5 Travel Habits That Environmentally Conscious Tourists Swear By 

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This is a collaborative post.

Unless someone’s been living inside a vault deep within the ground, there is no reason to be unaware of climate change. This has perhaps been the most discussed topic of the past decade and continues to be so. 

In all walks of life, the importance of sustainability and eco-consciousness is being stressed like never before. This remains true in the case of tourism. Cities in general and smart tourists in particular are taking the initiative. 

The individuals are developing habits that enable them to enjoy their travels without harming the environment. In this article, we will discuss five tourist habits that extend kindness to the world around us. 

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Choosing an Eco-Tourism Destination 

Travelers consumed with wanderlust, yet having their eco-conscious senses alert, often start by choosing a relevant destination. This in itself meets them halfway in their travel goals of conserving nature, supporting local economies, and minimizing the environmental impact of tourism. 

If you’re looking for a responsible way to travel within the UK, some hotspots would include the Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, and Loch Leven. In case you wish to step out of local borders, consider the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, Costa Rica, or East Africa’s pride, Kenya. 

Let’s clarify here that unearthing the greenest tour does not necessarily have to involve a destination snuggled in the lap of nature. In other words, sustainable urban living is also an area that eco-conscious tourists love to explore. 

A great example would be the US city of Chicago. It was ranked the greenest city with over 69% of its commercial buildings being market-certified green. This does not negate the fact that Chicago has plenty of lush green parks and wildlife reserves. Now that is a wholly different dimension of eco-sensitive tourism worth venturing into! 

Packing Light and Right 

Who does not enjoy a stress-free and comfortable travel experience, right? The trip’s enjoyment is only amplified when reducing carbon footprint simultaneously is possible. 

Consider packing light and right (not left, right, and center!) for the best of both worlds. The logic is simple – the heavier the load in a plane, the greater the need for fuel consumption. 

Smart and eco-conscious tourists travel with as little luggage or clutter as possible. Some may even complete a month’s trip on a single carry-on. Maybe that is a bit too extreme for you. If yes, then the following tips will still help to pack right –

  • Instead of tons of matching outfits and accessories, invest in a few high-quality multipurpose pieces. You may have to wash more often but it will still help save water when compared to cycling an avalanche of garments. 
  • Try to put on your bulkiest pieces while traveling. This is especially possible during the winter. Just wriggle into your heaviest jacket and joggers for the flight. 
  • The best option would be to prepare a detailed packing list and stick to it. Never mind the ‘just in case’ items as they are rarely utilized. 
  • You can organize your belongings well by using compression packing cubes. 
  • This is your chance to purchase reusable items, including shopping bags, water bottles, and more. 

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Preferring Efficient Modes of Transport 

Did you know that domestic emissions continue to remain the worst source of carbon footprint in the UK? Yes, the same accounted for 29.1% of the total emissions in 2023. An environmentally-focused traveler would consider such stats during their fun trips. 

They would weigh all modes of transportation and choose the most efficient ones. For instance – cars can be among the least fuel-efficient options. This means you must avoid booking an entire cab for every commute. Instead, opt for a bus or a train as per the location. 

Most places, especially the eco-conscious spots, offer bikes for rent to explore the neighboring areas. Let’s also consider the option of renting an electric car (that uses no conventional fuel) in metropolitans like Chicago. 

Dedicated to green living, the city has witnessed a significant rise in EV registrations too. Depending on the car model you rent, the per-day rate may go as low as $33. As a pro tip, just ensure you take the time to familiarize yourself with the area and its traffic rules. Failing to do so may land you in a gruesome accident that could require a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, IL for legal support. 

The same is possible even when you’ve rented a bike to explore the city. Yes, TorHoerman Law states that such instances are common due to reckless driving. In short, regardless of the destination, choose efficient means of transportation and consult locals for a safe driving checklist. 

Doing One’s Bit in Conserving Energy and Water 

Travelers don’t just commute perpetually from one local spot to the other. A major part of tourism relies on energy used for electricity and heating/cooling. Moreover, water usage can also put much strain on the local water supply. 

Travelers generally have a greater tendency to waste energy and water when compared to the residents. However, eco-conscious tourists are a rare lot. They remember climate change and its detrimental effects, thereby conserving water and energy as they go. 

The aim is to remove the carbon footprint and carry memories. So, how is it done? One simple way would be switching off all electrical appliances when not in use. Another way would be taking a quick shower as opposed to an extended bath. Even hand-washing clothes helps save tons of water. 

Finally, adjusting to a low-impact accommodation is a common practice. This would look like opting for a modest basic room and amenities instead of a luxurious high-end hotel. Some locations may even provide tourists with properties run on renewable energy. 

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Spending Money Locally 

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous communities have been hurting from the lack of tourism money. This is primarily because travelers spend their money on international chains and companies. 

What would an environmentally-conscious tourist do? They would find ways to keep the money within the local economy. A great example would be supporting only local entrepreneurs and businesses. Think about having a staycation at a local guesthouse. 

Another instance would be relishing traditional dishes by family-owned restaurants. Additionally, your money benefits the host community when you choose to navigate the local markets and purchase traditional products. Finally, consider investing in local tour guides. Even if you choose a packaged operator, select one that prioritizes local suppliers. 

The UK has pledged to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Other countries are also working towards achieving their targets. While residents play a key role in materializing this dream, we cannot forget the tourists. 

As per UN Tourism, an estimated 1.3 billion international travels took place in 2023. Even this year, millions and billions of globetrotters will set sail. How blessed the feet of those who journey with a zeal for sustainability! 

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