Green Globe

7 Ways to Make Your Travel More Sustainable

By Rachael Gilpin
on  December 20, 2019

Sustainability is quite the buzzword these days and for good reason. Our planet’s natural resources and spectacular beauty might not be around in their current state much longer due to the effects of global warming. As international travel has become increasingly more affordable in recent decades, travelling in a way that’s sustainable in the future has become an important and popular topic that we are here to discuss.

If you care to sustainably travel in a way that minimally impacts our great Earth Mother while simultaneously soaking up all the beauty our globe has to offer, read on. We’ve gathered our most useful and practical tips on how to travel sustainably, in a way that allows our planet to continue breathing, living, and shining brightly.

Support the Local Economy, Responsibly

While it’s tempting to snatch up a cute Starbucks mug to remember your time abroad, it’s often better to venture a bit off the path and seek out a business that is a product of the local community. Locally made crafts, while not always cheaper, will certainly ensure a more ethical contribution, and will likely provide a more positive and direct impact on the local economy.

What’s the Rush?

Join the “slow travel” movement, which emphasizes a stronger connection to food, culture, people, and using more sustainable modes of transport like group bus tours. 

Not only is group transport a more leisurely way to travel, but it also allows a traveller to see the “in-betweens,” lending to a richer experience instead of simply hopping from one destination to the next. 

You might wind up sitting next to a fellow traveller who you have a lot in common with and end up in a great conversation. Sure, you go to Florence for the Statue of David, but how great is the destination without the memorable journey?

Wild Kiwi vehicle and guests

Accommodate your accommodation

Whether you’re staying in a hostel, cabin, hotel, or guesthouse, here are some great tips to reduce our impact 

  • Take your own toiletries and lessen the number of wasted tiny shampoo bottles or the body wash that leaks out of the hostel shower dispenser every time you go to use it.
  • Hang up your towels – it’s the universal sign that you’re happy to reuse them.
  • Close your bunk curtains or hang your ‘do not disturb’ sign and avoid unnecessary linen washing, vacuuming, and cleaning chemicals.
  • Leave the plastic water bottles and fill up your own reusable jug instead.

 

Give With Thought

Many well-intentioned travellers bring used clothing, books, or sweets to hand out to children in third world countries, however, this can have unfortunate consequences and can lead to a developed need or dependency on tourists instead of encouraging sustainability and independence. 

Alternatively, keep an eye out for reputable organisations that work with the community that accepts donations. Often you can find one that helps local residents get an education or even develop skills to get a job and support their families. If you prefer to help the furrier kind, there are often groups that help protect local animals and wildlife. There are many ways to help, but some ways will continue to deliver long after you’ve left!

Koala Hospital in Australia with Wild Kiwi

Ditch The Plane

Travelling by plane is incredibly harmful to the environment and leaves a hefty carbon footprint, you can avoid this by buying a bus or train ticket instead where possible. And besides, isn’t it more exciting to tell your friends about the time you hoofed it around the world by rail, bus, or van with the friends you made along the way anyway? 

Research Your Activities

I’ll never forget the time I went to Thailand to fulfil my dream of going to an elephant sanctuary only to be sorely disappointed after an elephant ride through the jungle (they’re not meant to carry the weight of people) and witnessing multiple animals chained to poles in the ground. I felt tricked and awful inside.

Asking questions ahead of time can help steer you in the right direction. Ask the company if they hire local guides. What does the company do to help protect the environment? Also, ask how the organisation supports local wildlife or cultural heritage. 

Wild Kiwi only works with reputable and sustainable companies so if you hitch a ride with us, you can breathe easy knowing your dollars are going towards sustainable causes.

Canopy Tours in Rotorua with Wild Kiwi

No More Airline Earphones

This might not make as big of a difference as the ones listed above, however, with approximately 1.2 billion people travelling by plane each year, that’s a lot of wasted low-quality earphones— and who likes those awful things anyway? If you can’t ditch the plane altogether, keep the dual-pronged adapter and use your own earphones on future trips. Not only will this provide a much better sound experience, but it’ll also save on multiple wasted headphones as well!

We realise how important it is to travel in a way that our planet can thrive in the future, and do our part to contribute. By joining forces with Wild Kiwi on the trip of a lifetime, you’ll know what you’re paying for upfront. We hope to see you soon!

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