Circular Wellness: The Eco-Conscious Travel Series
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Travel is something that many people value and hold dear to their hearts, the desire to explore our world is uncompromising for many despite the industries effects on our environment and contributions to climate change. Not to mention, the negative aspects of mass tourism like the degradation of local land, culture, and strains on resources like energy, water, and food.
People who are passionate about exploring and discovering the world do not have to compromise their green ethics and efforts and can actually make a difference. We believe that without experiencing the beauty and diverse cultures of our planet how else can we understand the urgency to protect and fight for them?
There are many ways to travel responsibly whether it’s through ecotourism or by simply implementing eco-practices and conscious individual actions in every aspect of your journey. We dive into the most impactful ways you can transform the way you travel to be better for the planet and the communities you wish to visit while still walking away with an extremely enriching experience.
Transform the way you travel - Our Guidelines
Defined by the International Ecotourism Society, Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”.
Ecotourism provides an economic opportunity to conserve and enhance biodiversity and natural ecological environments, it can also empower and provide a vehicle for the local communities to combat poverty and work towards social development whether it be strengthening culture or positively impacting human rights and well-being.
Not only does ecotourism benefit local communities and aid in the preservation of the natural wonders of our planet but it also serves as an educational tool for the traveller creating a greater understanding of all these aspects and a closer connection them.
Reduce and offset your travel carbon footprint
Alongside ecotourism, there are a number of other ways in which you can improve your travel impact, for example, offsetting programs.
“A carbon offset is a way to compensate for your emissions by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. It both helps to combat global climate change as well as caring for local communities. In many instances providing much-needed employment, health improvement, biodiversity and broad social benefits to impoverished communities.”
You can check with your airline to see if they provide offset programs or you can head over to Carbon Footprint. Carbon Footprint is a medium that helps you fund credible projects that do good for our environment and countries in need.
Other ways to reduce your carbon footprint include travelling light, taking direct flights, and avoid taking domestic flights when possible. When on the ground utilise the public transportation systems at all opportunities and opt for biking or walking when exploring your destination.
Support local and sustainably driven businesses
When travelling a powerful way you can do good is by supporting businesses that are making an effort to be sustainable, preserve the natural environment, and give back to the local communities. Even better you can focus on only supporting local businesses, this will ensure your money is going directly into the communities and will provide opportunities for them to thrive economically.
Hotel accommodations are a great place to start, make sure the establishment measures and monitors their environmental impact and resource consumption. Ensure they are making efforts to reduce or use alternative sources of energy like solar or LED lights, you can even look for certifications such the ones listed here. Look at how establisments deal with and reduce their waste and if they actively giving back to the local communities or engage in philanthropic and education efforts.
We love to look for these additional notable efforts as well:
Practice a zero waste policy and reduce plastic consumption.
Source locally whether it be food or other items to maintain business.
Integrate a self-sufficient water system.
They use a composting system for human and food waste.
Provide plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
Building materials and interior design are natural, vegan, locally sourced, and sustainable.
They make efforts to conserve and not disturb the surrounding environment and ecosystem.
They serve local organic produce and implement farm to table dining, this ensures your food did not travel long distances to get to your plate.
Immersed in nature and aim to help guests connect to it.
They hire local and offer competitive wages to their staff.
Consume and dispose responsibly
Eat plant-based: Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, by opting for plant-based meals not only are you significantly reducing your CO2 emissions and resource consumption but you are creating a demand for restaurants to put these options on their menus ultimately progressing the movement.
Seek organic: Organic foods that are grown through sustainable methods have a great impact on combating and reducing CO2 emissions, most importantly these methods promote soil health, evade chemical pesticides in our waterways, and preserve wildlife and biodiversity through the circularity of its framework. These farming methods also reduce energy consumption and aim to preserve the earth’s natural resources.
Bring your reusables and use them: It is not only the responsibility of the businesses you choose but the responsibility lies with the traveller as well, now a days there are a ton of reusable options on the market making it super easy to implement zero waste and no plastic practices!
Our Eco Bucket List
Eco Camp Patagonia is centred around nature and low impact design, they are certified ISO1400 and are known for their eco-friendly policies, innovative use of green technology and being a leader in environmentally responsible travel. They are committed to conservation and have a long list of social commitments and cultural preservation efforts.
For some great eco places to visit check out Regenerative Resorts, they provide curated experiences that are designed with the ecosystem in mind, their commitment to environmental and ethical practices is the pillar of their platform. Every single one of their destinations is on our bucket list!
Base Camp Greenland is also located distinctly in the raw wilderness in Sermilik Fjord, East Greenland and their eco-friendly cabins and sustainable efforts are sublime.
Want more? Stay tuned for the extended version of our bucket list of the most eco friendly places to visit around the globe.
Eco-Conscious Travel Series 1: Our Jungle Camp Eco Resort
Stay tuned for the first of the Eco-Conscious Travel Series as we explore beautiful Khao Sok, Thailand in collaboration with Our Jungle Camp Eco Resort.