I already told you about my inclination towards Responsible travel in my previous post. In this post, I will try to explain the whats and hows.
Two important things we need to know about responsible travel are: When and How?
Well, When is easy. NOW!
With environment getting degraded every day, temperature breaking records every year and fast depletion of non-renewable resources, responsible travel has become very important. The need for #GoGreenGoLocal is right now! Not next year, not the year after. Today is it and Now it is!
How: Go Green, Go Local
#GoGreenGoLocal is my personal understanding of responsible travel. It incorporates two important aspects: Go green and Go local.
It has an environment-friendly agenda. Well, we all studied environmental science in school. Lets use it then! 🙂
1. Promote Eco-lodges and self-sustaining accommodations
These accommodations options are special in the way that they promote self-sustaining. They use renewable energy and promote an Eco-friendly way of living in one way or another. Before booking an option you can always check if they practice Eco-friendly ways. You can find some of the options here (International); here and here (in India; from Budget options to high-end luxury!)
2. Home stays and AirBnB
I have been a big supporter to Airbnb. On and off media. I have been using them myself for a while. (Don’t have one yet? Get 30 euros for your first booking if you book it via this link. I get the same). Not only these options are cheaper but also produce fewer carbon prints. For example, water consumption is lower in a typical household (home stay for example) compared to the resorts and hotel standards.
3. Walk Walk Walk
My love for walking has been world known now 😀 I love to walk through the cities (Like Bern, Rome, Reykjavik, Lugano, Salzburg to name a few). Seeping all in! Actually, biking is also fun! 🙂 Fun and environment-friendly.
4. Public transport or Share a ride
Okay, Sometimes distances are not comfortably walkable. For such times, I always prefer public transport. Again cheaper and less pollution than when everyone gets their own cars/taxis.
5. Ecological considerations at hotels
Okay! I get it that AirBnB is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people prefer to stay in resorts or hotels. Several hotels have started complying with ecological standards and offer you a way to contribute. For example, by asking you if you really need the sheets/towels to be washed every day? This is one of the ways we can save some water and electricity 🙂
6. Save water
Well, this is something more for daily life rather than doing it only for travels.
7. Use a refillable water bottle
You would be surprised how many people completely ignore this important mean. Buying a new plastic water bottle every time you need water is not only heavy on your pocket but also on the environment. I prefer to carry my own water bottle. There are many public sources with drinkable water supply (like fountains etc) to fill them up when emptied.
Pfeiferbrunnen (translation: Piper fountain) in Bern. Don’t miss the scary giant like water outlet.
8. Help to preserve the Flora and Fauna
And definitely do not harm them: This also goes without saying, right? and no littering around of garbage.
Have you read by post about Bern: The city of fountains and bridges, yet?
Colorful flowers by the Lake Leman, Lausanne
Did you know you can actually Adopt a Gorilla? Penguin may be? or Polar bear? Don’t believe me? Check it out 🙂 #ReallyButNotReally
Go local means supporting the local communities and people. It also means saving the cultural and heritage values. Other than the environment, we also have a responsibility to preserve the cultural and heritage aspects of our destination. Personally, I like to visit places with cultural heritages and would definitely not like if their culture and local amenities are getting extinct.
Local home stays or AirBnb
Again my favorite option. It is a perfect way to not spend a huge amount of money and help the local community.
Engage in cultural activities
I loved it when all my European friends were so excited and happy to participate in the cultural and ritual events of my wedding. It is not about the wedding. It is about how you respect and enjoy someone’s culture. That is also what I do when visiting a place. I like to enjoy the place as it is rather than trying to change it for my convenience.
Rajasthani thali, in Udaipur
Local authentic food
Me and food. Cannot stay away from each other for long 😀 I have to admit that I am not very adventurous with my food. I prefer to not challenge my taste buds but traveling is the time I am open to many different options. And I have to say that I have not been disappointed so far! 🙂
Benefit local markets
I love collecting souvenirs and carry back some local foods. It is always a good idea to visit the fresh farmer markets and find the local fruits, vegetables and other delicacies. It benefits the local community and definitely does a favor to your taste buds 😀
DO NOT degrade, clutter or mark heritage sights
Graffiti is a different thing. That hundreds of year old important cultural heritage site IS NOT a Graffiti sight.
Get involved in volunteer programs
There are several options available these days where you can enroll yourself in a volunteering community when you travel. That is more of a direct way to give back! 🙂 I haven’t tried it yet because I am always traveling for a very short duration like weekends etc. One quick search landed me to this option.
It is not that difficult. Is it? I like local traditions and flavors anyways. It is funny that I did not have to think a lot before writing this one. Although I am a new blogger and just started my agenda of responsible travel, I realized that I have been following the above-mentioned points since a long time. All I started new is to voice it and shout out loud! Responsible travel is more than a movement. It is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is aware and responsible. So, let’s all cheer for Responsible travel. Cheers for #GoGreenGoLocal.
Till next time! Travel safe, Travel green and Travel local!
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