How to be a ‘Green Traveller’
Who doesn’t like a laid-back weekend after a hectic schedule of daily tasks? Well, nobody can say a ‘NO’ to that. The fresh breeze blowing right past your face, the view of the captivating sunrise and sunset while sipping away coconut water slowly…oh…even the thought of it makes me want to go on a tropical getaway with my family!
As joyful and thrilling travelling can be, where’s the fun if we are harming Mother Earth? It is said, ‘Nature has everything to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.’
Today, people have become more conscious and mindful about a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. People are health conscious and have begun to realise the significance of exercise and yoga. However, one big question remains. Just like people have adopted newer ways to live sustainably, are they doing the same with travelling? Here are a few simple yet effective ways to become a ‘Green Traveller.’
Did you know that transportation amounts to about 50% of the carbon emissions of the tourism industry? Usage of public transport is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint otherwise caused by using a personal vehicle.
Secondly, we must ensure that we are carrying our own cutlery and water bottles for food and drink, cloth bags for shopping and anything that will help us avoid buying single-use items.
Many sustainable options such as edible bamboo cutlery sets, or cutlery made of coconut wood are great go-to, eco-friendly options for travel.
Companies such as ‘ Dinearth’ and ‘IncrEDIBLE Eats’ are into manufacturing such products.
Think about it. A single plastic bag takes about 500 years to completely decompose in the soil and that’s longer than any human has ever lived!
Recently, I visited the Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar, Odisha where they practice a novel idea to prevent people littering water bottles everywhere around.
Over there to carry a plastic bottle into the park we had to pay Rs.50 (which was a refundable amount) and get a sticker stuck on the bottle which indicated that we had paid the amount required to carry it inside the Zoo. Since, people had value for money they made sure not to throw the bottles inside the park and instead carry it back and reimburse their money paid hence, reducing plastic pollution. By implementing such uncomplicated ways, the amount of waste generated by plastic can be reduced.
Next, let’s all pledge to become responsible guests at hotels or wherever we are staying during travel. Nobody likes people who waste resources unnecessarily. At your hotel, opt not to change the bed sheets or towels daily to avoid unnecessary usage of water. On average, it takes about 20 liters of water to wash one bed sheet, depending on the size! And that’s not less.
We also must try to take shorter showers and ensure that all electronics (like lights, fans, air conditioners) are turned off when we are leaving the room, to avoid unnecessary wastage of power.
Also at your hotel, opt for the ‘Paperless’ option for making transactions and other leisure bookings. Nowadays, many organizations have cut down the usage of paper to a large extent.
Travelling green may seem tough however, it can surely make your travel experience more memorable and meaningful. The travel industry still has a long way to go in terms of sustainability. As it is rightly said by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
One step towards being a ‘ Green Traveller’ may even influence the world someday. So, play your part!
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