ECO FRIENDLY TOURISM
10 practical tips for your zero impact travel













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      Adopting a lifestyle, aware of the impact it can have on the ecosystem and everything around us, can be a first step towards solving the problem. There are many small gestures that make the difference: for example, minimising water and energy waste when we are at home, or choosing to cycle rather than drive a car, avoiding disposable plastic and much more. It doesn’t really matter if we are at home or halfway around the world: we can all make the world a better place, even on vacation. In this guide, I have therefore collected some tips to put into practice for sustainable tourism.

      What is sustainable tourism?

      The tourism industry in Europe is thefourth largest source of pollution, especially in terms of transport and CO2 emissions from facilities. An important opportunity, therefore, to do your part for the Planet and to travel with passion and respect for the environment and for people. A responsible and conscious way of travelling, which doesn’t just take into account the choice of destination, but also the way you travel to reach it, the type of accommodation you choose and the behaviours to be followed to ensure that your impact is minimised. Being respectful of the places we visit as travellers and the local communities that host us, does not mean giving up on enjoying your holidays, trips or outdoor adventures. It simply means deciding to travel more responsibly to minimise your impact on the world around you. Drawing attention to the importance of a sector that is too often underestimated is a unique opportunity to improve the contribution of tourism to the three pillars of sustainability-economic, social and environmental. In this regard, the Assembly of The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, promoting a tourism model that is respectful of the environment and local communities. After this brief introduction, here are 10 suggestions, a few simple tips, which if implemented, will make a difference.

      10 Tips for your green and eco-sustainable trip

      1. LIGHT TRAVEL

      If you don’t have the minutes counted for your trip, try avoiding the plane. Airplane flights are the main contributors to CO2 production linked to tourism in the world. On the contrary, if you can’t do otherwise, choose direct flights. Another tip to keep in mind is to travel light trying not to have too many suitcases. Well, yes, experts say, it’s important to make a good selection of the things to bring, because the heavier the baggage, the greater the emissions produced by the aircraft (… besides, travelling with less baggage is much more convenient).

      2. CHOOSE STRUCTURES CAREFUL TOWARDS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

      Today there are several structures that can be defined as eco-friendly. Many of them use zero-kilometre food, take energy from renewable sources , collect separately, can be reached without necessarily having a car, have solar panels, use eco-friendly detergents…Think carefully when choosing your destination, supporting structures and catering projects with short-chain organic products, energy efficiency and water saving.

      3. BEWARE OF WASTE IN SMALL EVERYDAY ACTIONS

      When we are on the road, don’t let ourselves be taken by the “lightness” of the holiday spirit, especially by paying attention to waste during small daily actions. It is good to behave with the same care that we have at home, turning off the light when we are not in the room, avoiding endless showers (although very pleasant) or even excessive consumption of food and then not eating it.

      4. SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY

      The best tourism is not only what enriches the big hotel groups, but above all the local people who welcome us visitors. For this reason, you prefer to buy local handicraft, choose guided tours run by local agencies, which pay attention to the needs of the area and respect it to the end. Remember that a good way to support the local economy is undoubtedly to protect and support its natural, cultural and culinary heritage.

      5. BOOK TOURS OF SMALL GROUPS AND GREEN ITINERARIES

      Small group tours are the best option fir eco-conscious travel. If we think about trekking, those with fewer people are far preferable because they are less likely to disturb or damage the local environment. Please note that, in addition to a simple walk through nature, you can choose structures or agencies that follow the philosophy of green: think about this eco-sustainable boat tour which, thanks to its hub rid engine, will allow you to fully enjoy the surrounding nature in total silence and with zero emissions.

      6. DO NOT WASTE PAPER

      Let’s make the most of new technologies and with small gestures, they will help us deal with a really important problem... paper waste. Use your smartphone to search for information, many tourism guides today are also available in kindle format or pdf to download online. Or still, check-in online avoiding printing boarding passes, hotel bookings, tours or guided visits. This way you will have everything within a click away without taking unnecessary sheets of paper, which will then all be disposed of.

      7. REDUCE PLASTIC CONSUMPTION

      Unfortunately, no country is immune to plastic pollution problem. It is advisable to pay particular attention to the use of this material; when you are on the road bring with you bottles to reuse by filling them from the tap, if possible, or from a dispenser. Plastic bottles can also be reused several times and once thrown away, be careful to dispose of them in separate containers.

      8. DON’T STEALSTONES OR SAND FROM THE BEACHES

      Unconsciously, we all happened to take away special stones, seashells or a small bottle of sand as a souvenir of our seaside holiday… However, we must be aware of the fact that taking even small amounts of sand from the sea, although in our opinion it is harmless, it actually contributes to the erosion of beaches by altering the delicate balance of natural environments. Also, remember that by doing so we not only protect our planet, but, what should not be undervalued, we will avoid receiving hefty fines from those responsible during airport checks.

      9. TRAVELLING WITH ZERO IMPACT

      Walking, cycling or using public transport are the best ways you can choose to get around your tourist destination. By doing so, you will contribute to a positive impact on the environment and your wallet and you will have the opportunity to get to know the cities and admire the beauty of the scenery.

      10. DO NOT LEAVE TRACES OF YOUR PASSAGE

      If the beach and the sea are your destination, remember to always bring a bag and, above all, to pick up your trash... where possible, even garbage left by someone else who has certainly not shown respect for the environment. This is how your act of civilisation will certainly help to safeguard the environment and the natural habitat that is hosting you.

      I hope these simple and few tips have made you reflect open the many attitudes and behaviours we take on a daily basis. Let’s think about doing something good to humanity, committing ourselves by doing our utmost to protect the environment, doing everything possible to reduce the impact of human beings on the Earth.

      mariagrazia youknow

      Maria Grazia Funel

      Born in 1989
      Coming from Southern Italy, I cannot help but love the sea and, more generally, everything about travels and new places to discover. My perfect day? A beach, at sunset, in good company, with a nice bottle of wine!

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