While preserving the environment is everyone’s business, it also applies to all the places on the planet we are lucky enough to visit and to the way we travel. As you prepare your luggage, if you want to adopt the reflexes of eco-responsible travellers, here are some helpful ecological, economical and ethical tips to help you along the way.

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Mode of transport

Unless you’re travelling to the other side of the planet and have no other choice, there are several alternatives to air travel (the most polluting mode of transport, with 360g of CO2 equivalent per person per kilometre).

per person per kilometre). The train can also take you outside our borders, emitting 30 times less C02 than air travel. Buses are also trendy for their low fares. And remember car-sharing, which is doubly economical if you travel by road rather than motorway. These modes of transport may take longer, but they have the advantage of encouraging a more ‘slow’ lifestyle. Go into holiday mode and let yourself be carried away by the scenery.

Travel light

By air, you will either be restricted or taxed above a certain weight of baggage. Whatever your mode of transport, remember to travel light and save room for a few souvenirs and gifts.

Accommodation

This is the 2nd most significant cost of a trip after transport. If you’re a backpacker with little regard for comfort, your tent will be your best ally! If you prefer more convenience, have you heard of Couchsurfing? It involves staying in a bed or sofa bed in a local’s home for a short period free of charge. It’s the most economical form of accommodation, and ideal if you want to have close contact with the locals.

The environment

Don’t leave any rubbish behind; if you smoke, take a pocket ashtray. Worldwide, 10% of fires are linked to smoking, a real human, material, and ecological disaster. Don’t waste polluting products unnecessarily: in hotels, use soaps, hygiene, and care products that you really need. Prefer showers to baths, and keep your towels for several days before asking for them to be changed.

Respect for local flora and fauna

You may be visiting regions where certain species are endangered. Refrain from being tempted by souvenirs that may be the result of poaching (such as ivory, for example). Also, think twice before taking an elephant or camel ride.

These animals are trained and sometimes mistreated to learn how to bend down, carry tourists all day long, and live in conditions far removed from their natural environment. If the purpose of your trip is to discover wild animals, choose a safari committed to showing you these majestic animals in their natural habitat while respecting them. If you’re diving and exploring marine flora and fauna, take photos rather than a piece of coral or a starfish.

Respecting heritage

Many of the world’s beautiful regions attract a massive influx of tourists, who, unfortunately, do not always respect the places they visit and the people they meet. Some, far from home, disregard respect for local resources and heritage: imagine if every visitor took away a bit of mosaic from

Pompeii? Or engraved their name on a stele or historic monument?

Supporting the local economy

Eco-responsible travel means ethical souvenirs: it’s important not to encourage the purchase of products or services whose sale encourages illegal or unethical practices.

Buy your souvenirs from local artisans rather than in airports or shopping centres. Use local tourist guides rather than mass-market tour operators. Respect local employment and pay attention to staff working conditions.

Useful travel

You can choose to travel either by entrusting the organisation of your trip to an eco-responsible tour operator or as part of a humanitarian project. In this way, contribute to a local cause (building a new school or housing, for example).

Meals

It’s the best way to savour the local cuisine! Pack a small set of sustainable bamboo cutlery, a sustainable straw (bamboo or stainless steel) and a water bottle. They take up little space and weight in your luggage and will avoid the need to use plastic cutlery and cups throughout your journey.

Donations and tips

If you sometimes have to travel to poor countries, the best way to help is to make a donation to

recognised local associations and charities (schools, orphanages, centres for the disabled, etc.). As far as tipping is concerned, find out about local customs beforehand.

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