The earth is a fragile place that is trying to recover from the damage that humans have wrought upon it over the years. It is everyone’s responsibility to try to leave the world a better place for the next generation. Travelling can be very hard on the environment. Jets burn a lot of fuel and pollute the air, natural areas can be destroyed if people are not respectful, and fresh water sources are disappearing in many areas of the world. But there are ways for people to travel responsibly.
Reuse bags and Always Recycle
Plastic bags and water bottles are clogging up the waterways of our world, and take up to 1,000 years to decompose! Be very careful about accepting plastic bags wherever you are and either carry your own cloth tote or carry your own plastic bags if you plan on buying something. Look for recycling bins wherever you go and if you don’t see any encourage the hotel that you are staying at to start a recycling program.
Make a Difference by Volunteering
There are many opportunities in the world where you can volunteer. You can help with marine conservation, teach English to people who don’t have access to it in school, look after children in orphanages, help develop agriculture and many more.
If you have medical training you can help out in areas that have little access to medical supplies. Keep in mind that if you are doing unskilled labour you are taking a job away from someone who lives there who could really use the money. It is important to thoroughly research the volunteering organisations before you go to make sure your good intentions don’t actually cause more harm than good.
Use Companies that Support Local Conservation
Do some research before you leave and find hotels to stay in that support local conservation efforts like recycling water, planting trees, use local products, and creating jobs for the people that live there.
Use tour companies that have strict rules about people leaving garbage behind when entering an area. Undiscovered Mountains is an example of a tour company which is committed to sustainable and responsible tourism by protecting and preserving the mountains they operate on.
Use Public Transportation
If everyone in the world took the bus there would be far fewer cars on the road. Do a bit of research before heading to major attractions and you will find that there are probably buses or trains that go right there. It is also a great way to interact with local people and learn more about the culture. Also, you don’t have to worry about driving on the wrong side of the road, or trying to find somewhere to park.
Start Before Leaving Home
Do a bit of work before you leave home and you can make a big difference. Switch all of your bills to online billing so you don’t come home to a pile of mail. If you need a paper copy you can always print it out or ask the company for a copy. Unplug all of your appliances before leaving so that no power is being drawn unnecessarily.
Suspend your newspaper delivery because you can get any important news online while you are travelling. Clean out your fridge so that no food is wasted while you are gone. Turn off your water main. This can also help you avoid coming home to any horrible floods or disasters that could occur when you are not home.