How to Be a Responsible Tourist

Responsible or sustainable tourism is a way of travelling to and around a destination while being mindful of what you do and how it affects the local area, people, and environment. With environmental consciousness on the rise, there are lots of ways that you can be aware of how your travel and how tourism affects the planet. Here are some simple tips to keep down your carbon footprint and practice sustainable tourism.

Food

Do a little research to find out what foods are particular to the area as a way of enjoying the culture. Buy from markets or directly from farmers; this means the food has less mileage before it reaches your plate and you are funding local people’s business. Buy produce only in its season and chat to the market vendors.

Accommodation

Pick a hotel or hostel that has a green conscience. If they have a green policy, you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find it. Reducing water usage, electricity, recycling, sourcing locally grown food, and using renewable energies are all signs of a green accommodation.

Travel

Air travel is a major impact on the atmosphere. If you can, take a train or bus. At your destination, try using public transport instead of taxis or Ubers, or find places where you can rent bikes. For short distances, walking is free and gets you some exercise.

Activities

Steer away from tourist traps run by corporations that have no benefit to the community. Talk to the locals to find out activities that help you learn about the area, contribute, and that benefit. Anything involving the merchandising of animals is usually a bad sign. Instead, try visiting a sanctuary, where your money will contribute to their conservation and rescue, and you can see the animals in a safe and moral environment.