How to travel with a clear conscience
The term sustainability is becoming increasingly important when it comes to issues like environmental protection and climate change. But what exactly does it mean and how can you apply it to your own travel plans?
Mankind must not live at the expense of the planet, other people in different regions, or future generations. The original thought of the German Hans Carl von Carlowitz, who was considered an authority on sustainable forestry, was based on the idea that you should only log as many trees as you can grow back. This ecological principle has now greatly expanded to reflect the importance of long-term thinking to maintain natural resources and to ensure the livelihoods of future generations.
To keep your ecological footprint as small as possible when travelling, you should try to buy local products, to produce as little waste as possible, and reduce your CO² emissions.
If it’s possible, try to avoid long-haul flights. You don’t necessarily have to go to the ends of the world when there are incredibly exciting places closer to home. And when you are abroad, can you take a bike instead of renting a car or moped? Or how about walking around your chosen city?
Many tourist destinations are groaning under mountains of plastic waste which are produced by both locals and tourists. On the island of Bali, every month about three million plastic bottles are collected as rubbish, more than the Indonesian paradise can handle.
Even small steps can help, for example; refusing umbrellas and straws in your drinks, or taking your own container with you.
You can find more valuable advice about plastic bottles at banthebottle.net.
Discarded food waste and products that are purchased from afar place an immense burden on the planet but many cities and restaurants are standing against these trends. In Copenhagen, Denmark, there are now a number of restaurants working persistently hard in this regard. Relæ was named as the winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award 2016 in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for the second year in a row.
In the UK, the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good rates restaurants, cafes and caterers based on sustainability.
The Scandinavian country is considered the most sustainable nation in the EU, coming out on top when it comes to consuming organic food, recycling of cans and bottles, as well as energy production from renewable sources. More than 250 hotels and hostels can boast the reliable “Nordic Ecolabel.” A bicycle tour through Gothenburg or a stroll through Stockholm’s Royal National City Park are environmentally friendly, yet incredibly rewarding experiences.
According to the “Sustainable Cities Index 2016”, London is the most overall sustainable city in the UK followed by Edinburgh and Manchester.
If you do want to travel that bit further, you should consider Costa Rica in your planning. In the Central American country, you can not only check out numerous tours and attractions, but also a number of hotels with certificates for sustainable tourism. The Cayuga Collection is an excellent example of sustainable hotels and summer houses.
Hotels in the UK recognised for their green efforts include the London Heathrow Marriott and London’s Savoy.