Travel is exhilarating, rewarding and fulfilling. To travel is to see the world with new eyes, learn about different cultures, make friends around and spend wonderful time with your loved ones. Be it to a bustling city, a calm serene hill station, a religious destination, a lovely beach side or an adventure trek; travel brings freshness to life.

Tips for Eco Friendly Travel-Cycling

This photo, “Cycling in the greens” @flickr from pshubashish
made available under a Share Alike, Attribution license

All the mesmerizing tourist destinations of the world are gifts of nature. As we enjoy, are there ways in which we can contribute to this beautiful earth and Mother Nature? Let us see how we can do our part and be eco-friendly towards our environment when we are going for a trip.

1. Save power

Though it sounds a bit strange, are you aware that all your electrical appliances still consume power even in the ‘off’ mode? Such loss of power from every home contributes to high wastage collectively. So when you start for a vacation, removing the plugs from sockets saves a lot of power.

In hotels or resorts, switch off all the lights when you go for sightseeing or when you are not in your room.

2. Reuse, reuse and reuse

Disposable plastic water bottles contribute a lot to pollution. Hence, carry your own water bottle and try to avoid disposable plastic bottles.

When you carry batteries, always take re-chargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.

3. Go for local food

Tasting different cuisine is a great experience travel can offer. Packed food or imported food uses plastic for packaging. So find a local market, get local people’s advice, buy the specialties of the season and the place and try them.

4. Take public transport or walk

Wish to just look around the new place or wish to visit a famous spot within few kilometers? Instead of hiring a cab, try to take public transport. You will not be wasting extra fuel and will be making some new friends too.

If the tourist spot or an eatery is at a distance of just 3 km, take a leisurely stroll so that you will get exercise and also enjoy the locality.

5. Shop for ethnic gifts  

If you are on a trip to Orissa, a beautiful Pattachitra painting is one of the things to buy. Vacationing in Manali, how about a marvellous Kashmiri shawl? Are you at scenic Mamallapuram? Then get some stone carving. All these gifts are unique. By buying ethnic gifts, you help the economy of those destinations. Also all these are eco-friendly in nature, better choices than usual stuff like leather bags, wallets, and watches.

6. Take photographs responsibly

Photographs are necessary as they serve to save our delightful moments. But if you are in a wildlife sanctuary, remove flash so that animals do not get irritated. Avoid bright flashy attire as it also frightens them. When photography is prohibited, do not try to take snaps.

7. Leave the Original beauty as Original

Many wonderful monuments, forts, natural rock formations in various caves, temples, beaches, etc., are spoilt by graffiti. Many majestic mountain tops, beaches are filled with litter. In forests and hill stations, flowers, branches, trees are bent and broken for getting snaps.

A thing of beauty is joy forever. Let us not mar the original charm.

8. Do not buy things belonging to endangered species

Ivory idols and carvings, pendants with Tiger nails, wallets with crocodile skin, deer skin mats – all these items are usually made from illegally poached animals. Many fantastic animals have become extinct and are on the verge of extinction. Never buy such products and help the poachers to gain income.

9. Trek along the used trail

Trekking is adventurous and an excellent activity. But note that all the trekking locations have magnificent flora and fauna around.

Stick to the used trail which has been followed by many trekkers before as this allows you not to destroy fresh vegetation.

10. Indulge your family in eco-friendly activities

Have fun and spend quality time with family doing eco-friendly activities like pot painting, weaving, modelling with clay, etc., depending on what is available at the destination.

Click below for some eco-friendly activities

Make a Tribal Mask from a Plastic Bottle

Artistic Models from Used Plastic Bottles

An Artistic Ganesha Idol from Clay

If all of us put our hands together, serving and saving this unique planet is certainly a reality. So next time when you take a vacation have fun and also cherish the environment by following these tips.