To be a green traveler, you need understand exactly what you’re aiming to do and what green travel is. There are many definitions of green travel, but here’s what we believe green travel is really about.
When most people think about green travel they immediately think of the environment and making choices that will minimize environmental impact and damage. For example, you might take public transportation instead of driving a car because it will cut emissions, or use less paper because it will save trees. But while the environment is a key piece of green travel, it’s not the entire picture.
photo credit: Éamonn
Green travel is also about respecting people in the local environment. That means respecting their presence, their values, and their way of life. It also means saying “hello,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” Basically, treat people with respect – the way you would like to be treated.
photo credit: Graham Crumb
Traveling green is also about getting to know the local culture – from attempting to learn the language and customs to dressing appropriately. Plus, you’ll have more fun when you immerse yourself in the culture. You’ll have new experiences and broaden your understanding of other people.
photo credit: ahinsajain
Green travel is about giving back to the local economy. By buying local foods, taking tours with local operators, and patronizing local businesses, you’re supporting the local way of life and reducing your environmental impact. Your goods and food doesn’t have to travel far to get to you and your experience will be more authentic.
photo credit: Keith Bacongco
Green travel is about protecting your personal health. By paying attention to chemicals in your water bottle, shoes, and toiletries, you will protect yourself from toxic chemicals. In turn, your choices will benefit the environment because the chemicals from your products won’t end up in the environment.
photo credit: Perfecto Insecto
Green travel is about more than just the environment. It’s about supporting local culture and economy, reducing your environmental impact, and improving your personal health – separate but overlapping issues. By buying local you not only support the local economy, but you also reduce your impact on the environment because your goods don’t travel as far.
Now that we’ve covered the definition piece, our 25 Days to Green Travel series will delve into the little things you can do to become a greener traveler.
Defining Green Travel is the second post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our feed (also available via email) and stay up to date.