5 Sustainable Travel Ideas We Love

Posted by Ginger Blum · May 11 · about Awesome Travel Stuff

*Image courtesy of Virtuoso Advisor Ryan Dandy

1) Think alternative transportation... Cheap flights are always alluring for that short hop, but often rail options are just as fast. Rail transportation has a lower carbon footprint, is a more enjoyable experience, and provides a unique glimpse into the city and countryside you would otherwise miss. Rather than hopping in a taxi, increase your daily step count by exploring by foot, bike, or scooter. Public transport is another affordable way to immerse yourself in the local culture. The result of these easy choices is not only more sustainable travel, but often a noteworthy story or two as well.

*image courtesy of Ginger Blum North South Travel Advisor

2) Accommodation choice is another simple way to make a difference as a traveller, as many hotels have implemented effective sustainability programs. There are abundant options to choose from with information on their programs readily available. Preferred Hotel Group has launched a new brand called Beyond Green, their new portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that support local natural wonders, communities, and cultures. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has a Bee Sustainable program featuring over 20 Honey Bee Apiaries and more than 20 wild pollinator Bee hotels at various Fairmont properties worldwide. Many of their hotels are also known for nurturing on-property herb and vegetable gardens, which contribute to pollinator health, in turn lowering the carbon footprint of their F&B establishments, and improves the culinary experience for their guest. The industry is full of wonderful hoteliers with admirable sustainability programs, find one that fills your bucket!

3) Take matters into your own hands! Packing your own reusable tote bags, water bottles and reusable straws is a win-win, for so many reasons. Not only does this lower plastic consumption, but it allows travellers to express their own style and makes for easy identification. You avoid grabbing somebody else's water bottle and can put whatever beverage you want in a water bottle. Many hotels offer self-serve water/sparkling water stations so you can refill on your way out the door. Oceania Cruises has their "Vero Water" program which supplies refillable personal water bottles to be refilled with still or sparkling water at onboard restaurants and bars. There are plenty of viable alternatives to single use plastics available in souvenir shops for purchase. Use these on your travels knowing that you are helping our planet!

*image courtesy of Ginger Blum North South Travel Advisor

4) Choose tour operators that give back to the local community and economy. Ensure they offer opportunities to taste locally produced food, purchase locally made arts, artisan goods, and interact with local people in positive ways such as hiring local guides when possible. This doesn't necessarily have to be more expensive. An example of a reputable company that has done this well is Canadian tour operator G-Adventures. They have made partnering and working with the local economy a pillar in their very successful business, showcasing how "G is for Good" travel can be sustainable, memorable, and affordable.

5) The local hospitality scene of every city is full of emerging vendors trying to generate positive change. When visiting a new destination, seek out hospitality outlets that are trying to lead the way. Tourism New Zealand actually has a planning website based along the theme of sustainability and asks travellers to take the Tiaki Promise (to care for people and place) and as part of the visa process. Opportunities to make a difference lie in all corners of our beautiful planet, seek these out before your trip and plan in advance to really make an impact.

*view from Matakauri Lodge New Zealand, image courtesy of Ginger Blum North South Travel Advisor

Contact your North South Travel advisor to learn more about sustainable travel and what you can do.

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