With increasingly popular photos on instagram, tumblr and pinterest exposing the beauty and nature of the earth, more and more of us want to travel the world. With so many ways to now travel - plane, train, boat or even by foot, it really is easier than ever. Upon arrival to our destination, experiencing every aspect of the location gives us a sense of happiness and pleasure. However, the growth in travelling has not resulted in all smiles and pleasure on the earth. Unrestrained tourism has been increasing, resulting in pollution and other consequences on the earth.
With so many ways to now travel - plane, train, boat or even by foot, it really is easier than ever.
Before taking up geography, I was not fully aware of what travelling could do to the earth. Since, I had been more self-aware of how everyday activities can harm the earth– simple things such as not unplugging my appliances when I am not using them or buying imported goods. I have since learnt how to be more eco-conscious and made an effort to be more sustainable in my travel. There are no excuses- even as a student, it is easy to make changes that will not result in a dent in the bank!
So here are some ways how we as students can be more eco-conscious and sustainable travellers –
- Stop littering
Start throwing away litter and cleaning up the mess that you've made. There is only one earth that we can live on and we should start treating it well. Recycling what you are able to and putting your mess away in the nearest bin equals a happier and more sustainable planet- it really isn't rocket science! Avoid using plastic bottles when you can as it results in a lot of waste.
- Travel aware
Be aware of your surroundings and respect the cultures and traditions of the place you are at. Locals really appreciate your respect towards them and their culture so it's important we all make a real effort. Read up on the places you are about to travel to and learn more about their country and local environment. When travelling or hiking, don’t go off course as you might stumble upon protected grounds without knowing it.
- Save energy
It really isn't that hard to remember to turn of the lights and air conditioning in hotels to save electricity. Be smart and know that even though you are not directly paying for how much electricity you use in your hotel, by not conserving energy it still hurts the earth. Spend less time on transport and go by foot! You will be able to see so many more parts of the world where the cars can't get to! If you do go by transport, try to take the most environmentally friendly form of transport. This will reduce the pollution that is caused by transport and help create a happier world.
- Spend on local goods
By supporting local businesses, not only does it create jobs and business for the locals, it helps us to be more sustainable. This is important as buying imported goods leads to an increase in your food miles – creating more air and water pollution on the earth. Further, by supporting locals, we are also able to learn more about their culture and traditions, which is always a benefit!
With simple changes, we are able to not only get pleasure in doing what we want to do while travelling, but also to leave a positive impact on the environment
With simple changes, we are able to not only get pleasure in doing what we want to do while travelling, but also to leave a positive impact on the environment. Being an eco-conscious and sustainable traveller does not mean we have to sacrifice our luxury and money. We can be sustainable by making the right choices without even spending an extra penny!