The planet urges us more and more to a change of mentality, behavior and paradigm of life and the trips (and travellers) are not absinthe of all this. Traveling has become a luxury that more and more people can afford to generate not only thousands of trips a day, but also an amount of waste and energy expenditure that is becoming unsustainable for everyone. Not only for destination countries. Hence, for some time, talk about concepts such as slow travel or responsible tourism.
At unuk we have long tried to promote a less aggressive way of traveling. More relaxed and aware and, taking advantage of the fact that these weeks the climate crisis has been the protagonist of the world agenda, we want to remind you that traveling in another way is possible. How? Raising awareness in our travels, in our gestures, sometimes so different when we are away from home, and choosing quality and sustainability above all.
We know that it is not always possible, that not all destinations are committed to these parameters and that budgets and available time do not facilitate it either. Therefore, here are some tips so that each of you and you can adjust the sustainability of your trips to your possibilities. Sometimes, small gestures are the most powerful.
Join slow travel or slow travel
Reducing the carbon footprint left by our trips is one of the main objectives of slow travel. Sometimes, fashions disfigure the essence of movements that, like slow travel, defend traveling in a more sustainable way also for ourselves. Reduce the stress of having to see everything in two weeks of travel, assume that everything is impossible to start and travel at rest, staying longer in one place and thus reducing airplanes to arrive on time at all checkpoints that We have marked on the map. Traveling slowly also allows us to know our destination, its people and their way of life much better. It nourishes us much more as travellers.
Avoid the most crowded places
The most tourist destinations suffer terrible environmental pressure as they consume their resources well above their capabilities, especially in Asian and third world countries. More water, more electricity and more products many times to the detriment of its own inhabitants.
Boost the local economy … real
Why do we highlight the real thing? Because many times we buy products and souvenirs from our trips convinced that this is how we enhance local crafts, for example, but really, handicraft products only have the fact of having been bought in a market of ‘crafts’. The authentic thing, what is done by hand by the local communities has a higher price than what we usually find in the most tourist stalls and markets. It is worth asking, researching, visiting places of handicraft or real local production and boosting small businesses. What we buy will be somewhat more expensive, but more sustainable since it will not have arrived there in airplanes or ships full of containers of exported products. And, very important, do not buy products made from animals.
Reduce our waste and our consumption
Obvious, repetitive and no less necessary to remember. Reduce our consumption, but above all our waste is essential to travel more sustainably. For example:
– Travel with our bottle and consume purified water, thus reducing the consumption of plastic bottles
– Reusable bags for hiking, to the market or store part of the contents of our backpacks.
– Use solar chargers for our electronic devices. They already exist of small size and light enough to incorporate them into our luggage and thus reduce energy consumption.
– Ecological sun protection creams. The most common sun creams are pollutants because they produce hydrogen peroxide, a highly oxidizing compound that damages aquatic life.
– Reuse hotel towels to reduce not only water, but also the polluting particles that pour industrial detergents used in tourist establishments to rivers and seas.
– Reduce shower time, especially in countries where droughts are common.
Finally, ask and ask yourself. If we want to hire the services of a travel agency or tour operator for a specific excursion or activity, ask them how they contribute to protecting the environment, local life and the environment; what sustainable practices they do or if they do them and always bet on the most respectful. If they are with their environment, they will also be with their customers. The budget may, in some cases, increase slightly, but it will always be much less than the price that, together, we will end up paying.
As always, we would like to know your opinion. Are you already sustainable travellers? What do you do to be it? Have we convinced you to start being?