The Green Grasshopper: How to be a responsible traveler.

During the past two years, we have been exploring what sustainable travel means by creating this platform. We all love travelling and are curious to discover new places. It gives us a feeling of freedom and forms an escape from everyday live. However, this romanticized picture of travelling is just one side of the coin. Our travelling can harm the environment and people living in it. For instance, flying accounts for a big part of our travel emissions, community-based tourism projects do not always bring prosperity for everyone and our travels have made cities like Barcelona overcrowded. However, this does not mean that we have to stop travelling, we can find ways to travel responsible. In the issues on responsible travel, transport, destinations and activities we wanted to explore what travelling responsible means and inspire our readers and ourselves to make different choices. Travelling responsible is a way for tourism to take into account and respect the local context. Responsible travel is a broad concept and can be applied to every form of tourism. If you want to read more about what responsible tourism means, read our definition debate article.  

Knowing about responsible travel does not mean that it is always easy to travel responsibly. For instance, almost all of us know that flying is harmful for the environment and one of the major sources of emissions from tourism. Yet we still take the plane. When I think about travelling, I often only think about the nice places I could explore, the delicious food I could try, and I prefer the fastest and cheapest transport option. These choices are often not the most sustainable ones. Incorporating sustainability into our travel choices remains a challenge and responsible choices require a different form of travel. We can try new forms of transport, choose the train instead of the plane or take a bike and travel in our own country. It is necessary to incorporate sustainability when planning a vacation. This means that travelers should be informed about the positive and negative sides of both tourism and responsible tourism. Travelling responsibly is not always easy. Visiting a community-based tourism project in Africa or Latin America might be good for the local population but taking the plane to get there is not so responsible. However, the fact that responsible travel is not always easy should not stop us from making responsible choices.  You can experience wonderful adventures close by your home, for example. In our magazine you can find articles to get inspired for arranging vacations in your own country. 

 

Have fun responsibly exploring the planet!  Thank you for reading our magazine!

 by Mariëlle

TheGreenGrasshopper