A picture of the word ecotourism written in green on a wooden sign.

Uncover Eco-Friendly Travel Activities and How to Find Them

Traveling today can be done in many ways, depending on what each person prefers. One way to travel is eco-friendly traveling, which is a growing trend. If you want to travel in an eco-friendly way but don’t know how or where to go, this is the right article for you. This article will help you learn about eco-friendly travel activities and how to find them. We will also tell you about the benefits of sustainable travel activities.

What is Eco-tourism?

A picture of people walking on a wooden path in Kibale National Park, Uganda and taking pictures.
Kibale National Park, Uganda

You must know more about eco-tourism to decide whether to try eco-friendly activities. Eco-tourism focuses on protecting wildlife and natural resources in travel destinations; it is also considered responsible tourism. According to the definition set by The International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.” It is also about “uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.”

Why does eco-tourism matter? This type of tourism aims to encourage travelers to minimize the negative impact on the environment usually caused by travel. It also aims to help local communities rather than harm them. Therefore, when you choose to participate in eco-friendly travel activities, you will be helping the planet and environment while supporting conservation efforts.

With more travelers looking toward eco-friendly and sustainable travel options, you can be the next one to join this trend. In 2023, a report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Trip.com Group stated that “69% of travelers” are “actively seeking sustainable travel options.” This number will continue to grow as travelers try to be more responsible toward the environment.

Sustainable and Eco-friendly Travel Activities

A picture of a family-hiking through mountains in foggy weather.
Choose eco-friendly activities

There are many ways to participate in sustainable and eco-friendly travel activities. You will find many eco-friendly travel activities worldwide in each destination. To help you learn about some of these activities, we will give you some examples to get you started.

Eco-friendly Ocean & Beach Activities

A picture of a woman volunteering and cleaning a beach by picking plastic bottles and waste.
Clean a beach or two.

If your travel destination has ocean beaches there, you can ask for the eco-friendly activities they offer. Sustainable ocean and beach activities are a way to practice eco-tourism as they try to protect the sea’s resources. In addition to protecting the ocean, eco-friendly ocean activities will also help local communities whose livelihood depends on the ocean. Some of these activities that you can try include:

  • Cleaning up the beach: This can be a great activity for groups. Not only would you be protecting the beach or ocean, but you would also get to know other travelers interested in eco-friendly travel activities.
  • Try sustainable fishing: another eco-friendly ocean activity is sustainable fishing. In simple terms, sustainable fishing means fishing while respecting marine life and guaranteeing there will be fish in the future. According to the Marine Stewardship Council, sustainable fishing “helps maintain healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems and minimizes impacts on endangered, threatened, and protected species.” So, if you enjoy fishing, you can still fish while traveling but sustainably!

Give Kayaking A Chance

A picture of a person kayaking while surrounded by several green trees.
Be eco-friendly by trying kayaking.

If you want activities that allow you to enjoy the water and be eco-friendly, kayaking is a great solution. With kayaking, you won’t harm the environment since no oil or gas is involved; it depends on human power and effort. Instead, it is just you and the beauty of the water. Kayaking is also a quiet activity because there is no motor noise, which is always helpful. This way, you will also feel calm while trying out this activity. The silence associated with kayaking will also ensure you won’t disturb marine life.

Experience Animals Watching

A picture of a woman watching wildlife in a swamp by using binoculars.
Watch wildlife

Animal watching is considered an eco-friendly activity when done in the right way. You will observe the lives of different animals and their behaviors. This can help you become more understanding and encourage you to try more eco-friendly activities. This activity will also raise your awareness and appreciation for nature. In return, you will enjoy being surrounded by nature and animals; it will also be a great educational experience.

Look For Eco-friendly Cruises

A picture of a cruise in the sea during morning.
Try eco-friendly cruises

Believe it or not, cruises can be eco-friendly rather than harm the environment. With developments in the tourism sector, more cruise companies are introducing eco-friendly cruises. Search for eco-friendly cruise companies and see what procedures they follow to ensure they aren’t harming the environment. Now, you can still go on one if you always wanted to go on a cruise but didn’t want to harm the environment. In an eco-friendly way!

Eat Locally Sourced Food

A picture of several kinds of organic food with the words "Buy Local" written on a black sign.
Buy Local

I don’t know about you, but I would consider eating an activity anywhere in the world. Instead of eating at expensive restaurants, you should try only to eat locally sourced food; this is a sustainable way of eating and is also considered an eco-friendly activity. But how exactly can this way of eating be eco-friendly? Eating this way helps reduce carbon emissions caused by transporting food from farms to restaurants, markets, and so on. Eating directly from the farm will also financially support the local community.

Visit Certified and Trusted Wildlife Sanctuaries

A picture of Periyar lake in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, India.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Who said that eco-friendly activities can’t include looking at animals in a safe environment? One way to be eco-friendly and sustainable is to visit certified wildlife sanctuaries. This way, you will be offering support to sustainable places that need all the support they can get. Though supporting sanctuaries, you also support animal welfare, especially for endangered animals. However, there are some steps to follow before heading to any sanctuary. Firstly, you must ensure that your chosen sanctuary is valid and certified. You should also check out their conservation efforts and how they do this. Most importantly, research whether they are treating the animals there in a good way; if you feel that any amount of exploitation is involved, you shouldn’t support them.

Try to Go Hiking

A picture of a mother and her daughter hiking in mountains during morning.
Hiking is for everyone.

Hiking is also considered an eco-friendly activity. It is also a popular eco-friendly activity since it can be found in many travel destinations. With hiking, you will practice being eco-friendly and enjoy what nature has to offer without harming it. Of course, there are many places where you can go hiking. One of the places we recommend is Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. No matter what place you choose, here are some of the ways to be eco-friendly while hiking:

  • Respect wildlife: Try not to disturb any wildlife you encounter. You can do this by being quiet near wildlife, not waking them up, or coming too close.
  • Use a reusable water bottle: You must drink water when hiking, but you should avoid using a plastic water bottle. Instead, look for a reusable water bottle. That way, you will make your hiking activities eco-friendly and stay hydrated.
  • Dispose of waste correctly: Waste is almost inevitable while hiking. However, don’t throw waste on the trail, as this will harm the environment rather than protect it. So, make sure to find a way to dispose of waste. One way to do this is to bring a trash bag and keep it until you can throw it away in the right place.

Experience the Joy of Tree Planting

A picture of a group of volunteers planting trees in a park.
Plant trees with others

If you have never considered planting trees or saw it as impossible, then you have the chance to try it. Tree planting is as eco-friendly as any travel activity can get. If you truly want to try out a sustainable travel activity and help the place you are visiting, keep the idea of tree planting in mind. Through this eco-friendly travel activity, you will help the environment and the place you are visiting and get to try something unique.

Join A Community Garden

A picture of a group of people working in a community garden in Canada during morning.
A community garden in Canada

Besides tree planting, you can always look for a community garden in your destination. What is a community garden? It is a piece of land that is gardened by a group and divided into individual plots for each person. Therefore, with a community garden, you will help increase the green space in your destination; this is eco-friendly. This activity will also help you learn more about people in your destination, form a deeper connection with them, and learn about their culture. Depending on what you garden, you can help the community have more food sources that aren’t harmful to the environment.

Cycling Your Way Through Your Destination

A picture of a family cycling in a park.
Cycle with family and friends

Another eco-friendly travel activity that you can try in many countries is cycling. With cycling, you won’t have to worry about carbon emissions or using unsustainable transportation methods. This eco-friendly activity also means enjoying your time from one place to another. When you choose to cycle through your destination, you make sure to decrease your carbon footprint; this is one way to be more responsible toward the safety of our planet. Cycling is also beneficial to you. This is because it helps increase your physical and mental well-being. Cycling can also increase your connection to nature, which is welcomed and needed. Cycling is part of slow travel and is on the rise, too. You can learn everything you need about it through our slow travel guide.

Try Snorkeling

A picture of a couple taking a selfie while snorkeling in the ocean.
Be eco-friendly through snorkeling.

If you love exploring the sea and being underwater, snorkeling is a great eco-friendly activity for you. Through snorkeling, you will see marine wildlife and learn more about them as you observe them. You mustn’t try to touch or interact with any marine life there. This will defy the entire purpose of eco-friendly activities such as snorkeling.

Visit Historical Places

A picture of Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
Alhambra Palace

Another way to practice eco-friendly activities is to visit historical sites in your destination. When you visit important historical sites, you increase your environmental awareness. The beauty of such places can also increase your desire to be eco-friendly and protect these places. You can consider this the learning part of eco-tourism, where you learn more about the destination, its rich history, and the local people.

Go Camping

A picture of an elder couple camping in the woods.
Go camping with your loved ones.

Camping is another sustainable and eco-friendly activity; it can be done anywhere on Earth. You can either try camping while part of a group or on your own, which makes camping more accessible. You should do your research before you go camping and look for the best places to camp. The only way for camping to remain sustainable is if you make sure not to leave a trace behind when you are leaving; leave the place just like you found it.

Other Sustainable Ways To Help the Environment

A picture of a riverside palace in the eco-friendly retreat Bambu Indah in Bali, Indonesia.
The eco-friendly retreat Bambu Indah [Source: Official website]

Participating in sustainable and eco-friendly travel activities isn’t the only way to help protect the environment while traveling. There are many ways to be sustainable on your travels other than choosing eco-friendly activities. For example, you can book eco-friendly accommodations that focus on sustainability.

Choosing eco-friendly places to stay won’t detract from the quality you seek. Many sustainable accommodations can offer great quality, like other places that don’t prioritize the environment. Therefore, choosing eco-friendly hotels or resorts is another way to be eco-friendly. You should check with the place you are staying on your next trip to see if it is eco-friendly.

What Are The Criteria For Sustainable and Eco-friendly Activities

A picture of a man hiking on the popular trail Tour du Mont Blanc near Chamonix, France.
Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc

To ensure you choose the right eco-friendly activities, you must know what makes an activity eco-friendly. Activities can be eco-friendly when they don’t harm the environment. If the activity you choose will harm the environment more than good, then it’s not eco-friendly. Another thing to remember is that most eco-friendly activities should be considered a learning experience. When you learn more about your destination, you will appreciate it and want to protect it.

Also, sustainable activities should benefit the local community and not damage it. If the activity you have in mind will hurt the local community, then it isn’t to be considered sustainable. Lastly, when booking eco-friendly activities, do your research regarding said activity and also who is providing this activity. Some companies may not care about the environment and will care more about financial gain. Therefore, make sure to choose your guide carefully.

How To Find And Book Eco-friendly Tours

A picture of a woman sitting on a chair in sand and using her laptop to book tours.
Book eco-friendly tours.

While more travelers depend more on eco-friendly tours, not everyone is catching up. Finding tours anywhere in the world can be difficult, but finding sustainable and eco-friendly tours is even more difficult. Instead of searching through thousands of tours to find which one is sustainable and eco-friendly, you can use our search function! TourTeller allows you to see, compare, and book tours, whether sustainable or not, all in one place. So just use our search function to find sustainable and eco-friendly tours from all over the world.

Benefits of Participating in Sustainable and Eco-friendly Travel Activities

A picture of the words "UNCOVER THE BENEFITS" written on a colorful note.
Uncover the benefits of eco-friendly activities.

Many benefits come with eco-tourism and eco-friendly activities. Knowing more about these benefits might be interesting and encourage you and others to participate in sustainable and eco-friendly activities. Just like eco-friendly activities include so many things, their benefits are the same. These benefits cover different fields such as environmental, economic, and social benefits as well. So what are the benefits of eco-friendly activities exactly?

The Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Activities

A picture of someone holding a small tree carefully to indicate protecting the environment.
Protect the environment

For starters, environmental benefits are an essential part of the benefits of eco-tourism. By participating in eco-friendly activities, you protect the environment and positively impact each destination you visit. Not only that, but you also help reduce the negative impact of traditional travel, such as fast travel. While there is a rise in sustainable travel, many travelers still choose to travel traditionally without paying attention to the harm done to the environment. You can make a change yourself without waiting for others. Through eco-friendly activities, you will also reduce carbon emissions and waste. You might even encourage people around you to follow in your footsteps and do the same.

The Economic Benefits of Sustainable Activities

A picture of the words "Buy Local" written on a textured paper in black and circled in red.
Support local businesses

While environmental benefits are the most important to many travelers, we can’t forget economic benefits. Many of the eco-friendly activities we mentioned will help you support the local economy of the destination you are visiting. As more travelers decide to be sustainable, more people will try eco-friendly activities, which can help increase the job opportunities available for the local community. When choosing sustainable travel activities, you enrich the local community and offer support in many ways—more than you can imagine.

The Social Benefits of Eco-friendly Activities

A picture of two women holding hands to indicate having a deep connection.
Form deep connections

In addition to environmental and economic benefits, sustainable travel activities also have social benefits. What are these social benefits exactly? Through trying sustainable and eco-friendly activities, you increase your understanding of the local culture. These activities also help you form deeper connections with people who can share your culture or have their own culture. Sustainable activities also help support the local heritage and guarantee that it will be passed around from one person to another. In addition to all of this, these activities introduce cultural exchange between the local people and travelers; this helps make the world a better place filled with understanding.

Eco-friendly Activities Increase Mental and Physical Well-being

A picture of a black woman outside smiling and looking happy with her eyes closed.
Eco-friendly activities make you happy.

Not only do eco-friendly and sustainable activities help the planet and local communities, but they also help travelers. When you choose eco-friendly activities, you allow yourself to have transformative experiences and immerse yourself in nature. This helps increase your mental well-being as you surround yourself with calmness and establish deep connections with others. Some eco-friendly activities like cycling and hiking also improve your physical well-being. The physical effort done in these activities is just like doing exercises. The difference here is that you are surrounded by nature, which helps increase your mental well-being as well.

Our article has shared several examples of great eco-friendly and sustainable activities. Whether you love hiking, camping, or snorkeling, you can pick any of our examples next time you travel. We also shared how to book eco-friendly activities; just use TourTeller’s search. We also told you about all the benefits of eco-friendly activities. Now, you have more than one reason to try eco-friendly activities in your next destination.

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