13 Ways to Travel More Responsibly

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sustainable Although it is often confused with environmental friendliness, sustainability goes beyond protecting the environment. Besides being low-impact, a sustainable experience should provide social and economic benefits to the communities you visit. Committed companies will publish their efforts (eg environmental initiatives, social projects) in an annual online report; Destinations will participate in a regularly updated management plan. Transparency is the key.

Renewed For decades, being a responsible traveler has meant reducing your footprint; Now it includes contributing something to a destination while you are there. Brands are increasingly offering immersive experiences to help restore or rebuild a place — primarily educational tours and volunteer opportunities focused on nature or culture, led by community leaders or conservation experts. (Consider signing up for a few hours of permaculture and learning about native plants.)

green certified There are more than 150 sustainable certification marks for travel brands, but the most trusted are internationally accredited by an independent body, such as the World Sustainable Tourism Council, which was established in part by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Brands you can trust include EarthCheck, Green Destinations, Rainforest Alliance, Travelife and EcoTourism Australia; You can often find them on the provider’s website. – Leboyt Jerma

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Earning a “green” certification can indicate a company’s environmental credit, but it’s not all that matters.

Klaus Kremers

3. Don’t miss the mark

While a seal of approval from trusted organizations is often a good indicator of a company’s green credit, its absence is not necessarily a red flag. The certification process can be prohibitively expensive for small businesses and community-based organizations in low-to-middle-income countries. The term cannot be applied widely, particularly in parts of the world where resource challenges abound. And for Indigenous communities, sustainability is often not a checkbox; It’s a lifestyle. Ultimately, if a venue is not accredited, evaluate it from a diversity and equality perspective to make an informed decision. —LG

Good advice, and consider everyone who made your experience so great.

Klaus Kremers

4. Be generous

A rule of thumb on post-pandemic travels: advice more, and often, more than you’ve done before, and expand your habits to include those you might not have thought of. Did you have an unusual meal? Consider leaving a few extra things for the kitchen staff, too. Do you have accommodations in a restorative hotel? Consider everyone who made you feel at home, including the friendly team at the door. Remember: it takes a village to make your journey – and to keep you safe. –Los Angeles

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5. Get a quick start

Making informed travel decisions isn’t always easy, but platforms that offer free and easy shortcuts are emerging to help us do just that. Outside of Finland, the Carbon Donut app shows you how to track your emissions with those of other users towards a global goal and offers short and insightful courses on topics such as aviation’s impact on climate; Meanwhile, Skyscanner’s meta-search tool flags low-emissions flights on a particular route with an “environmentally friendly” flag. Travelers can be reassured when they see that the company is accredited by the B Corporation, a nonprofit that uses rigorous audits to assess the company’s environmental, social, and governance metrics. (Intrepid Travel is the most well-known ethical global tour company that has been certified by them.) The Canada-based Native Land app is able to show you the indigenous areas you are in in many parts of the world, and the languages ​​spoken there. . There are aggregators to help bypass the greenwashing around the accommodation scene as well, including booking platforms like Regenerative Travel, Beyond Green (which recently became part of the Favorite Hotels group), and new take into account the plural From Small Luxury Hotels, although hotels pay to be part of these portfolios. The truth is that we still stick to a pretty comprehensive approach to evaluating each option. But until then, we can use the beacons we have to guide us. – Juliet Kinsman


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