Zero Impact Traveller

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Eco-tourism aims to create, minimum or absolutely no interference to the serenity of nature and the local culture of the place one is vacationing in. This also involves uplifting the local population and boosting the local economy. The first step is being aware and I’m so glad everyone here took the time out to click on the link to this blog!

And this is of course just an introduction and you should keep updating your knowledge about eco travel and tourism.

As humans, all our activities have an impact on the environment, either positive or negative. The idea of a zero impact traveler focuses on reducing your negative impacts as much as possible, and offset the rest with positive impacts. Below I have gone over some topics which 

The green hotel

It’s fantastic to stay in accommodation knowing that you’re supporting the community while doing so. It may be that the team members are local, the food is grown on.. or near the resort, and furnishings are made by nearby craftspeople.

When choosing your hotel, look out for some key points like involving local people, greener energy sources such as solar, an on-site garden, rainwater harvesting or a no-plastic on site policy.

I have visited multiple places over the years with all of these and more green initiatives and my experience of staying there has always been so much more wholesome.

There are many ways to locate hotels and guest houses like this. You can look up articles on the top eco friendly hotels or guest houses in the area, or even check on review sites such as trip advisor for tags like ecofriendly in previous guest reviews.

Although you might not always find a place with all of these green practices implemented, just choosing hotels making the effort to be greener will make a difference in the long run.

Zero waste

Dealing with waste is one of the biggest challenges that modern society is facing. and this is much more prominent when it comes to travel and tourism. Most travel destinations are located away from urban settlements and do not have any major waste collection and disposal infrastructure. Most waste, even if recyclable is just collected and dumped at a nearby site. This means that we should be much more careful about our waste generation and disposal practices while travelling.

The first and most important step you can take is to refuse packaging material while shopping or eating. This can be done by visiting locations that use eco friendly biodegradable materials such as paper or plantain leaf. And if not, the best practice is to carry a container and a bag along with you for the trip.

Another simple but slightly drastic approach is to reduce your consumption of any or all items that are sealed in plastic packaging . Always prefer hotels and restaurants that compost their waste instead of disposing it in dustbins and try doing the same

One towel less

The general mindset towards guest accommodation in recent years has become quite wasteful, with a steep rise in resource consumption and waste generation. Although we might feel insignificant compared the total number of guests who arrive at a location, every bit of effort we make can go a long way.

A simple practice is to leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for the duration of your stay so that no unnecessary resources are spent cleaning your room. 

Hang your towels back up instead of sending them for washing so that the resource consumption for washing is reduced. 

Return any maps or brochures you used to the front desk so that they can be reused by future guests. 

Take any leftover, opened toiletries with you – they’ll be thrown out otherwise!

Pretend you are paying the electric bill yourself. 

Use the lights, heating, and A/C as if you were at home.

Be a local hero

Local economies of many small destinations survive on tourism and the purchase of products and survices from the local vendors of the region. Prefer the local cuisine, products by local artisans and hotels and guest houses owned by local residents over any big hotel, restaurant or super market chains.

Transport

Global research suggested transportation contributes 14% of all human related ghg emissions.

while contributing to nearly 50% of all travel related emissions.

If you’re travelling with free space in your car, give car pooling a try, you’ll end up meeting some very interesting people and learn something interesting about the local culture.

If you need to travel a short distance, try asking for a drop from someone locally, or log on to car pooling apps like bla bla car, to share your ride or to share a ride with someone else.

Wherever convenient please give a preference to public transport in the area such as buses, trains or shared rickshaws. Looking up the public transport network before visiting a location can give you a fair idea of the routed that are convenient to travel by public transport.

And my favorite and what I feel is the best way to experience a place is slow travel.

The idea is to not travel for the destination, but to understand the place through its culture and people. Try renting a cycle or just walk around the place you’re staying in and soak in the local sights, smells and sounds!

Reduce what you can, offset the rest!

Earlier we had spoken about the negative impacts of travel and how we can work towards reducing them. But as much as we reduce our impact, we still have some and this can be offset by our positive impacts 

Offsetting has a positive impact, it can be done through multiple ways. One such way is planting trees with offsetting partners.

Taarak Parasher

Taarak Parasher

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