Starting to plan that next trip? You’ll love the practical tips from global travel experts Natasha Martin, founder of Good Tourism, and Court Whelan, Director of Sustainability and Conservation Travel at Natural Habitat Adventures. To catch all Court’s jokes be sure to watch the video here, recorded during our Tomorrow’s Air, Convene virtual event held in March 2021.
Here's a summary of their recommendations:
Get to know some certifications and know your influence as a traveler. When deciding where to visit, learn to recognize the certifications for sustainable destinations: Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) certification is one to notice. This logo on a destination website indicates this place is working on sustainability in a serious way. Understand also that certification can be expensive and many destinations can’t afford it, so make it a point to focus on traveling sustainably at the destination as this is where you can make a big difference.
Travel longer and slower. The longer you can stay in a destination and the more time you can take getting around once you’re there, the better for our planet. It also turns out that much of what makes a trip sustainable and easy on the environment, is also what makes a trip more interesting, and more fun. Have a look at the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s recent report, Work and Wander: Meet Today’s Digital Nomads for hints on which destinations are the easiest for those staying longer.
Sustainable booking tools can make planning easier. The more travelers demand sustainability, the more services we find enabling it. The best thing to do when reserving a hotel is to ask the hotel about their sustainable policies. Sustainable businesses will be happy you asked and eager to share their efforts around water use, energy sources and use, waste management, and local hiring. These websites (as well as Adventure.travel!) make it easy to find and book sustainable travel providers:
Fly economy and support airlines using renewable fuels. Your flight might be the most carbon intensive activity in travel. When you’re booking check Alternative Airlines for airlines that use biofuels, and fly like a NERD
Manage your carbon dioxide emissions. Travel businesses can join Neutral Together for easy and affordable carbon offsetting and also band together with the global collective of travelers helping to scale up carbon removal technology through Tomorrow’s Air. Carbon offsetting helps reduce the amount of emissions entering the atmosphere; carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture will actively pull the CO2 that’s already in the air out and can store it permanently underground.
Partner and shop with travel businesses that share your climate values. The businesses in this list participated in Tomorrow’s Air Convene, and have taken at least one of the following actions: