The environment and our impact on it is a subject that gets a lot of attention these days. “As well it should!”, everyone immediately thinks. And yet, it turns out to be a lot more difficult than it seems to actual follow that green route. Of course, Solbio’s secret that we want to help maintain the same level of enjoyment while reducing the footprint has been out for some time now. Although for us too, the emphasis remains on having a good time away and an unforgettable adventure. Nobody is claiming that these two things can’t go together. Below you will find our tips for a great holiday with a smaller ecological footprint, better known as ecotourism.
1. Take care of your materials
Of course, this first tip speaks for itself. Good maintenance of your camping gear and caravan, but also your clothes and even your food and drink supply is always a good idea. By taking care of your materials and using your supplies efficiently you’re not just saving a lot of money. It is also an excellent method for reducing your consumption and emissions. By using your materials carelessly, you will be faced with expenses more frequently and always end up with a lot of waste that ends up being thrown away. Yes, of course, things break, inevitably. But with good maintenance you can significantly increase the life expectancy of your tent, trekking rucksack, or hiking boots.
2. Plan the right activities
When planning your activities, you can also be mindful of your impact. Ecotourism has been manifesting itself in many different ways for some time now, but in recent years there is a clear change in how people look at certain activities. Activities that, in themselves, produce a lot of emissions should therefore be at the bottom of your list. Think, for example, about an adventurous mountain biking trip instead of driving around on a quad. Here too of course, not everything is taboo. Don’t worry about going ahead with that one, perhaps slightly less green, activity that you’re really looking forward to. But excess is never a good thing. Try to put the focus on activities that are just as adventurous and exciting, but a lot less polluting.
3. Green camping grounds
There are quite a lot of camping grounds that are focussing on their green policies and limiting their emissions. For example, camping grounds where you can connect your camper or caravan to a fully self-managed electricity net powered entirely on sustainable energy. Furthermore, they often maintain strong waste policies and emission limitations, both for the camping itself and for its guests.
4. Replace Pollutants
Up to this point we’ve been talking about emissions and energy, but there is more to ecotourism. Another way, perhaps even the easiest way, is to avoid effective pollutants. Be mindful of the type of washing up liquid, soap or toilet fluid you’re using. We have it in our heads that the more it foams and the stronger it smells, the better it works. That is not always true. There are many natural soaps and detergents. There aren’t that many biological toilet fluids, but luckily just one is enough!
5. Limit waste
A very simple tip that speaks for itself. We keep being shocked by the amount of waste a human being generates. And yet, you yourself have the power to avoid a large part of it. Think of disposable bottles, plastic bags, products that have as many as five layers of packaging, you name it. Of course, zero waste is impossible, so make sure you can always dispose of your waste correctly. Is that currently not possible? Then keep it with you until it is.
6. Save energy at home
This is about ecotourism right, so that’s when you’re not at home? True, of course. But don’t forget how many appliances and things are left at home. It might amaze you how many people leave their homes for a few weeks and simply leave all electrical appliances running. Sure, initially they are easily overlooked, but why would you leave a refrigerator running just for those few bits that are left in there? Take them with you for on the road and switch your refrigerator off during your holidays. The same goes for pretty much every appliance that is still plugged in. And by the way, those appliances you’re leaving plugged in, they also add to the risk of damage or incidents.
7. Calculate your impact
Lastly, nowadays there are ways for calculating your footprint during your trip. This way you can see the approximate impact of your trip in advance, but there are also apps that allow you to narrowly track any emissions leaks you may have. Some of those apps, like https://www.treecological.be/, go even further. They provide a platform where you can compensate the emissions you create. It may not be the best way to gain awareness about your footprint, but it could be a nice idea to compensate a trip now and again.
Of course, we didn’t write this to advocate that you start effectively compensating your trips, but there are a lot of simple measures you can take to be more conscientious and aware about your emissions. And that certainly doesn’t have to get in the way of having fun or going on adventures. That is why ecotourism is on the rise: You get the same amount of fun, but in a responsible way.