Apart from the positive impact as a leading economic frontier and the fastest growing sector, tourism also accounts for 5-12 per cent of global greenhouse emissions through related activities such as travel, adventure and comfort amenities. Although most stakeholders are aware of this fact, most are quite uncertain of curbing measures that they can adopt to ease out their output. Interacting with hundreds of travelers who book hotels online every day, Jumia Travel gives tips on how individuals can reduce their footprint while discovering destinations across Africa and beyond.
Get off the wheel…
The greatest recommendation from concerned environmentalists is that whenever possible; tourists should avoid driving around, and instead opt to enjoy walks, cycling or go for shared transport as opposed to private means. In cases where this is not possible, guidelines such as packing light to avoid excessive weight on the vehicle, driving well maintained vehicles, and creating itineraries that take up more than one destination to avoid repeat trips is advised. Another important tip is to keep off heavy traffic, as this will keep to limits amount of emission released into the atmosphere at zero mileage.
Choose environmentally friendly airlines
Cyrus Onyiego, Country Manager for Jumia Travel observes that more than ever, travelers are evidently concerned about air pollution, and take time to check on operator background when preparing to book flights on the online travel portal. Booking direct flights as opposed to numerous legs, flying economy – where the higher number of people decreases footprint and keeping luggage to minimal are some of the guidelines offered to counter the challenge. Travelers are also encouraged to buy carbon offsets and direct them to accountable conservationists as a long-term measure.
Energy efficient tools and accessories ….
From use of rechargeable batteries for digital cameras, phones and any other appliances to the simple act of unplugging electronics when charged or not in use; energy conservation goes a long way in preserving the environment. Unknown to many, pugged-in gadgets continue drawing miniscule amounts of energy when plugged to a power source; this may seem inconsequential, but habitually keeping power sources on will show up in your billing.
Wine and dine local
Think about the transportation of food imports, storage facility, and the preservation involved just to ensure that you eat your more familiar meals millions of miles away from home! Open your mind up to adventure and enjoy exotic culinary any time you venture out on tour. Remember behind every meal is an archive of history, culture and taste waiting to be discovered!
Keep to the beaten path
Leave only footprints, take away memories is a commonly used phrase, summarizing how tourists can help in conserving the same attractions for future visitors. On top of this, keeping off protected areas, as well as keeping to advised and explored routes majorly keeps off interference with nature that could be of disastrous consequences to the ecosystem. Sensitive destinations such as swamps, mangrove forests, steep valleys and escarpments cannot withhold the pressure of group visits, multitude gatherings and at times even the weight of vehicles. Always follow given guides to ensure you keep human interference to possible minimal.
The writer, Lilian Gaitho is a communication officer with Jumia Travel