Green travel is an overarching term used to describe responsible travel practices that focus on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability. Green travel is about making sure that travelers choose businesses, tour operators, and transportation methods that maintain and preserve the ecological integrity of the environment and contribute to local community development; meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of current or future generations.
Green travel encompases on six main factors:
- Modes of transportation. Consider walking or cycling during your trip, using public transportation, renting hybrid vehicles, and traveling by train rather than plane whenever possible.
- Offsets and environmental policy. Calculate and offset the carbon dioxide emitted by your travel and buy your trip from companies with policies that consider environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impacts.
- Dollars spent locally. Ensure that local people benefit from your trip by spending money in community or locally owned businesses and working with tour operators and lodges that employ local people.
- Environmental conservation. Choose a trip that strengthens the conservation efforts for and enhances the natural integrity of the places you visit, including protected areas and wildlife habitats.
- Respect for local culture. Immerse yourself in and accept the differences of other cultures...learning about their customs and social norms before you visit, and speaking their language when possible.
- Natural resource use. Reduce, reuse, and recycle...and consider the efficient use of water, energy, and building materials as well as the method of waste disposal used by your tour operator or lodging establishment.