The tourism industry is facing an unprecedented crisis triggered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The impact of the crisis is being felt throughout the global tourism ecosystem. As countries ease restrictions and borders cautiously reopen, international travel will resume but slowly. Domestic tourism, on the other hand, is expected to recover more rapidly.
On a good note, the pandemic has shed much light on our environment and how everyone has a part to play in creating a sustainable future. Whether traveling internationally or domestically for work or play, consider these easy and practical travel tips to reduce carbon footprint:
1. Bring Your Own (BYO) shopping bag
Plastic bags can take 500 years to biodegrade. Bring along a reusable woven shopping bag instead. It is lightweight and takes up very little room. These bags can also be very cheap and often come free too. So, take a reuseable shopping bag with you when you go to local markets.
2. Bring Your Own (BYO) bottle, utensils and straw
Single use plastics such as bottles, utensils and straws account for a lot of waste. These items are extremely destructive. Many end up in the ocean and causing harm to the wildlife and the environment. Always say no to disposable plastic and bring your own bottle, utensils and straw. Fill the bottle up in the hotel each day before setting out.
3. Commute with locals
Reduce carbon emissions from private car hires and take public transport. This is one of the best ways to experience local culture and sightsee. It provides many opportunities to interact with locals and thereby adds to travel and work experience, creating conversation topics for the future.
4. Eat, drink, shop local
Support local economy and reduce carbon footprint. Have meals in local restaurants or eateries. Opt for a locally brewed coffee or beer. Food and drink can be low-carbon too. Take your taste buds on an adventure – it’s carbon-friendly!
5. Be at home like a local
To be environment friendly is to live like you would at home. Avoid getting clean towels unnecessarily. Bed linens don’t have to be changed every day too. Remember to turn off TV, lights and aircon when leaving the room, and keep showers short.
6. Sightsee with locals
Respect their environment. When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals encountered. Going off the beaten path could mean trampling on protected or endangered plants.
6. Pack lightly and wisely
Every single kilogram counts. The more a vehicle weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Pack only what is needed and use lightweight and eco-friendly backpacks like Targus Cypress EcoSmart Hero backpack. Made from recycled components, the new Cypress EcoSmart collection is certified by Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and aims to reduce the number of plastic bottles destined for landfills by utilising them in the bag production. The bottles are cleaned, flaked, re-polymerised and spun into fibre that is woven into the fabric that is used for the bags.
Our actions can shape tourism of tomorrow and the world we live in. Simply, consider the environment before using, doing or buying.