Are you a responsible traveler?
Wanderlust is a term that excites everyone, especially those who live to travel and adventure. If planning a holiday or a vacation gives you primary packing goals and goosebumps, then consider yourself a traveler. But are we abusing our privilege of calling ourselves, travelers? Are we responsible enough to fulfill our duty towards our planet and the cultures of destinations? Most of us aren’t.
It’s not new to find wrappers in the foothills of the Himalayas, plastics on the beaches, and trash on the beautiful roads rendering them in a not so beautiful state.
When you visit a new place or perhaps, a destination which you love and enjoy a lot, would you honestly prefer taking a view of plastic and garbage or a clean and welcoming shore! Would the crashing waves on your feet feel nicer if they brought a load of plastic waste with them or merely the white foam that forms with water! Would a meadow soother your eyes and help you feel calm if it were littered with plastic waste?
If these scenarios and this image were enough to make you feel concerned, then this is meant for your eyes to read.
Vouch for zero plastic tolerance
There are many ways in which you can aim for avoiding plastic while you travel, but the focus of the same should be kept on the most prominent sources of plastic. It is highly relevant to stop yourself from littering the places you visit. You may not even live to see the deterioration that this creates at the location, but tomorrow, your children might come to fall in love with the same place. Consider what sights you are leaving behind for them. Avoid using plastic bottles by bringing your own. Say no to plastic straws, which are seemingly tiny but a significant source of plastic pollution to the environment.
Vouch for no animal abuse
Why should your travel make an animal suffer? If you love your freedom and being so much, then what stops you from considering the same for animals? All around the world, animals are kept in captivity and beaten so that they can be trained, only so that tourists like us can go and get clicked with them for 5 minutes. If that doesn’t sound inhuman to you, probably nothing might. Only us humans are crazy enough to get a selfie clicked with them. The jungle is their home. For once, consider how you would feel if someone entered your house and looked around, disturbing you.
Give importance to the destination
When traveling, it is better if you keep your focus on traveling and exploring the destinations. It is rightly said that change the background and not the dresses. Learn to respect the culture of a place. If you are traveling to a sensitive location, like a religious place, make no fun of the traditions followed there or the people worshipping at the venue. It may not matter to you, but for someone, the act might hold immense reverence. Simply because you are a tourist, do not consider engaging in the fun making or ignoring decency and traditions of a place.
Choose direct flights
Flights account for around 2.5% of global carbon dioxide production at the moment, but the industry’s growing rapidly. And because planes fly high the atmosphere, the greenhouse gases they emit do more damage than on the ground.
One of the ways with which air travelers can reduce the impact they have on the environment is through carbon offsetting their flights. Some of the airlines offer this scheme, in which they try to offset the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by their planes.
There are two main types of offset projects. One of them is a forestry project, which either stops existing trees from being cut down or plant new ones. The trees act as a ‘biological sink’ by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Other ones are energy projects, which reduce the number of fossil fuels used by investing in energy-efficient products or renewable technology. Often these projects have social and sustainability benefits for developing countries too.
It is interesting to see that making a stopover can increase the amount of carbon you produce. As does flying in business or first class instead of the economy – their lower passenger numbers mean they’re not using the aircraft space efficiently. Also, when you take direct flights the emissions are lesser as compared to the ones with more stopovers.
As a famous saying goes, aim to create fond memories wherever you travel and leave behind nothing but your footprints. It is a luxury to be able to visit where you wish, but that should not come at the cost of diminishing the culture or beauty of the destination. Remember, you would want to enjoy the same way when you travel to that place again.