- Around the world, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute.
- Tourism has also led to the increase of plastics across the globe
What is sustainable traveling? One may ask. Sustainable traveling is defined as, being aware of the impact of tourism on the environment and adopting promising practices to reduce the negative effects and maximize the positive effects.
As much as tourism has a great effect on a country's economy and its people, it also has negative effects on the environment.
1. Depletion of local natural resources as well as pollution and waste problems. Tourism often puts pressure on natural resources through over-consumption, often in places where resources are already scarce.
2. Tourism puts enormous stress on local land use and can lead to soil erosion, increased pollution, natural habitat loss, and more pressure on endangered species. These effects can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which tourism itself depends.
3. Tourism often leads to overuse of water, an average golf course in a tropical country, for example, uses as much water as 60,000 rural villagers. It also uses 1,500 kilos of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides per year. This is according to Theworldcounts.com.
4. Tourism contributes to more than 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with transportation accounting for 90 per cent. By 2030, a 25% increase in CO2 emissions is expected to rise from 1,597 million tons to 1,998 million tons, this is according to TheWorldCounts.com.
5. Tourism has also led to the increase of plastics across the globe. Plastics have been known to be one of the biggest pollutants on earth.
According to UNEP, around the world, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, while up to five trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed for single-use purposes – used just once and then thrown away.
HERE ARE TIPS ON HOW TO TRAVEL SUSTAINABLY
1. When touring make sure to stay at eco-friendly accommodations that aim in reducing energy and water consumption, aim for zero waste generation, and use environmentally friendly products.
Sweet waters camp, in Laikipia, is an example of an eco-friendly lodge as well as Porini Amboseli and the Mara Serena lodge. An example of a pocket-friendly eco-lodge is Distant Relatives Ecolodge Kilifi
2. Optimaly use environmental resources such as water and natural gas. For example, do not leave water and gas outlets running and unattended. Take shorter showers and cook less often to conserve these resources.
3. Use eco-friendly transport methods such as electric taxis, bicycles, electric motorbikes, or a transport medium that does not exert a lot of carbon into the atmosphere such as Matatus and tuk-tuks
4. Do not encourage the use of plastics, instead carry metallic and glass bottles, metallic straws, wooden straws, or even paper straws.
5. Support local businesses. Tourists spending money at local businesses help to create additional jobs, generate business income, and support local suppliers and service providers.
Additionally, when tourists spend money in nearby stores and restaurants, it increases the flow of money throughout the local economy, thus contributing to the positive impacts of tourism.