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November 15, 2021 7 min read

We understand that a lot of people want to be more eco-friendly, but it can be hard to actually put it into action. When thinking of ways to reduce our carbon footprints, one of the easiest ways to cut back on carbon emissions is to fly less often. But if you want to see the world, you have to fly. So, what can you do?

Whether traveling across the country or around the globe, heading to the beach or mountains, this simple guide will help you plan and have a great vacation while keeping the planet in mind. Keep reading to find six practical tips for how to travel planet-safe that are easy to achieve.

What is Eco-Tourism?

a woman sits with her back to the camera in front of a vista with a waterfall and a forest-covered mountain slope.

According to The International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”

This means that those who choose to participate in and implement eco-tourism activities should adopt the following principles:

  • Respect and build cultural and environmental awareness
  • Provide positive experiences for hosts and visitors
  • Minimize social, psychological, and behavioral impacts on the environment
  • Provide financial benefits directly for conservation
  • Recognize the beliefs and rights of the indigenous people in your community and work with them to create empowerment

Why Should You Join the Eco-Tourism Movement?

 An overhead shot of a waterfall surrounded by green trees.

You may be wondering, “What does ecotourism do that regular tourism doesn’t”? The main difference between ecotourism and tourism lies in the involvement with nature. Tourism is not really concerned about nature conservation and the well-being of locals; ecotourism tries to create a minimal impact on the environment and the locals of the place you’re visiting.

Joining the ecotourism movement is a way of guaranteeing that the tourism industry will continue to provide social and economic benefits to communities and destinations around the world. Ecotourism allows an immersive experience into the natural world in an effective and enjoyable manner.

Eco-tourists are expected to be aware of how their activities and actions can contribute to the preservation of the natural environment. Major issues like overfishing, animal poaching, and deforestation are some of the first things to come to mind when conservation is the main focus. Eco-tourists are encouraged to promote sustainable travel by contributing financially to the conservation efforts that the destination they’re visiting is offering. 

Choose a Destination That Is off the Beaten Path

A landscape shot of a small town on one side of a river valley with forest and open land on the other. They appear to be in a mountainous area.

Believe it or not but there are countries out there that experience over-tourism, and there are countries that really need more travelers. With that being said, the countries that see a lot of tourists do so for a reason and I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit your bucket list destination but  I can assure you that there are many travel destinations that are off the beaten path that are incredible and will really surprise you!

When you’re planning your next trip, consider visiting an area that is making an effort to increase sustainable travel. Places that are off the beaten path will allow you to connect with nature and decrease the possibility of added waste. Some examples of places like this would be national parks, a desert oasis, and even a secluded beach.

According to Federal Law, it’s important to leave places as you found them. During your visit, be sure to take all garbage with you. What you do in parks can have effects on animals, plants, other people, and even entire ecosystems. It’s crucial to help minimize those impacts.

Dispose of all of your waste properly, when leaving a picnic area or campsite clean all trash or spilled foods, and be sure to take the trash with you. This includes leftover food, hygiene products, and toilet paper. Also, be sure that you’re leaving natural things as you found them, and do not introduce or transport non-native species out of the park.

Book a Green-Minded Vacation Rental

A white house with stone siding and red trip is covered by ivy and sits in a forest.

The good news is green-minded vacation rentals with sustainable methods are more common these days. You can find everything from vacation rentals, Airbnbs, and pop-up tents in the middle of the desert. You will definitely find a place that’s perfect for you while still respecting and protecting the environment!

If you find a place that you like, please be sure to confirm that the location has green practices, like limited use of harmful cleaning chemicals.

Consider What Your Means of Transportation Will Be

A red and black bus sits on an asphalt road beside a line of evergreeen trees.

You may not know this, but air travel is one of the biggest pollution contributors every year. On your next trip, you should consider using more sustainable travel like bus or train. Countries all over the world are making the effort to make ground travel friendlier for the environment and more comfortable.

We understand that finding transportation can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true if the proper infrastructure isn’t in place, which is often the case. The easiest way to make up for ecotourism transportation would be to nullify your air travel. If that is not possible you can make up for having to travel by air by using public transit, walking, using eco-friendly cabs, or even some trains.

The trickiest part will be once you get to your destination. In developing nations, traveling by car can be really bad for the environment. This is because all of the models that are usually available are older and spew visibly bad emissions into the environment. However, there are some developing nations that rely heavily on man-powered transportation like bicycles.

If you’re looking on traveling to a location that requires air travel, consider parking your car near or in the airport to avoid long travel which can reduce your carbon footprint.

Skip the Motors and Try Cycling

A row of Biki brand blue bikes in a city.

Scooters and motorbikes are fun, don’t get us wrong, but on your next trip, try utilizing an electric scooter or bicycle instead. Cycling is great for the environment but it’s also great for your health. It’s the perfect way to explore your vacation location and promote eco-tourism. Many major cities now offer bike rentals!

Be a Responsible Visitor

A man in a grey jacket, brimmed hat, and glasses stands above the camera, smiling. He is standing in what looks to be a stone castle courtyard at midday.

Here are some ways to be a responsible visitor on your next vacation.

  • Limit Energy Use: This includes your use of hot water and air conditioning. Be sure to turn off all lights and any faucets where you’re staying before you leave.
  • Respect the Local Environment: Be sure to stay on designated footpaths and trails, do not feed animals, remove plants, and never litter.
  • Avoid Damaging Recreational Activities: Try to find more progressive establishments, like places that recycle water. Try to avoid activities that have a significant negative impact on the environment.
  • Recycle and Reduce: Recycle beverage containers, magazines, and newspapers. Also, be sure to reduce the number of napkins, bags, and disposable cups you use on the trip as well.
  • Dispose of Sanitary Waste Properly: Don’t flush cotton balls, tampons, q-tips, and other personal items down the toilet.
  • Conserve water: To conserve water you can use a refillable water container, sterilize water when you can so you don’t have to buy bottled water. You can also minimize your water consumption by washing your towels and linens less often and cut down on detergent use.

Instead of Purchasing Souvenirs, Try Postcards

A selection of postcards in wooden display boxes on a streetcorner.

Lastly, instead of purchasing souvenirs, try postcards instead! There are a few reasons to do this. The first reason would be some souvenirs may actually be illegal. Souvenirs can be made from endangered species like coral, ivory, or tortoise-shell. This also includes natural artifacts like coral and sand dollars, these may have been taken from their natural environments to be sold.

Second, trinket souvenirs, while they’re cute, can have a large carbon footprint due to their creation. Collecting postcards or making a photo album can still provide great memories while being more planet-safe. Next time, try to skip the flimsy tropical wearables that you won’t wear at home and break easily. Choose items that will hold sentimental value and will last past your trip.

When purchasing your post card try to choose a business that gives back. You may find that some companies have charitable bonuses like they don’t a portion of their proceeds or even plant a tree for every item sold. You can either research beforehand or talk to the business manager or owner and ask if there are ways to support the surrounding area.

Happy Traveling!

We hope you enjoyed our list of practical ways to travel planet-safe this holiday season! We could add more tips to this list, but we wanted this guide to be a simple but efficient starting point. We want to encourage and support people in supporting the planet when traveling, that’s why we love sharing great options here on the Doshi blog.

Here at Doshi we design our products to be practical and useful, we choose materials and construction methods that are meant to hold up to frequent use, we pay our suppliers for the more difficult work we demand, and we stand behind our goods.

When we set about to make a product, we consider the materials being used, how the product is being made, and look to find ways that we can make the product last. Synthetic materials have made huge strides in minimizing the resources used to create them.  We do our best to find factories that purchase recycled base material and minimize the use of chemicals and solvents when making their materials.

Eco-friendliness and sustainability are a function of how long a product lasts and what materials it's made from. We will continue to push on every frontier until we make beautiful products that are beautiful, last long, and then disappear back into the earth when we are done using them.

We have some pieces that are great for travel; try the Doshi Pro Sport Travel Backpack - Vegan, Weekender Tote, and Doshi Classic Large Bried 2 - Men - Vegan.

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