Frequent travelers know the importance of sustaining the natural beauty of a destination. Everyone has the ability to make an impact—good and bad—on the environment in which we live, but it takes a little bit of extra effort to help leave the world a better place after you leave than when you found it. Help keep the planet clean, beautiful and healthy as you explore on your travels and adventures.
Flying has huge environmental impacts – plan your trip to stay as long as possible instead of making repeated trips to reduce your carbon footprint. Book non-stop flights versus connections since there is double the fuel used.
Go into your travels with an anti-plastic attitude. That means bringing your own re-usable cloth bags for shopping or groceries. Bringing along a refillable bottle for water and beverages. Save the turtles and avoid using plastic straws. And purchasing glass or aluminum packaged products versus plastic.
Do not leave waste or garbage behind—that’s called littering. Don’t be a lazy litter bug. If you packed it in, pack it out.
While at your destination, choose to walk, cycle, take public transit, or rickshaw. You’ll see a lot more of the area this way and reduce your carbon foot print.
Look with your eyes and camera and leave nature alone in its natural habitat. Try not to touch and do not remove any plants or animals from the area. Protect the wildlife / flora and fauna by letting them be and enjoyed by everyone.
Avoid participating in local tourist trap areas that benefit from animals in captivity. Riding elephants, petting tigers, and holding panda bears might be fun, but go to refuge and rehabilitation centers versus companies exploiting animals for their own gain and engaging in animal cruelty.
Purchase with a conscience. Don’t buy items with animal parts, pieces taken from the sea or forest, and items made of wood. That palm oil might be tempting, but did farmers chop down an entire rain forest to grow that tree in the first place?
Consider your ecological footprint where ever you go. Don’t touch coral when snorkeling / diving, leave rock formations alone, and do not bathe in lakes / streams.
Stay on the marked paths when on nature trails, historical sites, walks, and hikes. Use marked toilet facilities, not nature, to use the bathroom without hurting the environment.
Do your research. Finding out that palm forests do mean wiping out acres of rain forest or indulging in a certain activity might be detrimental to the longevity and sustainability of a local environment. You might learn about a few ways you can contribute to the health of the region versus being a counterproductive visitor.