Responsible Travel Decisions
Ironically, in general, traveling itself is not sustainable to start with: think of all the consumption (of gas, mechanical parts, etc.) used in flying (which is terrible) or even just on road.
To make it less impactful someone would have to travel by foot only, or bike, or fill a car.
Having said this, I often think the same. I mostly travel to cities but either if I am traveling to an urban jungle or I am going camping, I start with this: how can I reduce trash to virtually zero? Where is and how does it work with the public transportation?
Curious to see other people’s suggestions!
My blog encourages sustainable, local, slow travel.
Here are 5 tips for sustainable and local travel
When it comes to being responsible, you can also look at it from the perspective of travel blogging/writing, or in general sharing your experiences after the trip (which i think everyone here does!). So a responsibility of respecting the local culture/customs, trying to keep as open a mind as possible, talking to people and learning. Trying not to perpetuate stereotypes, trying not to simply “sell” a place but to speak honestly about it in a compassionate way.
I focus on being responsible while traveling. From the hotel I choose to what activities I take part in. I also have a great post on sustainable travel on my blog: http://www.alicesadventuresonearth.com/blog/being-a-responsible-tourist
I try to avoid air travel as much as possible. It’s the single most unsustainable thing about traveling, as I understand it. I often fail, but as much as I can I replace airplanes with: ferries, trains, hitchhiking, walking, and just slowing down (staying in one city or region for much longer).
In terms of ethics, I don’t photograph people without their permission (so basically I never photograph people), I try to be as respectful of the host culture as possible, and I always attempt to position myself and my perspective when writing about a place, custom, etc so as to represent it as fairly as possible.
Other small things: carrying reusable bags with me at all times for groceries (plastic is still rampant in most of the world), avoiding takeaway, asking questions, listening, avoiding assumptions, avoiding tourist attractions that exploit the environment or local people.
Love this question, and the answers!
We travel a lot within the AGROECO tourism industry. Focusing on slow travel to sustainable properties. We learn a lot along the way about how to be more aware during our full time travel lifestyle. It is a great learning tool for our children as well, as they get to see what eco friendly, organic, sustainability, and animal friendly practices really are first hand. Would love for you follow along on our journey, we are currently traveling South America (with two kids under 5 and 2 large dogs). If we can find a way to travel in meaningful and responsible ways, anyone can!
Sustainable is a mix of reducing waste/pollution and empowering local business/community. When travelling I always try to do both 🙂 Whether it’s using carpooling or buying from a local organic market, I try to be conscious about my impact. The good thing is, a lot of businesses and a global awareness are growing regarding ethical and sustainable travels. For example, the company I work for samboat.com, is empowering local boat owner by putting them in contact with people who want to rent a boat (aka Airbnb for boats). I think it’s important to work for a company which match your values.