Have you heard the term ‘flygskam’? It is a Swedish word that translates to ‘flight shame’. More than simply a word, it is a social movement to discourage people from flying frequently, an activity that is said to have adverse effects on the environment and add to the climate crisis.
This is one of the many options people are encouraged to exercise to help them reduce their impact on the environment. Alternatively, people are encouraged to use eco-friendly options. For the layman, it might sound ambitious to completely abandon flights as a mode of transport. However, there are other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint as a traveller and minimise your impact on the environment. Why should you do so, you may ask.
Tourism is said to have more environmental impact than a medium-sized country. This could mean that while tourism as an industry is crucial to the economy of various countries and regions across the world, there is a high environmental price to pay for it if it is not done in a sustainable manner.
To cut down the environmental cost of tourism without discouraging it, several countries are seen taking measures to promote eco-friendly tourism. For example, Bhutan is seen promoting ‘high value, low impact’ tourism, where tourists are charged a fee to allow the country to offset the cost of tourism. Another example is countries like Bolivia and Iceland promoting responsible tourism and ecotourism, respectively.
How Can You Minimise Environmental Impact While Travelling?
As a tourist, you can also take responsibility to reduce the adverse effects of your travels on the environment. When arranging for your trips, it is common to prepare by looking for the best mode of transport, getting the right online travel insurance, and preparing a favourable itinerary. Along with this, you can also look for the most feasible ways for you to implement the following measures to alleviate your environmental impact as a traveller.
- Choose your mode of transport wisely
‘Flygskam’ came into being as a way to discourage the use of aeroplanes or air travel in general, as it is believed to leave a heavier carbon footprint as opposed to other modes of travel. Unless it is unavoidable, refrain from booking a flight. Instead, you can opt for railways or waterways. However, choose responsibly as not all options are equally suitable for the environment. For example, the carbon footprint of a large cruise ship can be as high as 12,000 cars.
- Use public transport
Once you reach your destination, it is necessary to act responsibly if you want to minimise your carbon footprint. One of the ways to do this is by relying on public transport rather than driving a separate car or scooter. Usually, this option is easily accessible in cities rather than remote villages, but you may always research the best options beforehand.
- Eat and drink local
An integral part of the culture of a region is its cuisine. It comprises not only the methods of cooking and plating but also the ingredients. More specifically, the cuisine that has stood the test of time and has been carried down through generations. Choose to wine and dine locally instead of feasting on exotic ingredients that have to be flown in from across the ocean, thus creating carbon emissions.
- Live like you would at home
When in a hotel in a foreign land, it is easy to give in to temptations and welcome all the luxuries you possibly can. However, these choices may be adding to your carbon footprint. Avoid ordering more fresh towels and sheets than necessary, be responsible when using water and electricity, and choose reusable products over single-use ones.
- Book eco-friendly options
Several countries are now shifting towards promoting sustainable options for tourists, such as eco-friendly resorts and living spaces. It is ideal to pick these options. You may also find choices created by the locals to help the local economy. It is rather suitable to opt for these.
- Live like a native
Living like a local may sound like a difficult thing to do, but it can be rather easy. For example, you can start by respecting and acknowledging the native way of life. You can shop locally and support the local economy without making additional demands as a tourist.
Remember that reducing your environmental impact is a rather intersectional concern. You need to think about every small step you may take and how it may impact the environment.
Before you set off on your journey, ensure that you have travel insurance from India
. Getting an international travel insurance
policy can increase your chances of having financial support in case you were to encounter any unfortunate incident abroad. Travel insurance from India can be purchased online or offline after comparing policies.
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