Sustainable tourism, zero-waste, eco-tourism, environment-friendly: these are all buzzwords that have become so commonly used in the content we consume, that it can be hard for us to determine what is authentic or what is advertising. But when it comes to travel, there’s no debate that the actions of people have affected the climate, ecosystems, wildlife, landscapes and indigenous citizens immensely.
To take a step towards correcting those mistakes, as travelers of the world, we need to start taking responsibility for our actions. It’s time that we take a serious look at how we travel and the decisions we make during our adventures, so that we can play a role in the gradual move towards a more balanced Earth.
Support Local Services and Companies
Being sustainable means redefining the way we spend our money. Starting from who we choose to book as tour operators. Make sure that the companies facilitating your travels are locally employed, eco-conscious and employ low to zero-waste practices.
You should also take a second to think before you splurge on local souvenirs. Are these crafted and sold by local workers? How much commission do they get? If you’re not sure and aren’t buying straight from the source, then you should save your money and buy from local crafts-persons.
The same goes for food. Don’t give international fast food chains your money – they’re likely not invested in preserving and sustaining the area. Eat locally made food that locals enjoy instead. What better way to get to the heart of a nation than through its stomach!
Use Slow Travel
Traveling slowly via buses, bikes, trains or ferries or even by foot, will always produce a lower carbon footprint than choosing to travel by plane. Instead of trying to zip back and forth, stick to land travel and take in the scenery that you would otherwise just pass by. Sometimes the greatest adventures are right in our back yards. Try to find your own ways directly in your local area, maybe you will find unespected ways to support sustainable tourism directly there.
Sustainable Toursism = Pack for Minimal Waste
Don’t rely on single-use items! These can build up in travel destinations due to the constant tourist arrivals. Make sure you pack a reusable water bottle, your own metal straws or cutlery, as well as anything else that you may need on a daily basis.
For example, you can choose to prep in advance and bring your own shampoo and soap in refillable bottles instead of buying single-use travel toiletries. It takes a little bit of effort, but these practices can go a long way. Thats the basis of sustainable tourism.
Cultural Learning: It’s Essential
You may be surprised to hear, but cultural learning is essential to maintaining an ethical, sustainable approach. Learning about how people in smaller towns and villages spend their lives can teach you a lot about how these communities have survived over the years.
Take inspiration from them, especially during our Ski tour in Norway, where we help immerse you in the local traditions during the road trip for this exact purpose. At Outdoor Norway, our commitment to sustainability means that we can help you on the journey to becoming a more eco-conscious traveler as well.
Our Mountain bike tour in Norway, camping, hiking and outdoor activities in Voss, Norway all center these values.