A NOTE ABOUT GUEST POSTS: At Eden Projects we are planting trees and restoring our planet. One of the ways this happens is by businesses committing to planting trees as a part of their work. Occasionally we have these partners write a guest blog post with tips and stories. We hope this post from Escapes.ca is a benefit to both you and them!
With the popularity of eco-friendly travel on the rise, more and more travelers have come to us with questions about how they can ensure the sustainability of their trip. Well, we have some great suggestions!
1. Choose a vacation planner that gives back
It is important that your beliefs align with those of your travel planners. Before booking a trip, do some research to see what your travel agency, airline or hotel is giving back to the environment. At Escapes, we try and counter our carbon footprint through our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. For every vacation package we book, the Eden Projects plants ten trees. For every 100 of these trees planted, employment days are provided for workers in impoverished areas. To date, Escapes has planted 70,000 trees and provided 700 days of employment.
2. Being eco-friendly while at your hotel
The next step towards having an eco-friendly vacation begins at your hotel. Small gestures such as reusing your hotel room towels and choosing a shower over a bath go a long way for water conservation. Bringing your own toiletries is another great way to remain eco-friendly. This will cut down on the amount of plastic wasted by half-used hotel toiletries. Finally, always remember to switch off your lights whenever you leave the room.
3. Using eco-friendly products
A little known fact: Sunscreen is a major contributor to the destruction and bleaching of coral reefs. To avoid this effect, wear biodegradable sunscreen and seek out brands that are free of oxybenzone. A suitable alternative to oxybenzone is zinc oxide, which is considered safer for both the environment and your skin. Also, be sure to bring reusable plastic containers (preferably BPA-free) that you can pack your own snacks in and never, ever leave your garbage behind.
4. Avoid activities that could damage the environment
Limit your use of water crafts such as Jet Skis and boats. Although fun, these machines are prone to dumping fuel into the water. They also have a tendency to disrupt and/or displace wildlife. It's a good idea to opt for non-destructive watercraft like surfboards and kayaks instead. Likewise, when diving or snorkeling, make sure not to damage or displace anything. Some locations will even fine you if they have found that you have removed shells or coral from their original place.
5. Choose ‘green’ transportation
‘Green’ transportation is a big part of being eco-friendly. Be sure to walk or bike when possible (Added bonus: It’s good for your waistline!). Also, enjoy the local cuisine wherever you are. Not only is this a great way to get better acquainted with your holiday destination but foods that are native to a region don’t require the transportation that foreign foods do. Less transportation required means less pollution, and this translates to a cleaner environment overall.