6 Qualities of an Environmentally Conscious Traveler [Guest Post]
This post was written by our friends and fellow certified BCorp members at Bodhi Surf and Yoga in Costa Rica.
Many of us will be travelling to visit family, catch up with friends, and get away this year. How are you getting to your destination? What activities will you enjoy once you’re there? What will be your environmental footprint? These are all questions to consider as we make plans to venture internationally and domestically. In this blog, you’ll learn 6 qualities of an environmentally responsible traveller.
1. Use Environmentally Friendly Transportation Options
This depends on where you’re going. If you’re travelling domestically, consider using your extra days off to road trip with your family and friends. Carpool and save money on gas while decreasing your CO2 emissions in the process.
Sometimes, we want to sit back and enjoy the ride from point A to point B. We get it. The best environmentally friendly transportation method is actually the railway.
“Among land transport, trains are generally very environmentally friendly,”
Randy Durband, Chief Executive of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
We realize there is only a lucky handful who have access to train routes to get them where they need to go. If you are one of the fortunate few, we encourage you to take advantage of trains. Many of them have internet access, beverage and food service, and comfy seats for you to relax and enjoy the ride to Grandma’s House.
2. Choose Activities That Minimize Impact
Avoid cruises whenever possible.
“…most travellers don’t realize that taking a cruise is more harmful to the environment and human health than many other forms of travel.”
If you do cruise, support sustainable cruise lines such as Hurtigruten that have plans for hybrid technology in their cruise ships. Modeled after their ancestors who respected the environment throughout their voyages, they design their ships for minimal environmental impact.
If you’re vacationing and have a say in your destination, consider locations and accommodations that are walking or biking friendly. While we typically don’t recommend “all-inclusive resorts” because of their resource usage, there are locations with similar amenities and conveniences. One of which is Bodhi Surf + Yoga.
Bodhi Sessions include five surf sessions, five yoga sessions, accommodations, and much more!
“On top of your surfing and yoga sessions, you will also have the opportunity to take a guided walking tour around the community of Bahia Ballena and learn about our community’s history, development, and challenges; visit a local waterfall and take in the lush jungle scenery; and enjoy a day off to either rest and recharge or participate in another activity or tour! Daily breakfasts (except on your free day) and three dinners are included in your week-long stay in Bahia Ballena to provide a sense of sharing and community at the Bodhi Surf Lodge, while also giving you the opportunity to sample the local fare and support our community’s economy. Also included: a much-needed massage after all the surfing and yoga you will be doing!”
Whatever you need during your vacation is on the property or nearby. Bodhi is situated in the small town of Bahia Ballena which makes biking or walking into town easily accessible.
3. Know Your Footprint and Work to Improve It
Responsible travellers know their footprint and actively work to offset it. Tools such as the Travel Calculator and We Are Neutral can help you understand the emissions your travel produces and assist in finding ways to offset your footprint.
Have you ever thought about becoming Carbon Neutral? With these steps, you can truly evaluate where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there. While it is designed for businesses, you can apply the same steps to your family, travel, and self.
Environmentally conscious travellers are also excited to share their results with their communities. We encourage you to tell others when you’re offsetting your travel or activities. Your friends and family might not even know what you mean, that it was an option, or how to do it. Be the voice behind the change!
4. Pack With the Environment In Mind
What you carry with you is just as important as where you’re going or how you’re getting there. In the New Year, Bodhi Surf + Yoga will launch a complete packing list, highlighting the best products for your travels and the environment. We’ve brought you a sneak peek of a few items and how their companies are doing business for good.
- Klean Kanteen– Is dedicated to sustainable practices. They invest in Renewable Energy Certificates and utilize green shipping to purchase carbon offsets. They are also a B Corp Company (like us) dedicated to higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. They also have contributed over $2 million to environmental organizations as a 1% For the Planet Member.
- Badger Balm– Makes organic products that soothe, heal and protect your body. “We only use ingredients that fit our rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health-giving properties”. They too are a B Corp company, proudly maintaining higher standards of business to care for communities and the environment in their practices.
- Cotopaxi- Is proud to move beyond the “old standard” of business. They are a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation that “focus [their] efforts on global poverty alleviation & give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world”. Check out their outdoor gear, apparel, and bags guaranteed to last 61 years!
5. Invest in Local Communities
When you travel it’s crucial to support local industries and families.
Instead of staying at a large resort, consider companies like Bodhi Surf + Yoga that are community focused. Bodhi offers Yoga for the Community that is free to the local community and encourages them to give their time back to the community as payment.
They also offer Service and Surf Saturdays to promote environmental responsibility, safety and awareness in the ocean, and surfing skills.
In this way, Bodhi isn’t just a company but an environmentally focused, socially responsible way to spend your paid time off.
When you put money into local economies, you support sustainable growth instead of just economic growth.
6. Ecotourism = Traveling to Support Nature
Nothing tells the environment that you value it more than a visit to a National or State Park. These protected lands and waters are set aside for your enjoyment, and as environmentally conscious travellers we want to invest in the preservation of beautiful green spaces.
Bodhi Surf + Yoga is perfectly positioned next to Bahia Ballena National Park.
“Whether you are looking to enjoy the solitude of a pristine beach, take a surfing lesson, snorkel the clear waters of Cano Island, or hike through the jungle, Bahia Ballena is the perfect place to spend inordinate amounts of relax-time and/or use as a jumping base for nearby attractions.”
Supporting local businesses that take care of the environment means you too are caring for those special places in nature.
Are You an Environmentally Conscious Traveler?
There are so many ways you can be an environmentally conscious when travelling. The most important step is to realize that environmental action isn’t something to leave at home. It should follow you wherever you go and should be infused into every part of your life.
The places you travel, the products you buy, the transportation you use, it all impacts the environment and local communities. It’s up to you whether or not you’ll leave a small or a large footprint. Our hope is that you’ll consider the environment every step of the way. Leave a comment below if you know if any other ways to be an environmentally conscious traveller.
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