Earth Day takes place on April 22. Celebrated worldwide, the holiday is a time to celebrate the natural world – and to think about what we can do to protect it. And for those of us who love to travel, Earth Day is a good time to consider how we can tailor our explorations in a “green” way. It’s about making smart choices. Why is sustainable travel important? The answer is easy: because it preserves beloved destinations for future generations to enjoy.
Sustainable travel (aka ecotourism) can be a challenge. But it’s worth it. In honor of Earth Day, get 10 simple green travel tips for sustainable travel that will reduce your carbon footprint during your getaway to one of Barceló Hotel Group’s all inclusive resorts in Latin America or the Caribbean.
Pack a reusable water bottle
Some green travel tips are easy. Pack your favorite BPA-free water bottle. Plastic throwaway water bottles can have a seriously negative effect on the environment. Your reusable water bottle will allow you to refill it over and over again. Making things even easier, many international airports now offer free water dispensers. So it’s really a win-win: you save money and don’t harm the environment.
Take showers (the shorter the better)
Did you know that the average American uses 25,300 gallons of water every year – almost 70 gallons daily! So clearly, water conservation is key. Taking short showers during your vacation is a great way to keep clean without wasting precious H20. Keeping them short and efficient is even better. Taking just a few minutes off of your shower can save gallons.
Hang up your towels
And while we’re on the subject, remember to hang up your towels after you use them, whether you’re drying off post-shower, post-pool or post-ocean. That way, Barcelo housekeeping won’t take them away to be washed right away. Think about it: you don’t wash your towels every time you use them at home, do you? Using towels two or three times before washing them saves gallons upon gallons of water.
Turn it off
Your Barcelo room or suite is going to be fantastic, with all amenities you need and all the comforts of home. But let’s face it: during your getaway, you’re going to be out of your room a lot, kicking back poolside, enjoying local culture, exploring the great outdoors and much more. So when you’re not in your room, make sure you turn off the lights, the TVs and the air conditioning. It’s an easy eco-friendly energy saving practice.
Buy carbon offsets
What’s a carbon offset? It’s a great way to put your money where your mouth is as an ecotourist. You can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by the necessities of travel by purchasing carbon offsets. Sound cool? It is! Use Conservation.org’s new carbon footprint calculator and offset your emissions today.
Do not feed the animals
Most ecotourists love the chance to explore the natural world – and get up close and personal with some amazing creatures. But let’s not get too personal. Feeding wildlife may seem like a nice thing to do, but it can cause serious damage to an ecosystem. Keep those snacks to yourself!
Respect the underwater world
Many of Barcelo’s properties in Latin America and the Caribbean are renowned for their scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. Places like Cozumel, Aruba, Punta Cana and elsewhere offer unparalleled underwater adventures. But just like above the waves, respecting the ecosystem of the coral reefs is of the utmost importance. Look, but don’t touch! Breaking off even the tiniest piece of coral can result in adverse effects for marine life.
Supporting local communities is a great way to practice responsible ecotourism. Before you head out on a shopping spree, ask your Barcelo concierge for recommendations on where to buy locally made goods. You’ll be putting money back into these communities and getting a unique souvenir to take home with you.
Schedule trips during the off-season
Overtourism is an issue that the travel industry is grappling with in the 21st century. Herds of visitors in popular spaces can negatively impact these important cultural and natural spots. The solution? Plan your trip during the “off-season,” when less travelers are visiting. Don’t worry, in the Dominican Republic, the Riviera Maya and Aruba, the weather is almost always perfect …
Book nonstop flights (when possible)
Did you know that planes use the most fuel during takeoffs and landings? It’s true. For that reason, a nonstop flight is the eco-friendliest option when you’re traveling by air. And of course, a nonstop flight will get you to your Barcelo destination of choice much faster! You’ll be enjoying your green getaway in no time.
These green travel tips are just the beginning of your eco-friendly travel experience with Barceló Hotel Group. As you plan your family trip, take a moment or two to factor in some green options. You won’t regret it!