What’s one “good” thing that came out of 2021?
A renewed emphasis on sustainability.
During the pandemic, companies' actions were closely scrutinized. As the economy slowed due to the lockdowns, every company's commitment to social responsibility – or lack thereof – was on full display.
People noticed which companies cared and which did not. These observations resulted in a record $12.2 billion in ESG fund investments.
As travel restrictions loosen and the tourism industry seeks new adventurers, this new value is reshaping our perceptions of travel.
Traveling sustainably isn't a fad. It's just one of many ways the pandemic has altered our lives.
Here are five suggestions for embracing sustainability on your next international trip.
5 Tips for More Sustainable Travel
According to National Geographic, 42% of Americans are willing to put sustainability ahead of other considerations when travelling.
But what exactly does that imply?
To different people, sustainability means different things. There are numerous factors to consider when travelling, ranging from environmental concerns to how tourism affects local residents. Sustainability is a broad term that refers to actions and preferences that help us meet our own needs while also meeting the needs of those around us.
On your next trip, here are five ways to embrace that.
- Choose Alternate Ways to Travel
According to studies, aviation travel accounts for 3% of total CO2 emissions. That may seem insignificant until we consider that flying is a far less common mode of transportation than automobiles. Despite this, a round-trip flight from LAX to Bangkok emits just over three tones of CO2, which is less than a single car emits in a year.
As a result, a lot of people are reconsidering flying to their next destination. Consider taking the train, bus, car, or even a motorcycle the next time you go out.
Here are some pointers to get you started:
• Travel at a slower pace. You don't need to use fast modes of transportation if you're not in a hurry. Getting on a train or bus is also an adventure in and of itself.
• Travel as if you were a local. Do you see a lot of motorcycles in your neighborhood? Bicycles, for example. These modes of transportation are frequently not only less expensive and more convenient, but they are also more environmentally friendly.
• Take advantage of shared rides. Look for ways to share the ride with others as much as possible, from songthaews to shared taxis.
- Dispose of the Disposables
Did you know that we use one million plastic bottles per minute as a society? The vast majority of them do not go through the recycling process.
Of course, you can replace more than just plastic bottles. Replacement of disposables with high-quality and durable alternatives can help keep your travel sustainable, from utensils to clothing.
There is, however, one caveat to this. Refrain from throwing everything out and replacing it right away. Instead, reuse it until it's no longer usable. Then swap it out for something better.
Similarly, avoid purchasing "travel clothes" that are solely for the purpose of adorning your suitcase. The fashion industry not only pollutes heavily, but it's also possible that the clothes you're wearing are inappropriate for the climate or culture you're visiting.
Then, guess what, you throw them away.
3. Go Digital As Much As Possible
It’s super easy to go digital these days with everything from your tickets to your accommodations. With the internet becoming ubiquitous, many places are turning to digital modes of operation to lure tech-savvy tourists.
That’s even more true after the pandemic, thanks to an increased interest in contactless transactions. Going digital is, therefore, both better for the environment, and safer. We recommend that you:
- Download apps for services that you use to make it easier to access paperwork
- Opt for e-visas when they’re available
- Send digital postcards
- Get digital brochures or brochures you can return when finished
- Use contactless payment methods like Apple Pay whenever possible
- Get an eSIM