Are you planning to travel on a cruise? We show you a few simple tips to become an eco-friendly sea traveler making a positive impact on the communities you visit and lessen your carbon footprint.
Travel is a great way to learn more about the world and explore different cultures and know people. However, many people today are aware of the fact that flying often is not a sustainable way to travel.
If you prefer to reduce your carbon footprint you would want to make use of different ways to explore the world. If you are planning to make your holidays special this year a cruise trip would be a great way to do that. This would ensure that you can have a great time with your special ones on a large boat that has so many entertainment options.
If you are travelling via sea for the first time you need to focus on how you can travel sustainably and be as eco-friendly as possible. So here we share some tips for you to travel across the seas more consciously!
1. Choose a Short Trip
If you are a first-time cruiser choosing a short trip can offer you more benefits. The best part about your first short trip is that you can use it as a test trip to decide if you are comfortable with a cruise trip. Different people have different expectations and demands and therefore there is no way to tell that you will enjoy your first sea trip.
A short trip also means that your carbon footprint is lower. This would allow you to have a swift experience of how the journey will be like and how you can spend quality time with your loved ones.
2. Choose Sustainable Destinations
Many countries around the world today are focusing on sustainable travel experiences and therefore you can choose destinations that are up to your standards. Countries like Argentina, Australia, Slovenia, Estonia, Cyprus and many others offer destinations that offer eco-friendly options allowing you to leave no trace behind.
Once you land, you can use booking platforms like Kind Traveler that give back to every stay. They basically transform travelers to ecowarriors, through the lens of kindness for the wellbeing of communities, environmental sustainability & animal welfare.
3. Join Mission Trips
While cruising, you can also join mission trips that focus on sustainability. These travels involve teams of people who go to another country to help a community and make a lasting, helpful impact. Therefore, if you feel powerless by finding a sustainable destination, you can always aim to leave a positive mark wherever you go.
Mission trips involve local communities addressing their needs instead of “nice-to-haves”; they directly support their local economies, offers long-term impact and also limits your own environmental impact.
4. Pack Your Things
The best way to become a sustainable sea traveller is that you carry your things rather than using plastics bottles and cups as you move through destinations.
You can carry your towels so that you can re-use them as and when you want on the trip. Also, you can pack your toiletries so that you don’t have to buy or use the ones provided by the cruise company which would eventually go to waste. You may also prefer to carry your mug or water bottle and get it refilled directly. Also, if you are going for the first time on a cruise keep in mind to carry your reusable bag instead of single-use plastic bags.
5. Conserve Energy & Water
Even when you are on the ship you need to focus on how you conserve energy and water. While most travellers demand better facilities and amenities, which you should, you can do your part by taking short showers, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and turning off the lights when you don’t need it.
6. Pick Local Sustainable Tour Operators
When you are thinking about how you can be travel sustainably you must also focus on how your travel plans impact local people and communities. This allows you to support local businesses and the community.
If you are heading out to the open seas choosing a local tour company can be mutually beneficial. Make sure to ask for eco-friendly cruise packages and if they have any eco-certifications available from various regulatory bodies such as Rainforest Alliance and EarthCheck.
7. Eat & Shop Local
If you are getting down at a port you can try eating local instead of eating only on the ship. This allows you to help the local communities and try out the local food instead.
When you are heading on a sea trip with your family and loved ones, choosing to eat and shop locally will allow you to enjoy the most locally sourced ingredients. Besides being a healthier practice, it also lessens the negative footprint; as a bonus, it generally comes from small farmers supporting their source of income.
Similarly, when shopping for souvenirs, look into handmade and truly local products instead of replicas made in masses from overseas. You may think you’re still supporting the seller, but realistically you are contributing to the bigger picture of large brands with a huge negative impact on the locals as well as the environment.