Sustainability can have a negative connotation as many people assume that in order to be an environmentally friendly tourist, you need to stay in a commune in the woods and eat berries and seeds that grow on trees. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea of sustainable travel originates from the concerns of millions of people and their regard for nature and the issues that surround global warming, air and water pollution, overflowing landfills and so much more. Here are some tips for enjoying luxurious travel sustainably.
The United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to mark the current rise of ecotourism, a concept which basically entails responsible travel to natural areas while placing emphasis on the well-being of locals and conservation of the environment.
Travellers have a growing desire to experience more during their travels. They no longer want to go somewhere exotic and lie on a beach for a week, they want to get something more out of their trips. While many have trouble articulating their expectations, what they’re really describing is ecotourism. So even though the term is not new, many experienced travellers have not yet been introduced to it.
Lots of travel companies focus on sustainability, but many others simply ignore the concept. However, the idea of ecotourism is rapidly growing and has a heavy forecast in the future, especially for family holidays that involve children. It’s believed that children are the next generation of the earth and that they should be properly educated about the impact travel has on foreign lands and their local communities.
Children are the next generation of the earth and should be properly educated about the impact travel has on foreign lands and their local communities.
The impact increased domestic and international tourism has on the world could be positive or negative, depending on sustainability and what travellers do to support it. Regardless of the possible negative effects, the travel industry has made great progress in their initiatives to improve eco-friendly experiences for travellers. Cruise ships, airlines, hotels and even tour companies make the effort to offer these options to guests who want to enjoy the natural integration and culture of the environment around them.
Read on for four tips for enjoying a sustainable and luxurious vacation.
Although efforts to transition hotels into green establishments could increase, a number of properties exist that make sustainability their number one focus and attraction to travellers. You can find many of these properties at trendy beach resorts or in urban areas — places where towels are reused, shower heads have low-flow and décor incorporates native greenery. Some properties are even powered by solar generation systems that create solar water for guests and locals.
Choose a carbon-neutral hotel or an LEED-certified property that uses low energy light bulbs, recycling and locally-sourced menus. Check to see if your options include complimentary shuttle services, public transit or bicycles for transportation. Not only will these choices improve the environment, but they will also keep money in your wallet. You will also get the biggest bang for your buck if you find a property with lots of amenities.
Many airlines produce too many fossil fuels, which are harmful to the environment, and also overly expensive. Your airfare is too high likely because the airline you’ve chosen uses too many fossil fuels — the more they use, the higher their costs. Be smart and choose an airline that is fuel efficient. For example, JetBlue plans to use biofuel, an organic fuel made from agricultural products. While this new plan may not go into effect until 2019, the airline is committed to reducing gas emissions over time with this new fuel solution.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Tour
One area of the travel industry that shows great improvement is tours — many of which are carbon neutral and utilise local transportation and locally owned accommodations. One company, Intrepid Travel, actually donated money back to carbon offset programs. Luxury tour operators have also jumped on board with this initiative by including eco-friendly hotel accommodations, power plant tours and even tours to sustainable geothermal greenhouses. There are many eco-friendly luxury tours you can take during your travels. Research what’s available in and around your destination, and choose something that will immerse and engage you in the local culture, nature and the unique environment around you.
It’s entirely possible to enjoy a luxurious holiday while also being sustainable — as long as you know and understand the true meaning of sustainability and what it entails to travel this way. The above tips offer several ways you can do this, while also broadening your horizons, protecting the environment and getting more out of your experience, wherever you decide to go.
Board the Right Cruise Ship
Choose a cruise line that keeps in mind the well-being of the environment, as well as your health and overall experience. For example, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to assist with ocean conservation. Over time, this will reduce the number of carbon emissions that are released into the ocean. Several of their ships only serve seafood from farms and fisheries that are certified as sustainable, and they’ve also claimed they will no longer serve overfished sea life. In addition, a spokesman for the company explained that the majority of ships being built will be powered by natural gas to eliminate as much air pollution as possible. Support the right cruise ship, and stay away from those that aren’t eco-friendly.
About the guest author: Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. She is known to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her. Read other guest posts by Kacey here.