Sustainable travel is something to keep in mind when traveling and making travel plans. Sustainable tourism attempts a low impact on the environment and local cultures while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies, and the tourists themselves. The Department of Environmental Quality encourages travelers to adopt the principles of sustainable travel to enhance the environment, culture, and their own experience, wherever the destination may be.
Visit these links for more information about sustainable travel:
Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park have focused on geotourism recently. National Geographic also has a web page that is completely focused on geotourism. Follow the links to explore the web pages and learn more about geotourism.
Center for Sustainable Destinations — this National Geographic site has information about sustainable travel and focuses on geotourism, sustainable destinations, travelers and professionals.
10 Ways to Care
Follow these guidelines to support sustainable travel. A downloadable version of these ten tips can be found at the Center for Sustainable Tourism's Visitor Care Code website.
1. Learn About Your Destination: Enjoy a rewarding experience by learning more about the natural environment, culture, and history that makes every destination unique.
2. Don't Leave Your Good Habits at Home: While traveling, continue to recycle, use water wisely, and turn off lights as you would at home.
3. Be a Fuel-efficient Traveler: Book direct flights, rent smaller cars, and keep your own vehicle operating at maximum efficiency. Once in your destination, walk or bike where possible.
4. Make Informed Decisions: Seek out destinations or companies that engage in energy efficiency or recycling programs and that take actions to preserve their communities and the natural environment.
5. Be a Good Guest: Remember that you are a guest in your destination. Engage with locals but respect their privacy, traditions, and local community.
6. Support Locals: As a visitor, the money you spend on your trip can help support the local artisans, farmers, and business owners whose livelihood depends on tourism.
7. Dispose of Your Waste Properly: Leave a beautiful place for others to enjoy — recycle where possible and always dispose of your waste with care.
8. Protect Your Natural Surroundings: Be mindful of the plants, animals, and ecosystems that you impact. Avoid feeding wildlife — stay on designated trails and strictly follow all fire restrictions.
9. Make Your Travel Zero Emissions: As an additional step, consider the option of purchasing carbon credits to fully offset your travel's impact on climate change.
10. Bring Your Experiences Home: Continue practicing your sustainable habits at home and encourage friends and family to travel with the same care.