The desire to travel and explore once again is on my mind as I’m sure it is yours. With the uncertainty of lockdowns and being stuck overseas, I’ve found myself looking to our own beautiful country to meet my craving. More than ever, I am also aware of our planet and the impact of my own actions upon it – for better or for worse. With conscious intentional planning however, sustainable travel or even ‘Regenerative’ travel is possible – helping to leave a place even better than we found it.
Here are my tips for having a planet positive effect from your adventures and to supporting incredible initiatives along the way, all whilst feeding your soul’s desire for the aliveness that only travel can bring.
A large amount of our travel carbon footprint is generated when we are moving from one location to another. If you did have a choice, taking a long-distance train or bus is a more planet friendly option as compared to a private car or plane.
In the enormous continent that is Australia, depending on your travel destination, an eco-friendly mode of transportation may be impossible to select. You could then choose to offset your carbon emissions instead. There are many large certifiers who offer this or you can use an online calculator and donate to an organisation of your choice, which is working to capture carbon or generate renewable energy.
Choosing to stay in sustainable accommodation has an impact on both the environment and also the local community. There are sustainable stays available for all budgets – from camping to hostels to luxurious resorts. However, it is necessary to do your research and make sure you are not simply being ‘greenwashed.’
To make an informed choice, check out the accommodation’s website and look for a ‘Sustainability’ page. Or call them and ask them – Do they use local staff and products? What kind of energy do they use and if they have a waste and water recycling system? What do they do to invest and support the surrounding community?
At your destination, walk or take public transport to get around. Also, don’t forget to pack your reusables! Bring your keep cup, water bottle, reusable cutlery and tote bag to keep your plastic usage low. Check out the Clean + Conscious Directory for the best in zero waste products.
Have A Positive Impact
The way we interact with the local community dictates the impact of our stay.
Support local businesses – this can include going to the local farmers market, buying in independent shops and having meals in local cafes.
Eco-tours – Choose tours that are environmentally sustainable, and preferably employ local guides. Support First Nations run tour experiences – through supporting these businesses, you’ll be contributing to the conservation of a culture which prioritises living in harmony with the land.
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Australia has many wildlife sanctuaries focused on conservation and carbon footprint reduction. Visiting fees support the many initiatives which are being run from these locations.
I’ve always loved the saying about visiting the beach ‘Take only photos, leave only footprints’ and I believe this can be expanded to encapsulate eco-conscious sustainable travel too. Let’s keep in mind the following when we travel ‘Move consciously, Stay Sustainably, Tread lightly and make a Positive Impact.’
If you would like to ensure the products you buy are also kinder to our planet, ethical and healthier for your body, look through the Clean + Conscious Directory to find the best conscious buys.
Wishing you many very happy, conscious holidays with sustainable travel ahead!