With more and more tourists crossing the globe each year, it is more important than ever for travelers to minimize their individual impact on Earth’s natural resources. Many people hear the words “green travel” or “ecotourism” and imagine someone backpacking through Cambodia or sleeping in a treehouse in a far off jungle somewhere. But you don’t need to sacrifice travel comforts or go too far off the beaten path to become a green traveler; you can choose to stay in hotels and dine at eateries that identify as green, choose low-impact activities and prepare for travel with reusable items. All that is required to be a green traveler is an effort to preserve the environment of the place you are visiting, and it’s easier than you might think. National Tourism and Travel week is May 8-14; here are a few ways that you can celebrate by traveling green:
When planning your trip, lodging is one of the first aspects that comes to mind. By choosing to stay in a hotel or lodging facility that identifies itself as green you can take advantage of, more sustainable choices that are offered, such as using your linens and towels more than once. By using our Go Green Hospitality – Lodging section, you can search lodging options by community around Arkansas. While staying in these environmentally friendly options, bring your own toiletries and drinking cup, rather than using the prepackaged ones provided, and be sure to turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices.
Choosing low-impact activities on your trip can help in conserving plants, wildlife and other resources. As an added bonus, it often makes for a more rewarding, authentic travel experience, encouraging deeper connections with the people and places you visit. Such activities include biking, hiking and an emerging trend, “hammocking.” Many Arkansas State Parks offer healthy, green and low-impact family vacation options. In fact, Arkansas State Parks have partnered in the Leave No Trace initiative, encouraging Arkansans to minimize their impact on nature.
While traveling, it is important to use reusable and recyclable materials. Reusable water bottles help reduce the environmental impact, while also saving money. Packing lunches may seem simple, but it helps to cut on the amount of fast food waste that is easily seen scattered along the roadways. Arkansas also offers electric car charging stations across the state, which helps for more low-impact travel and reduced car emissions.
By implementing all of these tactics in your travel plans, you can help create a cleaner, greener Arkansas for all to enjoy. Be sure to clean up after yourself, and after others, when traveling for your summer trips. Litter is one of the biggest issues in keeping our parks and trailways tourist-friendly, and one of the easiest to combat!