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  • Dave Groebel

Becoming A Socially Responsible Traveler

Travelers in Airport

Many people have dreams and aspirations of world travel that somehow take a back seat to holding down a job, raising a family, and living a quieter life. While having a place to rest your head each night is not to be taken for granted, the opportunity to experience the wonders of the world and create one-of-a-kind memories with family and friends is calling. Perhaps you should consider taking in a few of these wondrous sites on your next vacation.

Global impact of travel on the environment

As romantic as the notion of flitting across the globe may be, some environmental impacts of global travel must be considered if you wish to reduce your carbon footprint. Standard methods of travel and sightseeing can:

  1. Deplete natural resources

  2. Lead to overconsumption and waste production

  3. Negatively impact local environments

  4. Cause pollution

  5. Increase greenhouse emissions that lead to global warming

  6. Lead to soil erosion and unsustainable land use

  7. Erode and compromise ecosystems

If you desire a quality vacation experience without all of the negative impacts that you could potentially contribute to, consider taking steps toward responsible tourism. What does it mean to be a responsible traveler? Read on to see how you can transform your tour as you “go” green.

Exercise caution as you travel

Careless and overly eager tourists can frequently injure themselves at popular tourist sites that are considered dangerous. Beaches, cliffs, hills, and mountain overlooks are all areas where tourists get a bit enthusiastic about their surroundings. In cases of extreme carelessness, fatalities can also occur; read posted signs and follow the advice of all local service professionals to stay safe as you’re taking in those breathtaking views.

Respect the environment and local ecosystems

Humans create hundreds of tons of garbage as they live their daily lives. As travelers, we may be tempted to leave waste behind and even carelessly litter and clutter up beautiful surroundings that will then impact the environment. Sustainable travel and tourism are the way to go when trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle. To do your part, choose eco-hotels and other local accommodations that function with environmental sustainability as a primary goal. Consider using public transportation rather than rented vehicles, and always make an effort to clean up waste properly before leaving an area. When traveling responsibly, respecting a natural environment and local culture should always be priorities.

Be culturally sensitive

As you travel to new places and immerse yourself in new cultures, keep in mind that the people you are interacting with are developing associations with your culture as well. Respect local customs and traditions, as you are making a mark for all people of your culture. Consider preparing for an introduction to a new culture by:

  • Reading up on significant cultural practices of the area in which you’ll be traveling

  • Wearing the proper clothing in public spaces to avoid communicating disrespect

  • Study norms of tipping and public behavior to avoid awkward interactions

  • Learn the basics of local language to navigate your travel successfully

Do your homework beforehand

Many on-the-fly travel decisions do not include sustainable and environmentally responsible practices; as a responsible traveler, you must do your homework ahead of time and find destinations, accommodations, and tourist attractions that are in keeping with your new commitment to green travel. Map out your experience, and look forward to the little slice of local culture and beauty that you’re likely to get in a truly unique vacation destination.

Alpha Submarine: Fantastic experience meets environmental responsibility

This fall, Alpha Submarine adventures will be offering breathtaking views of the coral reefs off the coast of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. A commitment to sustainability and education crafts the perfect vacation destination for you and the whole family. Visit to learn about an immersive experience!

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