You knew it – traveling is good for you. It benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. Research shows that people who travel are generally happier than those who don’t.

But traveling can have a negative impact too particularly in the environment. From increased pollution to natural habitat loss, tourism has put a huge toll in our environment in the past decades.

That is why there’s a big social movement rallying for responsible traveling, also called “ecotourism”. If you’re a frequent traveler, you may have heard of it many times already.

Being a responsible, eco-friendly traveler might sound like a big thing and you may find yourself feeling intimidated to even try it out. Well, the thing is practicing ecotourism is not in any way complicated. You don’t also have to completely change your traveling style. By making small changes and developing simple eco-friendly habits, you can become a responsible traveler who Mother Nature loves. Lastly, it could even save you money in the long-run. Going eco-friendly lets you save some cash, whether you are using your savings or taking personal loans online to fund your travel.

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Choose Eco-Friendly Providers

You definitely cannot control the carbon emissions in the plane or car you rode or the plastics and chemicals used by hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops in your destination. But you can choose more eco-friendly accommodations, diners, and stores. For example, when finding a hotel, look for those that have “green” certifications, such as LEEDS Approval in the United States, Green Tourism in Canada, UK, and Italy, or Earth Check in Australia. Also, research if the hotel is employing green practices such as the use of energy-saving appliances, recycling program, and green cleaning methodologies.

Bring Reusable Travel Essential

Using disposable items may seem like the most sensible idea to be able to travel light. Unfortunately, it is taking a huge toll on our environment. On your next trip, consider bringing reusable silverware set (including straws), your own water bottle, coffee mug, toiletries, etc. Not only you will help lessen pollution, but you can also save some money from not having to buy the said items every time you travel.

Don’t Leave A Trace Behind

When camping out in National Parks and other campsites, make it a habit to take all your belongings with you when you leave, including your trash. Bring at least two reusable trash bags – one for trash and another for recycling. Use biodegradable toiletries (soap, shampoo, and toothpaste) too.

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Whenever Possible, Take A Road Trip

If your destination is within driving range, drive. Road tripping is not only fun. It is also more eco-friendly than flying. If you choose to travel by air, consider booking flights from airline companies that offer carbon offset programs. These are pro-environment initiatives which aim to reduce carbon emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects. Or drive a Tesla.

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Volunteer

More and more travelers are buying the idea of volunteering as part of their major activities. Volunteer works can come in many forms, such as supporting, children’s education, building houses, and of course – protecting the environment. Consider supporting local conservation efforts in the community you are visiting or if you don’t have much time to take part in their activities, you can simply donate.

Support Eco-Friendly Brands

They might cost a little higher than similar items in the malls, but eco-friendly brands feature high-quality sustainable products which you can use for a long time. These companies employ fair and ethical manufacturing practices, with environmental protection in mind.

 

Respect The Locals And Their Culture

Responsible traveling is not only about protecting the environment. It also involves respecting places and people. When visiting a foreign place, you are likely to learn about religion, language, and customs that you disagree with or you don’t understand. Regardless of your belief or point of views, respect them. When they visit your country, it is something that you will demand from them too.

Make Water Conservation Efforts

Water conservation efforts that you practice at home can be done anywhere too, such as in the hotel you’re staying. Small things can make a big difference. Instead of taking a bath, opt for a shower. Doing so lets you save 50 gallons of water. Try to take shorter showers too, turning it off when shampooing or lathering up.

With every travel journey you take, remember that you have responsibilities especially when it comes to protecting Mother Nature. Little things can go a long way. With these simple tips, you can become a more responsible and eco-friendly traveler.