India has always been a top choice of travelers who visit this country around the year from various parts of the globe. With an increasing number of tourists from every corner of the planet, India is currently facing a major challenge of sustainable tourism development. Travelers now days are looking for sustainable travel companies that support and stimulate green travel plans. With more tourists heading for sustainable tourism destinations, the travel supports are looking for every possible way to preserve the emotion of a place while conserving and protecting its surroundings. The trending terms of ‘Green Travel’, ‘Sustainable Travel’, ‘Eco Travel’, ‘Responsible Travel’; and many more are only synonyms of each other. Undoubtedly all these phrases refer to more supportable and eco-friendly modes of traveling with a prime focus on 3 R’s, viz. reduce, reuse and recycle. Conservation of wildlife, supporting and promoting local business and lowering negative impacts on the environment adds to the true essence of smarter and greener travel. Avoiding and refusing all sorts of unrecyclable materials while reusing the old must be a traveler’s sole motto while on the ‘green go’. Below mentioned are a few titbits of green traveling through India that will further help you plan your next green holiday.
Why Green Travel?
Tourism impact and sustainability are the keywords which a traveler should keep in mind while wandering. It is the lone responsibility of every traveler to pass on a place uninterrupted to their fellow travelers and hence on to the next generations. With millions of tourists hovering across India every year, beaches have been poisoned, islands have been devoid of ecosystems, hills have been blasted down and airplanes have been emitting more carbon. Taking a green approach paces towards preserving and protecting your much-loved destination in a healthier way. The experience is more rewarding and unique as you will be able to make a profound connection with the place.
Ways to Go Green in India
- Pack Green
Taking on responsible travel flinches from packing itself. In order to have a ‘zero waste’ trip, always pack light. Avoiding one-time-use plastic bottles and carrying your favorite coffee mug helps in reducing plastic and paper waste. Carry an extra bag to dump all your dry waste in case of unavailability of proper bins. Keep your apparels minimum and other necessities maximum. Most of the sustainable hotels provide eco-friendly laundries and washing machines. You can wash your clothes there if required. No matter how consciously one travels, there will always be some residual on this planet. Nevertheless, a minimum backpack will leave a minimum waste as well.
- Choose an Eco-Friendly Hotel
With more trends of responsible travel coming up, there are many lodges, hotels, and homestays in India that supports and promotes eco stay. Look for a similar one on the internet. Those are mostly operated by the locals and are often cheaper than other multi-starred accommodations. These spaces use renewable sources as their power font and focus on low-flush toilets and showers. They also carry out recycling programs of plastics and grey water which further add to their reduction of consumption.
- Your Stay
While your stay at the eco spot, make sure you add up to their efforts of preservation of the environment. You can help them in like:
- Saving your water consumption by choosing a bathing bucket over a shower. Shower outflows more water than buckets. Try to keep the taps off while you brush or scrub your face.
- Make sure you turn off the power source while leaving the room for the day.
- You can carry your own toiletries rather than asking from the hotels. Similarly, you can bring your own water cup while cutting down on the pre-packaged ones.
- You can also reuse the towel and bed sheets rather than getting it changed every day.
- On the Roads
In India, the majority of the carbon emission contributing to the greenhouse effects originate from the airplanes. Preferring a train over a flight will surely bring down that percentage to one third. Buses further cut down the discharge to half and add to other methods of eco-travel.
Try to opt for shared taxis, cycles or public transportation while exploring a place. You can also take a brisk walk for short distance journeys.
India is known for its monuments and memorials. But often we find their walls and parapets are been damaged and stained and what not! Please refrain yourself as well as others from any such activities. It will be more pleasant to carry on the Taj Mahal or the Jaisalmer Fort to the next traveler as it was decades ago.
Keep in mind that you do not turn the Himalayas into bins while you hike. Make sure to take back your trash from the hills or dump them in appropriate places. This goes for all sorts of adventure outings starting from snorkeling to cruising. Ensure that your voyage is pleasant for the flora and faunas as well. Avoid any sort of sports or entertainment that involves wild animals. Try to discard any sort fun rides on elephants or horse as it leads to enormous torture to the creatures.
Ensure to shop and eat local. Buying items from local vendors and street markets help in promoting and growing of local cottage industries. Preferring those over the emporium goods will also help you save your pocket a little extra. Local cuisines are best available at local eateries. No doubt the starred restaurant has an air-conditioned space with sofas but the best taste can only be found at the local dine-outs.
These are only a few listing of green travel. No doubt, green travel demands smart thinking. You can ponder on countless other ways to save and protect your planet which may not be listed in any of the above. So think and rethink and set on for your next green voyage!