendly Cutlery

Say no to plastic. It degrades into microplastics, which
are poisonous to humans as well as to animals and marine life.
Recent research has shown microplastics have been found in human blood.
(Refer to previous blog #3 Plastic)

By using biodegradable products we can limit environmental pollution. Eco-friendly cutlery like bamboo, earthen vessels, wooden products, or plant-based like a banana leaf, reusable metal bottles, etc

It’s among the simplest measures you can take toward a more waste-free way of life.
Alternatives to conventional cutlery that are made from sustainable materials not only feel and look finer, but they also don’t harm the planet every time you use them.

10✅ Bringing Sustainable Innovations into the Tourism sector

Bringing research and innovation is the key to sustainable travel and tourism.
The root of sustainability generates from bringing quality education.
Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in experiential economics, sustainable tourism, and tourism are increasingly being offered by universities.
Individuals can engage in a variety of sustainable behaviors, such as using less plastic, supporting local businesses, going to less-populated locations, and many more.

Additionally, we have a variety of informational resources and tools at our disposal.
As these moves go against the current in a still-evolving industry, their impact will be limited.
Sustainable innovation is the way to go!

Conclusion

Travel but travel sustainably.
Sustainable Travel & Tourism is our future. Let’s rethink tourism for a better future.
Of course, it is hard to bring these behavioral changes to us.
But it is harder not to take any actions in the longer run.
Get responsible with your traveling.
Either you wanna see a greener planet or a grey planet?
I’ve already changed the way I travel.
The choice is yours.
Correct me if I’m wrong.

Try not to live in FOMO by not following this Sustainable Travel Trend.
Leave no trace!
Have a guilt-free trip.

Get Out! Get Sukoon! Get Alive!
Money is not the problem. You’re just too lazy.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s the fact.

So are you ready to bring the change and reach this global SDG net zero carbon target set by UNGA by 2030?
Type “YES” if you agree and do share your opinions in the comments section below.

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