Tourism sees approximately 10 million visitors at the most popular section of the Great Wall of China. This kind of overcrowding is likely to cause commodification and physical stress on infrastructure. Rather than following the crowds, seek out recommendations that aren’t always mainstream. We can support lesser-known heritage sites that would be destroyed without tourism and support social enterprises that help cultural traditions to thrive. This kind of tourism prompts communities to care for and take pride in safeguarding their culture, which in turn can be vital for our planet too. Forging connections, expanding world views and understanding new perspectives, introduces respect for more traditional, rural ways of life to make us better citizens.
If you want to buy memories from your travels in a sustainable way, spend with the locals. Seek out boutique shops and weekly markets, where you can opt for homemade, artisan creations which will cut out any middleman fees and ensures the proceeds go directly to the local craftsperson to support their livelihood.
Many of the hidden gems we suggest to stay or eat at, have on site boutiques to showcase local artisans work and even workshops for you to experience.
Usually, the most sustainable way to travel is the slowest. It means switching air travel for the scenic train journey or using a local bus or ferry and certainly opting for cycles in the city. Changing methods of travel means slowing down, which our busy lives doesn’t always allow for. If you’re seeking new adventures, choose a rail route that leads to adventure or go on a sailing holiday for a life-timing experience. If you do need to fly, then aim to reduce carbon emissions on other ways during your trip when you get there.
Slow travel is rapidly growing, not only due to being more environmentally friendly, but it also forces you to take more in and appreciate every experience without rushing. The journey to get there becomes part of the holiday.
Opt for restaurants that grow their own and utilise organic sources supporting the local farms. It will not only taste better, but you’ll be giving back to the community.
Avoid commercialised restaurants where food can be mass produced or sourced unethically and always opt for seasonal ingredients.
Having a positive impact doesn’t have to involve long-term volunteering, but where we choose to spend are hard-earned money can really make a positive impact on the world. Whether building community infrastructure, delivering medical supplies or beach cleaning, you can choose adventures that put a positive social impact at the heart of the experience.
Seek accommodation and local restaurants using tourism to help fund green innovations and empower communities, whether through employment opportunities or to uplift women and address gender equalities. Make different choices that will in turn lead to more fulfilling experiences. So, when in Africa, swap an afternoon game drive for a community visit.
If you’re flying, then you need to pack light to reduce carbon emissions on take-off and landing. We help you plan edits appropriate for destination with a purpose to not only look and feel good, but to prevent over packing. Plan outfits by day, mix and match your wardrobe and research where your destination beforehand, so you know if those heels are even needed!
We also suggest using packing cubes to help pack light and organised. If you find you don’t have all you need whilst away, then invest in the local boutique which will support their economy too.
Only 9% of the world’s plastic is actually recycled, but we can make simple changes to our everyday and especially when traveling to reduce the need for single use plastics. The easiest is to go everywhere with your own reusable water bottle and chose a water filtering system such as Lifestraw, if you are visiting places where you cannot drink the tap water.
Choose a reusable clear washbag instead of the airport plastic bags for security each time and use refillable miniature toiletries instead of buying new ones for every trip. Even better, opt for shampoo wash bars which use no plastic at all and an environmentally friendly wooden toothbrush and combs.
Choose beauty and sunscreen products that don’t use micro plastics which are deadly for our ecosystems. Opt for natural and plant-based lotions instead.
Many hotels are plastic free now too, so go for a greener hotel when booking. They will usually have energy and waste targets, use only local materials and food and share a lot about their heritage.
If you find some are still using plastic bottles, don’t be scared to turn on the charm and give feedback to suggest refillable options! They will quickly change when listening to the customer.