Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle is a constant challenge. We are all called to take up as well as the right way to look ahead and keep up with the times. Let’s find out how you can positively contribute to the environment and its inhabitants by vacationing as sustainable tourist.
Tourism is one of the most important engines of economic growth, since it generates billions of dollars every day and involves millions of people worldwide. The tourism industry has, therefore, a huge impact on our planet, which is sadly not always positive. In fact, mass tourism is slowly damaging the ecosystem and the host communities, which often happen to be in underdeveloped countries. Travellers aren’t always aware of their environmental impact and often, unfortunately, use and abuse of natural resources – mostly of poor communities and in wild areas – for their own interests.
By the way, our habits and choices reflect our values and beliefs. Maybe you see yourself as a fully eco-conscious advocate, but you haven’t considered yet the possibility to help populations in need by travelling sustainably and fair. But what does “sustainable travel” mean? Which includes experiencing local customs and traditions. As a matter of fact, a lot of associations and agencies united by this common purpose sprung up in the latest years. If you’re still wondering what is this all about, you might know you’ll have the chance to get close to villages, new cultures and ethnicities. As a natural consequence, you’ll start understanding and embracing completely new lifestyles.
Thus a few questions arise: first, would you define yourself as an open-minded traveller, who’s ready to fully embrace the idea of an alternative holiday (which is, for sure, way more valuable and enriching than the previous ones you had)? Secondly, have you ever felt guilty while having a luxury holiday (if you had any), especially when being aware that a lot of people are starving in this world?
Well, are you willing to embrace a truly sustainable holiday, changing forever your idea of vacation? Check out a few tips we provided you with and chose the holiday type you love the most!
A valid tourism association which fosters sustainability is aethnic.org: it offers many destinations for a low-impact and ethical holiday, respectively in Senegal, Gambia, Morocco and Sardinia. By choosing this type of vacation not only you’ll live an authentic and enriching experience of intercultural exchange but also you’ll contribute to support young local entrepreneurs and small-sized tourism businesses. You’ll be accommodated in eco-friendly campsites mostly managed by family-run local enterprises, who promote environmental protection. This includes getting the unique chance to have thrilling excursions with locals – being accompanied by a guide – as well as watching and taking part in their traditional rituals.
Another sustainable tourism-related website that we recommend you is ecomindtravel.com, which offers a wide range of travel styles, in order to satisfy the demands of all kinds of tourists: from the most audacious to the most placid travellers, who’d rather take their time. This site provides you with every type of vacation you might like the most: are you more likely to live a 100% sustainable adventure in the nature or are you rather oriented towards inward-looking activities, like getting to know the culture and traditions of the country you’re visiting, by living in closing contact with the local communities?
Sustainable Tourism: how to do it?
So, at this point, you might have been convinced of giving sustainable travel a try; by the way, there’s still some uncertainty holding you back. Here are some tips from our Naturaty Team that may help you going for being a sustainable tourist without fear:
- Be proactive. Try not to be just a passive tourist who travels through the whole world without looking around “actively” or having a special eye for vulnerable populations in a poor economic condition. Not only you’ll contribute to the development of these countries, but also you will enrich yourself with a new, unforgettable and peerless experience that will change permanently the way you travel.
- Never feel intimidated. This travel experience, besides being pretty strong and touching, could trigger other deeper ones, such as considering volunteering in an underdeveloped country. It’s obviously not the most relaxing vacation you’ve dreamed of, but it’s for sure the most enriching, fulfilling and helpful way to spend your holidays. It’ll be definitely a life changing experience you’ll not going to regret.
- Be respectful. By undertaking this journey always remember you’re a guest in a foreign country and, as such, you should discover and respect the customs and traditions of the local community. At first sight, it might seems hard to you, since adjusting to a completely new lifestyle and mindset in few days isn’t that easy; but then you’ll soak up the culture, having at the same time a positive impact on local people and the environment. Our tip is just to start thinking as a local and forgetting about your habits for that limited time, in order to have a full-immersion experience of a foreign, different culture.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your adventure with sustainable tourism. Experiencing something completely new and unfamiliar in your life might be an opportunity for personal growth and result in radical changes in mindset. Sustainable travel is the ultimative way to foster local economies while respecting the ecosystem and avoiding environmental damages. If managed correctly, tourism can finance the protection of natural areas and support rural communities. That’s why having a sustainable holiday won’t definitely make you regret the money spent!
PS If you really care about our Planet, you should know that one of Naturaty’s values that we are proud of, is that 100% of our products are cruelty-free and vegan! Whenever you are looking for items that will make your life more zero-waste and sustainable check our Naturaty Zero Waste Starter Box and Naturaty Active Box. They are also perfect as a vegan gift for all of those people who prefer quality over quantity, since “less is more”!