January 1 does not exactly mark a fresh start to life but for some reason, some times it kind of feels that way. I’ve passed on New Year’s resolutions for a while because it feels a little too cliche. I don’t need a holiday to tell me it’s time to turn over a new leaf or motivate me to exercise more.
Nevertheless, it is wonderful time to mark our progress: to set goals and to hold ourselves accountable. So, I’m resisting my distaste for the concept of making New Year’s resolutions to use it as timeline for goal setting. (:
We all know that travel isn’t exactly the most earth friendly lifestyle. My miles traveled by car, plane and bus are not exactly offset by my more eco-friendly practices—not even close. So, I’ve decided to compile a list of resolutions, featuring my own as well as of other travelers, for more conscious travel during the upcoming year!
New Year’s Resolutions for conscious travel…
My New Year’s travel resolution is to focus on supporting conscious businesses. From the travel gear that I choose to use to the companies I engage with while traveling. I always aim to do this but notice myself getting down to the last minute more often than I should regarding choosing products/services which doesn’t always leave room for thorough research.
Rather than waiting, I’m going to turn this into an individual project to compile a killer list of businesses to choose from who’s ideologies match my own. Don’t worry, I promise to share this list with all of you guys too, of course 🙂
I’ll be turning 30 in February 2017, and my dream has been to travel somewhere that has a completely different culture than the United States. After weeks of checking for flight deals, I found affordable round trip tickets to Sri Lanka. In addition to visiting some of the ancient spiritual sites, a priority for me was to find a place where I could spend a week on a beach taking surf lessons, reflecting, and recharging my batteries.
As many know, Sri Lanka was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. More than 30,000 people died, 1.5 million people were displaced, and infectious diseases spread quickly in the aftermath.
I am fortunate to be staying at a lodge during my “beach week” that is sustainably built, managed, and offer local volunteer opportunities for guests. 10% of all profits are given back to the community, and visitors are encouraged to continue to give back in a number of ways even after they’ve left Sri Lanka. More than anything else on this trip, I’m looking forward to supporting a locally owned, sustainable business and hopefully being connected to a volunteer project during my stay. I expect that I will leave even more moved than the people I might be supporting!
It is that time of the year where resolutions are made looking forward for the New Year. This year I have travelled quite a bit but there has been always this pending bucket list item. Since the time I migrated to Australia, I have wanted to volunteer at a local zoo. After a lot of research, I have shortlisted a zoo in the state of Queensland — Australia Zoo — I have planned to take a few weeks off from work and go do my bit towards the wildlife and nature.
During my childhood, I always followed Steve Irwin. I admired his work and his care for animals. He was the famous Australian nature expert and was known as ‘The Crocodile Hunter’. His vision was to make the Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire World. So by volunteering at Australia zoo, I would be paying my tribute to Steve.
I would like to help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean so we can learn how to help healthy reefs thrive, help unhealthy reefs recover, and better preserve the ocean. I want to do more to support institutions and organizations fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. I want to be more responsible in diving, boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities in the water. Lastly, I want to share this knowledge to educate and inspire others to love our oceans.
It’s the simple little things that can make all of the difference. We are becoming such a wasteful society and no where is that more apparent then traveling to hot countries and watching tourists buy plastic bottle after bottle of water. With little to no recycling options in many of the countries we visit, these bottles end up being burnt, tossed in landfill or thrown in our oceans. The simple act of carrying a refillable bottle with me everywhere I go is the one easy way I can make a huge impact on the places I visit with little effort on my side. So in 2017 my conscious traveller action is to not buy one disposable plastic bottle of water and encourage other fellow travelers to do the same.
I want to create the habit of filling up my companion bottle wherever I can, or in countries where the tap water isn’t safe, I will source larger containers to decant into my handy bottle sidekick. Not only does carrying a bottle everywhere encourage you to drink more water, it will also save you money and ensure we don’t leave a trail of plastic everywhere we travel. A simple behavioral change with a huge conscientious impact on our planet and the communities we travel to.
Sometimes, I choose to fly more often than I need to when traveling. It can be more comfortable and so I choose to do it without a second thought. But the carbon footprint attached to that isn’t something I’m proud of. During 2017, I aim to reduce my air miles by choosing other forms of transportation when I can. Bus transportation really isn’t too bad and you get to see a lot more of the land that you’re traveling through. So, this year, rather than heading straight to flight options, I will check into options for bus travel first.
Additionally, I’m going to look into sailing to one of my desired destinations this year when traveling! I’ve always wanted to learn how to sail and recently I’ve been hearing great things about Crew Bay, a website that helps to connect boat captains with crew members, even if you don’t have sailing experience! I’ll need a little more time for this option, but with some planning, I think I can make it happen!
— Lucille Davis
I love eating street food when I travel! It’s the best way to try the real local food and it’s always relatively cheap. Typically though, this involves some sort of one time use container that gets thrown away immediately after said delicious meal. This year, I plan to travel with my own reusable container so that I can still enjoy my street food all around the world while lowering the amount of waste that I leave behind. Hopefully other people will pick up on it too.
— Thomas Williams
What are your resolutions to being a more conscious traveler in 2017?