GO GREEN WHEN YOU SEE THE WORLD

It’s Earth Day to­day. Blog­gers share tips on mak­ing travel eco-friendly

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - HT City | Lifestyle - Etti Bali etti.bali@htlive.com ■

April 22 is cel­e­brated glob­ally as Earth Day, a move­ment that started in the US in 1970. For those of us who love to travel, there’s an even greater re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the planet — af­ter all, we travel to see the world.

Green travel goes by many names: sus­tain­able tourism, re­spon­si­ble tourism, eco­tourism. What it means is that trav­ellers leave as small a car­bon foot­print as pos­si­ble in the places through which they pass. We all can achieve this.

Travel blog­gers share tips that are easy to fol­low, and good for the con­science, too.

CUT PLASTIC USAGE

“Carry re-us­able wa­ter bot­tles, not the plastic ones. Dis­carded plastic leads to en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ards, and harms stray an­i­mals,” says Sahil Bhasin, co-founder of a travel group. Ditch plastic bags as well, and use pa­per and cloth bags that have a longer shelf life and are biodegrad­able. “Carry a cloth bag / over­sized tote while shop­ping at hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions to avoid plastic bags that may be used to carry the prod­uct,” says Aurvind Lama, founder of a travel com­pany.

SUP­PORT COM­MU­NI­TIES

Leave some­thing be­hind to aid the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. “Sup­port lo­cals in some way, e.g. by ini­ti­at­ing wa­ter re­fill­ing sys­tems to elim­i­nate their de­pen­dence on plastic,” says travel blog­ger Ru­tavi Me­hta.

KEEP IT CLEAN

”Don’t lit­ter or leave waste be­hind. Carry a garbage bag with you at all times and dis­pose of it at the clos­est bin,” adds Bhasin. This is a good prac­tice even when liv­ing at home. As far as pos­si­ble, seg­re­gate dry waste (glass, clean pa­per or plastic, cans) and wet waste (food scraps). Do not, un­der any cir­cum­stances, toss used per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts here and there; be metic­u­lous in how you dis­pose of them.

AVOID RENTING A CAR

In­stead of driv­ing a hired car when vis­it­ing a city or the coun­try­side, walk or use pub­lic trans­port or just cy­cle. “This helps re­duce car­bon emis­sion and you can see hid­den beaches and spots when you bi­cy­cle or walk around the des­ti­na­tion,” adds Me­hta. But keep off pro­hib­ited ter­ri­to­ries so that you do not harm the flora and fauna. “If you are hik­ing or trekking through na­ture trails, stay on marked trails so that you don’t dis­turb plants and small an­i­mals,” says Kar­tik Bak­shi, from a travel mar­ket­place.

DON’T FAN THE FLAMES

Back­pack­ing trips of­ten end with a warm wood­fire, around which friends gather. Be cau­tious of the em­bers. “When camp­ing out, make sure you put out the fire com­pletely be­fore leav­ing; even a small flame can lead to for­est fires,” says Bhasin.

SHUN BAD SOUVENIRS

Souvenirs are fun, but be cau­tious not to buy prod­ucts for which an­i­mals might have been harmed. “Make sure you do not buy things made from parts of en­dan­gered species, in­clud­ing an­i­mal hide, ivory, tur­tle shells or corals,” says Bak­shi.

BUY LO­CAL HANDICRAFTS

“Buy­ing lo­cal handicrafts helps in pre­serv­ing a com­mu­nity’s cul­ture for a longer pe­riod. Very of­ten, it gives the lo­cal women an ad­di­tional source of in­come,” says Me­hta.

LIVE IN HOMESTAYS

Homestays of­fer a great way to learn about lo­cal cul­ture. “Choose a place that uses green tech­nolo­gies, e.g. power-sav­ing ap­pli­ances. Also, don’t leave fans, lights, air-con­di­tion­ers on when you go out,” says Bhasin. “Ask your host if tow­els and bed­sheets can be reused in­stead of be­ing re­placed daily,” adds Bak­shi.

PHO­TOS: ISTOCK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.