Going Places: Travel Green

Summers are around and the school students are out for the summers. In the scorching heat, some people prefer to stay indoors and chill out while others pack up and leave for a trip to some place outside. Be it travelers or tourists, it is quite essential for them to travel the right way such that they themselves are comfortable during their holiday and at the same time they do not harm the environment as well.

When I say ‘green travel’ most people picture sleeping in a hammock in the jungles of Borneo and living life like Bear Grylls from ‘Man vs. Wild’ but it is not exactly just that. That kind is just one portion of eco-adventure green tourism spectrum. You do not have to denounce your worldly comforts and go and live in some island jungle to prove yourself to be a green traveler. You can totally visit cities and live in hotels and lodges and chill in a pool too. All that is needed is a little consideration and effort to preserve the environment.

‘Green Travel’ is from the family of big terms like eco-tourism, sustainable development, etc. It basically means conserving the cultural and natural aspects of the place you visit. It includes caring for the wildlife, natural resources and the local community and their way of life. If you can, contribute positively to the indigenous community and do not interfere or alter the place, wildlife or the people by your negative influence.

It is essential to take a green approach to travel not just for our sakes but for the place that we love to visit as well. If you turn the place ugly with your litter, neither you nor anyone else would like to visit the previously lovely spot. An added bonus to green traveling is that you have the satisfaction of having done a good job of protecting the environment, your travel experience is more genuine and rich and you have a deep connection with the local community and the place you visit.

Here are certain pointers that you should follow while stepping out for a picnic, trip or a holiday.

1. Choosing a Green a Hotel: There a few points that you might want to consider while choosing an environmentally friendly hotel.
• Does the hotel staff constitute local people? Local employees not only cuts cost of travel but also gives livelihood to the local community which is better adapted at living in those conditions. For example, in a Malaysian hotel, staffing it with American people is not a good idea. They are not used to the weather and culinary conditions and would need air conditioners, which, we know is against the environment’s well-being.
• Does the hotel use LED or CFL lights? What is the source of electricity? Is it hydro, solar or wind power? A green hotel should make every possible effort to reduce consumption.


2. During Your Stay:
• Try walking and exploring instead of taking private rent cars. Cycling around in rural regions is a brilliant way to relax as well as explore.

• Keep your showers short and instead of using and wasting toiletries replaced by the hotel daily carry your own toiletries and towel. Washing the towel by the hotel everyday uses excess water and that amounts to wastage.
• Instead of drinking coffee from the cup and using packaged items, make your own coffee at the hotel and carry it around in your thermos.
• During dinner, instead of using a dozen cutlery and different plates, you can always load your food in one plate to minimize the amount of dishes to be washed.
• Ask the hotel to re-use the water used for housekeeping for watering their garden if they already do not do so.

3. Going Places: Your mode of transport also does a lot to save or waste energy according to the choice you make.
• Avoid air travel. That is one of the foremost sources of air and noise pollution. Try taking cross country trains instead.
• If you are going for a road trip, make sure your car is fuel efficient. If it is not, rent a hybrid car. You will save fuel, money and the environment. Choose a car that is small and has the bare necessities instead of expensive, energy-consuming luxuries.

eco car
• Whenever possible, take the public transport or simply walk. This gives you the very genuine touch of the local culture and traditions.
• Taking indigenous boats rather than cruises is a good idea too.

4. Be Responsible while going around: While sightseeing, don’t forget to see if you are being responsible for your actions as well.
• Do not litter around in tourist spots. You won’t like it if someone leaves it so before you arrive.
• On Nature trails, stay on the demarcated track and do not affect the animals you might encounter.

nature trail
• While camping, light fires only in fire rings and leave after completely putting off the fire to avoid a forest fire.
• Buy local food and treat the local people with respect. Their lives may be different than yours. Who knows, you might even learn a new technique too!

The idea of Green Travelling is that don’t leave the place like you won’t like to visit. Just because you are not at home does not mean you get to ruin the place and its resources. It’s all the more reason for being at your best behavior and saving your global home: Planet Earth. Head out for the summers and have a good, green travelling experience!


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