Sustainability is incredibly important to people in 2023, and recent survey results indicate that travellers are starting to value sustainable travel. One study highlighted by WE Forum shows that sustainable travel is a priority for four out of five global travellers. 71% intend to travel more sustainably, and 78% aim to stay at a sustainable property at least once a year.
Unfortunately, there are still significant gaps between consumers’ intentions and behaviours that stem from factors like price premiums and low credibility. On an individual level, how can we overcome these gaps and travel as sustainably as we can? Keep reading for our tips below.
In slow travel, one spends more time at a single destination to explore it properly at an easy pace. Rather than focusing on time constraints and schedules to make sure you see and do everything on your itinerary, you allow yourself time to connect to the plan and to others. Slowing down travel can make you more appreciative of the environment you’re in and the people you encounter.
Slow travel is sustainable because it puts minimal pressure on the environment. This entails choosing to drive instead of taking a flight or opting to go for long walks instead of driving around the area. Slow travel means shopping at the farmers’ markets and trying out local cafes. It also entails staying at small boutique hotels and homestays instead of major chain hotels. These acts play a significant role in reducing the carbon footprint of travellers as a whole.
Choosing Ethical and Sustainable Brands
Ethical and sustainable brands prioritise environmentally friendly materials, fair labour practices, and transparent supply chains. By choosing such brands, travellers contribute to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting responsible consumption.
You can do your research beforehand and find a brand’s commitment to sustainability and ethics on its webpage. For instance, if you are shopping for sunglasses for your trip, you can check the materials used and the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. A quick scroll on the website of the leading online prescription glasses retailer in the UK, GlassesDirect, shows that many of their sunglasses are created from recyclable materials. Waterhaul frames, for one, are made of 100% recycled fishing nets and can be shipped to customers using environmentally friendly packaging. By choosing such ethical and sustainable products, travellers can enjoy their journeys while supporting a brand that aligns with their sustainability values.
Embracing Zero-Waste Travel
Travel is often full of disposable products, which is why many get intimidated by the thought of zero-waste travel. However, going zero-waste is all about making conscious choices and embracing sustainable alternatives. See how tourists and locals in Japan are encouraged to pack reusable essentials such as shopping bags, water bottles, and utensils to avoid single-use plastic. Otherwise, when it comes to toiletries, you can choose refillable containers or solid products to reduce packaging waste. Also, opt for digital transactions to avoid unnecessary paper waste, and carry a portable charger to reduce the use of disposable batteries.
Additionally, support local businesses and markets that prioritise sustainability. By avoiding excessive packaging and disposable items, travellers can significantly reduce their waste generation and contribute to a more sustainable travel experience.
Ultimately, there will be some destinations where individual efforts won’t be enough to counteract environmentally damaging practices. That is because sustainability isn’t a mere trend but a mindset. That is why it is best to responsibly choose destinations that are in line with your values and will support your efforts toward sustainability.
Eco-friendly hotels have become more popular now that people are more intentional about travelling sustainably. These accommodations lean on green initiatives to limit their carbon footprint and environmental impact. They may also have various initiatives to improve sustainability efforts, such as creating a plastic-free environment, offering sustainability training and education to staff and guests, and utilising renewable energy sources like solar power for heating and lighting. Researching a potential accommodation’s sustainability efforts can ensure that you’ll be staying at a place that cares for the environment. Check out our list of five-star hotels in Edinburgh and see how these splurge-worthy places practice sustainability and ethical business practices.
With our tips, travelling sustainably is definitely possible. With a little effort, you can do your part for the planet and ensure more memorable and satisfying travels in the long run.