Everyone has an impact on our destinations no matter if you live there or are just visiting. AllTrips wants to offer some tips below to help you responsibly plan your next trip.
Your travel has an impact on the destination and the little things you do like conserving water and recycling has significant impact when multiplied by millions of visitors.
When making choices about your travel needs, consider the impacts of your choices and make choices that make sense, for you and for the resources in the destination.
When visiting a destination, please understand that the locals and their culture must continue to thrive after your visit. Please follow the rules, laws and regulations as they have been established to help protect the integrity of the destination.
Leave No Trace Policy
We encourage everyone to practice the Leave No Trace policy while traveling. The Leave No Trace policy allows us to enjoy the places we love for years to come.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites and soil erosion.
- Dispose of Waste Properly: Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. Trash and litter are primarily social impacts which can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area. Further, backcountry users create body waste and waste water which requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace.
- Leave What You Find: Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, and removing items.
- Minimize Campfire Impacts: Because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires, LNT teaches to seek alternatives to fires or use low-impact fires.
- Respect Wildlife: Minimizing impact on wildlife and ecosystems please stay on the designated trails, keep a safe distance from all wildlife, do not distract, throw items or call to animals.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.
For more information please visit the Leave No trace website at www.lnt.org.
Your physical footprint should not have a lasting effect and planning your trip responsibly is the first step. We want to offer some suggestions on choosing lodging, activities, transportation and how important it is to support local business.
Go Paper Free
One of the easiest ways to be responsible while planning your vacation is to set a goal to travel 100% paperless.
- Request virtual confirmations and emails.
- Save items to your mobile device that you may reference later.
- Make a plan for preparing your home while you are away.
- Do your research for where you are going. Consider the local communities when planning your meals and travel.
- Know local transportation options like buses, taxis, and bike paths
- Research local travel apps and map programs.
Research Where to Stay and What to Do
Ask your lodging property:
- Do they offer recycling programs, eco-friendly toiletries, non-toxic cleaners, towel and linen reuse programs?
- Do they purchase food locally?
- What sustainable actions do they take and how do they support local sustainable programs?
If you are selecting a tour company make sure to ask:
- How they minimize environmental impacts and support local responsible businesses?
- Do they use eco-friendly vehicles, fuels or do they participate in carbon offset programs?
- Do they purchase local foods for meals?
- Do they supply reusable water bottles?
When visiting attractions:
- Seek out their eco-friendly programs such as recycling bins, recycled paper brochures, or eco-friendly gifts?
- Are their facilities eco-friendly - think bathrooms, compact florescent light bulbs, and furnishings?
Offset Your Carbon Footprint
Other ways to offset your impact are:
Invest in development of wind power, solar power, biofuel and hydroelectric power; or subsidize the costs so that it is more commercially viable. Invest in initiatives to lower energy demand and usage.
You can do research; just make sure that offsets are validated by a 3rd party. A non-profit company that does third party verification is www.carbonfund.org and www.terrapass.com you can calculate your carbon footprint and choose the area you would like your offsets to be applied.
If you are spending a week in a National Park or Resort Area, there is an easy way to give back – volunteer! You can participate in local pathways or trail programs, clean up roadsides, public lands and waterways or volunteer with organizations or at local festivals. Volunteering information for National Parks and for National Forests.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to Buy Local! Visit a local Farmer's Market while you are visiting a community for lunch or to stock the fridge in your condo. Many of our destinations have markets that supply local produce. You can also find many of the area farmers markets on our events calendars. These typically happen weekly or twice a week so you are sure to find one while visiting any area.
Rent a Fuel Efficient Car – evaluate your needs for transportation carefully. Many rental fleets now feature hybrid and extremely fuel-efficient cars. Weigh your needs with your impact to find the most sensible (and often most affordable!) option! If you do rent a car – don't let it idle while you are taking pictures or running into a store. Many resort areas have a shuttle bus system so that you can be completely car free for your entire vacation! Other options include walking or renting a bicycle (usually a great pace at which to see these great destinations!
At your hotel reuse your bath towels, opt out of daily linen replacement, and make sure to turn off lights when you are not in the room. Reuse What You Can - It is important to stay hydrated, but carry reusable bottles with you. When you are shopping bring your own reusable bags.