The climate is changing and what is left of the Earth today may be gone tomorrow. The idea of travel as a therapy and escape is soon turning into a fad and with the advent of social media, travel is no longer a lone affair.
While the world around us is slowly moving towards sustainable ways of living, there exist such methods for travellers too. Here is what you can do to make your travels sustainable and eco-friendly.
One-time plastics like chips packets, plastic bottles, gum and candy wrappers are a common tourist mark in hilly areas or forests. While there is a new order to ban these single use plastics, effective ways to curb it completely include avoiding the items altogether. Instead of plastic food, one can opt for fresh fruit and other organic substitutes that are filling, degradable and cause us no guilt or harm to the environment. It is best advised to use cloth or paper instead to avoid temptation and unnecessary contamination. In case of water, an aluminium or glass bottle is your best bet at going sustainable.
Music has become a millennial-must during travel and a speaker is an accessory that travels like the toothbrush. While this gets us popping to our favourite beats it deprives our ears of natural music that disturbs nobody, is in check with the appropriate decibel level and acts as a cathartic mechanism.
While climate change is largely caused by physical factors, noise pollution is just as concerning. An effective and sustainable way to do this is by using earphones for music or not playing any at all. Loud noise, including conversation, can be reserved for a room or the journey back. As tourists we often forget that nature also belongs to other creatures with sensitive hearing.
The negative environmental impact of tourism is everchanging and gargantuan and while forests, animals and birds are butchered for new resorts and 'environment friendly' homes a pertinent question rises. Are we okay killing nature ironically in our bid to get closer to it?
One way of turning green here would be to avoid going to resorts and hotels and opt for tents or small, eco-friendly options. A resort is a man-made version of getting closer to nature but involves disrupting several natural functions including over-consumption of water, contributing to massive deforestation and depriving animals of their natural ecosystem. If you are really looking for a natural experience, ditch the luxury and go natural.
The entire point of travel is to bask in nature's beauty and a car, with music pumping and the tyres wreaking havoc on sensitive ground and wildlife, is not the best approach. Cars generate much dust and noise and undoubtedly contribute generously to noise and air pollution.
Travel often involves a fancy car with sky-high emission levels. Many beautiful locations are sensitive to sound and crowds and are most often accessible by foot. Other green alternatives include using a cycle, avoiding deodorants or cosmetics with harsh impacts on your surroundings and respecting the outdoors.
It often helps to educate oneself about the ways of the wild and to be aware of nature's ways and of one's surroundings. Talking to seasoned travellers or experts or simply reading of their ways may help you. This could prevent unpelasant panic situations like man-animal conflict or emergency situations like running out of supplies or options. One might reach out to a group of travellers or an environemental NGO to further discover what little measures can best be used.