Singaporeans just love to travel. Our airport is ranked as one of the busiest and best in the world. So, it comes as no surprise when travel studies show us to be some of the most frequent travelers on the planet.
Summer holidays are just around the corner and as you start your vacation planning don’t forget to consider the impact of your holiday on the environment. A few easy actions and you could really reduce your holiday’s ecological footprint. Try adding these four things to your holiday check-list.
1. GREEN YOUR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Think you are embracing nature by going on a trekking trip? Think again! UNEP reveals that, one trekker can use four to five kilograms of firewood a day in Nepal – an area already suffering from deforestation. We suggest greening your outdoor holiday by avoiding activities involving firewood. Take along food that requires no cooking, and try to go trekking during the day when it is warmer or bring a jacket along just in case it gets colder.
2. LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE
Many zoos add little in the way of conservation value. Some have been reported to keep their animals in poor conditions. As a rule of thumb, avoid places where animals are made to perform or where close encounters or ‘petting’ of wild animals is offered. The best way to enjoy species is in their natural environment and from a responsible distance. Yes, it is more of a challenge to glimpse the species you love but the rewards are also far greater.
3. EXPERIENCE IT THE LOCAL WAY
Experiencing your holiday the local way can make a huge difference in reducing your carbon footprint! Try to choose only locally sourced fresh food that benefits both the local farmers and the environment.
Also instead of hiring a private coach or a taxi, hop on a public bus, rent a bike, or simply walk to get around in town. Getting lost is part of the adventure! You can also go one step further to give back to the local community. For example, you could volunteer at a local organic farm in exchange for room and board. This way, you not only get a complete local experience, but also get to contribute to sustainable tourism.
4. HANG ON TO YOUR FLIP-FLOPS!
Five trillion pieces of plastic are polluting our oceans. In Singapore alone we generate over 800 million kilogrammes of plastic every year and only 7% is recycled. So where does all the plastic go?
Researchers studying ocean waste, found over 10,000 flipflops (yes, you heard right), in the waters around Christmas Island, which are believed to have originated from Southeast Asia. Plastic in the ocean is a growing problem. Many countries you might travel to will not have a recycling infrastructure at all, so be mindful when you are relaxing at that beach resort, there is a very high chance any plastic you use will find its way into the sea. Cut back on plastic use on holiday and take a tip from us – when you travel take a reusable water bottle and a portable water purifier so that you can get clean water from taps wherever you go. And please hang on to those flip-flops.