It's one thing to want to be more eco-friendly, but sometimes hard to put that into action. Eliza Anderson of Intrepid Travel has put together these top 10 practical tips for environmentally friendly travel.
You want memories of your holiday to last for years but 500 years is way too long. Plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade so take a re-useable shopping bag with you when you go to local markets.
Every kilo counts when flying. The more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Pack only what you need - the environment will thank you.
Taking public transport is one of the best things you can do for the environment when traveling. It means you're not creating any additional carbon emissions from private transport. It will also add to your travel experience, providing you with opportunities to interact with locals.
Cut out just one five-hour flight and your carbon footprint will be a tonne lighter. And you'll get to see more of the countryside too!
Drink a locally brewed beer and not only will you probably enjoy a high quality ale, but your drink can be low-carbon by cutting down on 'beer mileage'. This applies to eating local produce too. Let your taste buds be adventurous - it's carbon friendly!
A great tip is to remember to act in a hotel like you would at home - avoid getting clean towels when not necessary, don't have long showers and something frequently forgotten is to turn off TV, lights and aircon when you leave the room.
Not all carbon emissions can be avoided whilst traveling. Intrepid Travel has a range of adventures that it has calculated the carbon emissions from, reduced wherever possible and offset what remains. The emissions from transport, accommodation, activities and waste have been accounted for and the cost of offsetting is included in the cost of the trip.
Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste. Intrepid Travel has worked with hotels in Asia to install water filters that travellers can use to fill re-useable bottles with safe water.
When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Going off the beaten path could mean you trample on protected or endangered plants.
Smaller groups tend to have less of an environmental impact so travel with a small group tour operator that's environmentally responsible. Before you book, ask what size the group will be. While you've got their attention, why not also ask how the operator gives back to the community you'll be visiting.
About the Author
Intrepid Travel is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. With the participation of their travellers, we can help conserve the areas we visit and bring positive benefits to our host communities.
What do you do to lessen your travel impact? Share your best environmentally friendly travel tips.