Responsible Travel: How to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint While Exploring the World

Magalie Shah —

The social issues surrounding our planet’s health and protection have been creeping into the way we live our everyday lives. Being aware of our ecological footprint is no longer a fad, but a responsibility that has become hard to ignore for those who can afford to transform their lifestyle. But what about being eco-friendly when you are travelling? It’s not like you can bring your compost bin with you on the plane… For those who are ready to make an effort for the environment, even when away from home, here are a few tips as to how to reduce your ecological footprint while exploring the world.


Stay on Track by Defining Your Travel Goals

We know it can be easy to splurge on extra excursions, meals or souvenirs when you are off travelling. By planning out your allotted expenses, you will find it much easier to reduce unnecessary spending and inefficient travel, which can both be detrimental to reducing your carbon footprint. This can also help you to remember your goal for your trip and enable you to do or see what counts most to you. If that means heading straight to the beach, we are all for it!


Photo credit: Mapping Along


Choose Your Destination Mindfully

Whether you are dreaming of strolling through Paris or lounging on a Sri Lankan beach, it can be useful to ask yourself to following questions to plan your trip responsibly:


Is the time you are spending at your destination worth the plane ticket?

    Indeed, although air travel is one of the most efficient ways to get around the world, it has a considerable impact on the environment because of its crazy use of fossil oils. If you can only afford to take one week off to travel, you might want to wait until you can take more time to better appreciate the energy and resources it will take to get you there. If you can truly only take one week off, here are a few destinations around the Province of Quebec that are accessible by land and that can make your trip worthwhile! We especially love a beach getaway in Canada's Prince Edward Island…


    If you are travelling by car, is it possible to carpool?

      If not, the bus, the train or any other public transport are all good alternatives to reduce your travelling’s impact on the environment.


      Are you visiting your destination because it interests you or because it is trendy?

        We promise that exploring a place that you actually want to visit is way more rewarding than going someplace simply because it might look good on your Instagram. You might want to try reading about your prospective destinations to get a feel of whether you would like to visit it or not! Remember that travel is a privilege and that the experience and memories you create will be your ultimate reward.


        Will your activities support local businesses?

          The best way to get to know a place is to get to know the people! By engaging with local businesses and workers, you will be encouraging their economy and their lifestyle. Plus, you might make some friends!


          Photo credit: Mapping Along


          Pack the Essentials

          Although you might be miles away from home, there are some things that should remain the same! Remember to pack a reusable water bottle, reusable straw, reusable coffee mug, etc., to minimize your use of single use plastic during your trip. You might also want to bring along some tote bags if ever you have to do some shopping during your exploring. 


          Basic Rules

          Here are some of our golden rules for reducing our ecological footprint while travelling:

          • Wear reef-safe sunscreen
          • Don’t feed the wildlife: nature isn’t a petting zoo
          • Try to pick up the plastic or garbage around you
          • Choose to walk as much as possible
          • Pack some food to avoid over-packaged goods


          Photo credit: Mapping Along


          Remember that the purpose of travel is to enrich ourselves with experiences that we might not have been able to live in our own environment. Treat the places you visit with the same respect as you would in your home: try to leave nature's authentic beauty untouched by your passage. The goal in sustainable travelling is to look at life through a lens of appreciation because the places we visit have more precedence than we do:

          “it is not the deer that is crossing the road; rather it’s the road that is crossing the forest.”

          We all have the power to make a difference and our final goal must always to leave a place better than it was before!

          Happy travelling!


          Team June xo