The year is 2020 and you’re probably still thinking about the Goa trip that never happened with your college friends. Well, you can still make that happen but this time make an eco-conscious effort and choose one of the weekends!
The World Tourism Organisation conducted a study which found that tourism was responsible for 5 per cent of the carbon emissions worldwide. Air travel generates huge amounts of greenhouse gases, not to mention the plastic waste.
On a happy note, many travel operators and travellers are now making a conscious effort to reduce the carbon footprint they leave behind and go zero waste.
Here are some green travel trends that have started picking up this decade!
Millennials and Microcations
Millennials are all about being spontaneous and well, so are their vacations. A recent study conducted by a travel magazine shows that people between the age group of 20-30 preferred to limit the number of days of their holidays to a maximum of 3 days. Instead, they prefer to make the most of their weekends rather than taking a day off at work.
It was also seen that most youths preferred going to places closer to home and make it a ‘stay-cation’. This concept has impacted the environment in a great way and doesn’t require as much money as a full-blown vacation.
These Microcations are also helping in the reduction of single-use plastic and the waste generated at hotels.
Carbon Offset Programs
Instead of taking long and luxurious business class flights, the eco-conscious traveller is opting for shorter flights and signing up for carbon offset programs.
So what is carbon offsetting? Many tour operators and flights are now opening up ways for travellers to compensate for the carbon emissions released during their journey.
The carbon footprint is calculated and the travellers can pay an amount for the carbon offset programs which include planting trees, distributing energy-efficient stoves to the underprivileged and installing solar panels. The traveller can follow up with these carbon offset programs and ensure the project is implemented. You can also calculate your carbon footprint here.
Keep it green and simple
If you want to start your green vacations low-key, there are a ton of simpler ways that you can adopt immediately. Start off with adopting greener travel methods like public transport and cycling your way around town. You could also opt for homestays that provide an option to cook your own food that can reduce your carbon footprint even more.
If you’ve opted to stay in a hotel, you can opt-out of getting your sheets changed every day. Carrying reusable cutlery sets, bottles and hygiene kits can help you reduce your disposable waste. There are many green hotels that you can choose from which have their own in-house recycle plants.
Find your green tribe
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel far and wide is to travel in big groups. It’s a great way to create new friendships and explore the unexplored! There are many travel groups that can be found online, some of them exclusively for women.
Apoopanthaadi is one such women-only travel group based in Kerala which provides economical tour packages for women irrespective of age. They have recently started tours outside the country as well. So if you have the wanderlust vibe going on this year, you know where to go.
Indulge in eco-experiences
If your idea of a vacation is more of relaxation and personal care and less of exploration, there are some green paths for you as well. Many spa and therapy centres are saying hello to ayurvedic treatments and organic spas. Veda Earth Lounge is one such centre, based in Bengaluru that offers PETA approved, completely vegan spa therapies.
So if you’re planning to take that vacay, make sure to take pictures and leave no traces behind.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
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