Looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact when you travel? It’s not nearly as tricky as it sounds. Set off on the journey of a lifetime and leave only a positive environmental footprint behind on people, the planet and wildlife.
1. Swop single-use plastic for reusable alternatives
Saying no to single-use plastic is just as feasible when travelling as it is at home. And it only takes a little (easy) preparation to reduce your environmental impact.
Plastic water bottles are no longer available for sale on Trafalgar coaches in North America and Europe. In fact, Trafalgar’s goal is to be completely single-use plastic-free by 2022. Single-use plastics are already banned in our offices across the globe. And we’re following suit on all our trips too.
Make sure you’re carrying a reusable water bottle and shopping bag. Equally important, don’t forget your reusable coffee cup. The planet will thank you!
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2. Respect wildlife
Respecting wildlife, marine life and plant biodiversity is one of the most important things we can – and should – do. We must all make an effort to preserve nature for future generations.
Every traveller can do their bit to ensure they’re only booking ethical animal encounters. For example, never ride animals that should not be ridden. Do the research and only trust reputable companies and operators.
Wildlife should live in the wild – in their natural habitat where they are protected and safe. Trust your gut and make the right decisions around animal interactions.
3. Reduce your carbon footprint
Travellers can choose from a variety of carbon offsetting websites and apps when they travel internationally.
However, there are also more straightforward ways to reduce your environmental impact. For example, you could opt for environmentally-friendly travel options from the get-go.
Trafalgar uses fuel-efficient coaches that use 85% less carbon dioxide per passenger. That’s 85% less than car or air travel, as well as 40% less than travelling by train.
4. Opt for e-Docs
Do you really want to lug around a printed travel itinerary? Check-in online and save your boarding pass, as well as other important travel information, on your phone.
Trafalgar guests can choose to receive their travel information via email. Best of all, for every guest that chooses e-Docs over printed ones, Trafalgar’s partner organisation, One Tree Planted, will do just that.
They will plant one tree for every set of e-Docs sent to a guest. The company aims to reforest over 500 acres of forest in Northern California and Tanzania. So, do your bit, opt for e-Docs and ‘plant’ a tree.
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5. Buy local
Why buy a mass-market product when you can bring home a gorgeous, handmade and unique local souvenir or gift instead?
Visit local markets and vendors and support local artisans and creatives. You obviously need to be sure you’re paying a fair price for their incredible handiwork so be mindful of keeping the bargaining to a win-win scenario for both.
6. Celebrate diversity with the locals
No one travels to find a carbon copy of their home environment. The real beauty of travel is discovering diversity. Open your eyes and mind, and embrace the local cultures, language, traditions and food when you travel.
Trafalgar makes it incredibly easy for guests to engage with the locals meaningfully. Step into a local’s private home, learn from them and enjoy a lovingly prepared home-cooked meal together. Best of all, you may even pick up a few cooking secrets to take home with you.
Moreover, you’ll discover hidden gems with Trafalgar that you’d never find travelling on your own. Dive into culture and learn about the unique heritage and story behind each precious interaction.
7. Join Trafalgar
The Travel Corporation, Trafalgar’s parent company, created the non-profit The Treadright Foundation more than a decade ago. The mission of the organisation is simple – to leave only a positive impact on the people we visit, the wildlife we watch from afar, and the planet we all share. In short, to make travel matter.
That’s the key to unlocking sustainable travel. The right kind of travel and tourism benefits local communities hugely. But, the secret is to do it right.
So, make your travel matter. Reduce environmental impact through the Join Trafalgar initiative. Sign the pledge and rest easy in the knowledge that by travelling with Trafalgar, you’re making your travel matter and bringing benefits to the local community, wildlife and heritage of a destination.
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Every small change can have a lasting (positive) impact. The gift of travel is truly priceless. Together, let’s ensure that future generations enjoy our precious planet and this priceless gift too.
What travel tips do you have to reduce environmental impact? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below…