Sustainable travel is not a trend that’ll soon die out, it’s what’s required of us as travellers to ensure we protect people and planet. While travelling is not the most environmentally friendly endeavour in itself (especially if we consider the effects of air travel), there are ways we can minimise our carbon footprint. This can be done simply through the choices we make. And don’t fret, travelling sustainably won’t negatively affect your experience or rob you of your freedom – it will just make you think twice about healthier alternatives which you may not have considered, or knew existed before. Alternatives can also sometimes mean more convenient, cost-effective and healthy ways of seeing the world!
- Visit a place that protects the surrounding environment
Climate change is real – it has escalated to a critical level, and so protecting the environment is of utmost importance. We can do our bit for the environment even while travelling. That means considering how we travel, the activities we do/support, and the destinations we visit. Thanda Island, private island resort, is one place which prioritises conservation. Nestled in Tanzania’s Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island works to protect the surrounding ecosystems as well as preserve and rehabilitate the stunning Shungi Mbili coral reef. In the waters of Tanzania you will find five species of marine turtles such as Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead Green and Hawksbill turtles. Most of these are critically endangered, but Thanda Island work hard to protect these gorgeous creatures through their sustainable programs.
- Visit a place that uplifts local communities
Not only does Thanda Island protect the environment but they also uplift their local communities by providing employment and education of neighbouring communities. The Thanda Foundation Trust was founded to assist with many community-based projects and acts as a mediator for fundraising to assist with these projects. They have teams working on social upliftment programmes for approximately 60 000 people on Mafia Island, a testimony to their commitment to education. They ensure the youth understand what it means to utilise and preserve sustainable resources, focussing on marine conservation and fish harvesting.
- Consider the transport you use
When travelling we tend to forget about the harmful impact transportation has on the environment – particularly air travel. To ensure your trip to Thanda Island is even more environmentally friendly (and sustainable), opt for the boat transfers from Mafia Island to Thanda, instead of travelling by air. This is a much more sustainable alternative to air travel and is greatly encouraged. In fact, you may just save a few pennies too! Thanda Island is a very low emission zone as there’s no cars – you’ll be getting around on foot, via bicycle or canoe. Just another reason why you should visit Thanda Island!
- Consider the carbon footprint of your activities
A holiday becomes that much more exciting and stimulating when there are great activities on offer. Even activities, though, can negatively impact the environment which is why, if you want to help save the planet, you should be thinking about the activities you decide to do. At Thanda Island you’ll be spoilt for choice with their many incredible activities which are beneficial to the environmental – and your health, including yoga, tennis, volleyball and swimming, hiking and canoeing to name a few. You don’t even have to spend time considering whether or not they’re a good idea – Thanda Island have made sure to offer only the most environmentally friendly amenities.
- Do your part to conserve the environment
Take holidays with a purpose – that means upgrading from tourist status and instead giving back. Contributing to the local communities and environment will leave you feeling like you saw, but also conquered. It’s a liberating process leaving something of yourself behind for the greater good of people and planet. One way of making a positive impact is by discarding your rubbish in designated bins, using less plastic, eating local organic meat and produce, supporting local vendors and using less water. It’s not difficult to travel sustainably – it’s about making informed decisions and being aware of how your choices affect the surrounding people and place. It’s about putting the planet before yourself!