Ways to Limit Your Ecological Footprint on Vacation (1)

5 Ways to Limit Your Ecological Footprint on Vacation

When traveling and on vacation, people are relaxed and disconnected and tend to put aside good eco-citizen habits they have learned at home. Yet, even far away from home, eco-gestures to limit our ecological footprint while on vacation – yes, even on holiday – may well follow us… Because it doesn’t cost much! 

Here we go:

1. Limit the use of the car

Ways to Limit Your Ecological Footprint on Vacation (1)


 During the vacations, we have more time than the rest of the year, so let’s make the most of it! For short trips, like picking up croissants in the morning or going to the local market, prefer walking or cycling.


If you go on vacation and stay in American territory, ask yourself if it is indispensable to take your car. Can you get there by train, bus or boat? On the spot, you will always have the solution to rent a car or use car-sharing services if you need it more punctually.


If you go to your vacation destination by car and there is still unoccupied space in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to offer to carpool!

 2. Offsetting your greenhouse gas emissions

 Although air travel is still essential to reach distant destinations quickly, this means of transport remains hugely polluting. It’s enough to get your ecological footprint off the ground on vacation, despite all the effort you put in daily.

 Fortunately, travel agencies have found a way to counterbalance this phenomenon. They offer their clients to offset their CO2 emissions by donating part of the amount paid for their trip to finance environmental projects such as reforestation or the development of renewable energies. 


 Alternatively, you can also choose to offset your emissions during air travel by yourself on the myclimate.org website by proportionally financing climate protection projects in developing and emerging countries. 

 3. Limit your water consumption

 Between the usual consumption for hygiene and cooking, watering, swimming pool, etc., a tourist uses an average of 880 liters of water per day!


 If the use of water is unavoidable and vital, it is possible to limit its consumption. For example, if you stay in a hotel for a few days, you can tell the staff that you don’t need clean sheets daily to avoid wasting water. After all, you don’t change them every day at home, do you? 

 4. Choosing the right hotel

Ways to Limit Your Ecological Footprint on Vacation (1)

 You can encourage responsible behavior by inquiring about the practices of the hotel where you plan to stay. For example, does the hotel management have any policies and measures to address wastewater? Here, you can choose among labels such as Green Globe, Green Key, Earth Check, Travel Life, and Biosphere Tourism, among others which guarantee excellent environmental considerations in their processes.

 The “Green Key” label, for example, is based on 7 environmental criteria, awarded and re-evaluated each year:

 – General environmental management: compliance with legislation, social responsibility, employee training, etc.

 – Water management: purchase of specific equipment, rainwater recovery, etc.

 – Energy management: low-energy light bulbs, reduction of consumption, etc.

 – Waste management: reduction at source, selective sorting, etc.

 – The use of environmentally friendly products: responsible sourcing;

 – The development of living spaces, especially for campsites: compliance with regulations in force…

 – Environmental education of tourists and employees.

 5. Exchanging one’s house

 This practice is not only economical but also ecological! Why is this?

 You make optimal use of the existing accommodation by exchanging your house or apartment during vacations or as a co-vacation enthusiast.

 In this way, you contribute to limiting what is called the “concretization” of tourist places, i.e., the excessive construction that disfigures the landscape and, above all, disrupts the natural balance.

Hope the above few tips help you to keep our planet cleaner. Please remember to share and comment on this post.


Is Vegan Leather Better? 

Vegan leather, popularly known as faux leather, is leather without animal skin. In the past, leather was strictly made with animal skin, but time has changed; now, a range of ‘vegan’ materials are used to produce leather. Natural materials such as cork oak trees, bark fibres mixed with a polymer, etc.

Plastic-based polymers such as polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane are the most often utilized materials for synthetic leathers. Pleather, a phrase derived from “plastic leather,” is another term for synthetic leather.

These two most used synthetic materials, in particular, have raised concerns about vegan leather’s safety and environmental impact. Natural materials are used in very few vegan leathers, though you can discover more eco-friendly products manufactured from cork, kelp, and even pineapple leaves.

Footwear, Leather, Shoes, Oxfords, Male

Various studies have conclusively shown that a vegan diet is less detrimental to the environment than a meat-and-dairy-based diet. This mindset sometimes leads to the belief that we should approach what we wear in the same way, especially when it comes to leather.

Businesses are seeking vegan alternatives in the hopes of meeting this demand. On the other hand, vegan-leather substitutes are genuinely better for the environment than real leather?

How Is Synthetic Leather Manufactured?

Polyurethane is applied to one side of the cloth, normally polyester, to create PU leather. The most popular PU leather production procedure is the “wet process,” which involves immersing the fabric in liquified polyurethane, water, and solvents, baking it, and then detailing the material to seem like leather. The “dry procedure” removes the liquid and laminates the polyurethane straight to the cloth, using less water and energy.

 A similar coating procedure is used to create PVC leather. Polyvinyl Chloride is combined with stabilizers, plasticizers, and lubricants and then heated to create chemical changes that allow the paste to adhere to the cloth.

Because real leather is a natural product, it is not the actual animal skin harmful to the environment. Keeping this in mind, while purchasing vegan leather avoids animal products, its substitute may be plastic-based, which is bad for the environment and takes years to disintegrate. However, because the chemicals used in the tanning process are still toxic, and the leather business contributes to deforestation, it is preferable to pick vegetable-tanned leathers.

Is It More Sustainable?

Shoes, Footwear, Formal Shoes, Sneaker

When opposed to higher-priced, artisan leather items, synthetic leather provides fast fashion stores with a less expensive and virtually realistic alternative to animal leather, fostering accessory overproduction. Furthermore, the procedure is exceedingly chemically demanding, putting the health of people involved in the production process in danger.

 PVC is not biodegradable and, when burnt, releases dioxins into the environment, as do many unsold and discarded fashion items. Not only is the creation of these synthetic materials chemically intensive, but it is also carbon-intensive because it is produced from fossil fuels. Artificial leather and polyester have a higher carbon footprint than genuine leather since they are not a by-product of another sector.

There are strong reasons on both sides. Therefore the solution isn’t black and white. The best approach is to do case-by-case research as fully as possible.

 If you’re considering purchasing vegan leather, find out what alternatives the company uses and be mindful of the dangers of plastic-based goods. If you choose real leather, learn about the tanning procedures used by the business to learn how they make their items and be conscious of their ethical practices.

 It’s not as easy as choosing between real leather and vegan leather; whatever you choose, do your research to make informed decisions. Regardless of the newest trends or aesthetics, find out who you’re throwing your money to, whether it’s something that you want to promote. Let us know in the comments what do you think of ‘vegan’ leather…

The 12 Most Sustainable Tourism Companies in Colombia

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia carries out the National Sustainable Tourism Award annually, an event in which tourism companies that have shown commitment to preserving biodiversity are recognized. If you are interested in knowing the dozen of the most sustainable companies in Colombia, keep reading and discover which ones were awarded in each category.


An Award for Ecotourism Purposes and a Motivating Spirit

Is ecotourism a 'magic bullet' for sustainable development? — An anthropological essay | by Cian Dalglish | Environmental Ideas | Medium

This award is how the ministry wants to show that it supports the commitment to environmentally responsible tourism. Sustainable tourism practices are based on environmentally friendly procedures, support for the conservation of nature or cultural heritage, and social and economic benefits for local populations. The idea is to reward the best ecotourism projects and motivate other service providers to bet on a kind of tourism that is gaining more and more popularity worldwide.


The Most Sustainable Tourism Companies in Colombia: From Parks to Travel Agencies


Topping the list of the most sustainable tourism companies in Colombia, we find the Arví Park Corporation, which manages Arví Park. This eco-company is responsible for organizing trails, preparing the Arví Markets with local products, the Corasante Artisan Market, the Trueke Festival, and the San Gabriel Agricultural Fair. For its part, the Ecoturismo Estratégico travel agency develops sustainable tourism programs in grassroots communities (indigenous, black, and peasant). Also, it offers community ecotourism in protected areas of Colombia, agro-tourism, and ethnic-tourism in trades and tasks in the Colombian countryside, adventure tourism, and hiking in natural regions, such as mountains, jungles, rivers, deserts, and coasts.


Category “Best in Green Tourism”

In this category, the first-place winner was Ecolodge el Almejal. This company has been working for sustainable tourism for three decades, with a hotel complex built on the four pillars of ecotourism: conservation, sustainability, environmental awareness, and community participation. The ministry has highlighted its “Golfing” project, focused on the ecotourism conservation of sea turtles in Bahía Solano, Chocó. The other winners in this category were Hotel del Llano and Biogourmet.


Category “Best in Actions for the Benefit of Local Communities”

The Yakumo Blanco Community Association, established under the essential keys for sustainable tourism, took first place in this category. The organization offers environmental education services, lodging, gastronomy, leisure activities, and recreation in the Natural Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora Otún Quimbaya. Likewise, The Plantation House Travelers Hostel Salento and Ecoturismo Estratégico were the tourism companies that took second and third place in the category in question.


Category “Best in Actions for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage”

Sustainable tourism statistics - LuggageHero

As part of Colombian culture, these category rewards companies that wish to preserve the country’s heritage. JBY Servicios (Mom’s Soups and Grandmother’s Desserts) won first place to promote the rescue of Colombian culinary and gastronomic traditions. Thee Posada Ecocultural «Dermass Inn» Native Lodge and La Sierrita Ecotour obtained the second and third places. All these companies have in common their continued effort for sustainable tourism that is not devouring nature but is integrated into it, respecting and accompanying its processes. More and more tourists and travelers are demanding responsible tourism; Fortunately, Colombia is one of the world’s places with the most significant number of tourism companies and ecological hotels. It is estimated that this South American country receives 250,000 international visits related solely to sustainable tourism. This figure allows us to identify the great importance of responsible tourism for Colombia or Latin America and the entire world.


The concept of tourism in Colombia is still relatively new and has avoided many of the worst forms of mass tourism, from all-inclusive resorts to prize competitions. Since 2007, the number of visitors has almost tripled in the ten years, reaching 3.2 million in 2017. Although Colombia is vast, tourists are relatively concentrated in the same places, so keeping tourism running smoothly and safely will be a challenge in the coming years. The country is incredibly ecologically rich – it is the most biologically rich region in the world after Brazil – and many of its landscapes, from the Andes rainforest to the coastal Chocó rainforest, are fragile and full of rare and endemic species. The Colombian people must also be treated with respect. Tourism companies must ensure that they do not exploit indigenous people for their own ends and that they do not exploit people who have experienced decades of brutal civil war and conflict with rebels.



7 Basic Eco-Gestures on Vacation

 Reducing your ecological footprint on vacation is possible, and it requires a few automatic measures, not very different from those used at home.

 On vacation, too, eco-responsible gestures count; let’s not slacken.

Here are a few ways you can easily limit your ecological footprint when you go on vacation.

1. Making plans as a real ecotourist

There is a multitude of ways to combine ecology and vacations. Ecotourism is not just a fad: it is a real way of living with the desire to limit its impact on the environment, in a relaxed mode even on vacation. More and more professionals in the sector are integrating ecotourism into their services at different levels, so let’s take the opportunity to encourage them.

2. Choice of accommodation

Ecolodge, ecogîtes, stay in the green in an organic farm, night in the trees… There is a wide range of choices, regardless of the criteria of comfort and budget.

3. Vacation activities

Sports and activities with less pollution, the discovery of nature, protection of endangered species, volunteer work: our vacation activities impact the environment, so we should choose them with full knowledge of the facts.

4. Sharing

Choose the local agencies whose revenues contribute to local projects’ development (environment, sustainable development, preservation of traditions…).

For green, original, ecological, or solidarity vacations, find all the top 5 sustainable destinations.

5. Be vigilant about the contents of your suitcases

Clothes, first-aid kit, toiletries, laundry: every little gesture counts!

Don’t hesitate to take with you your favorite essential oils for the little sores of everyday life. Above all, avoid cosmetic products filled with questionable substances for health and the environment – remember the plastic particles that end up in the water where we like to swim so much!

You can choose natural products such as Aleppo soap or Marseille soap. Think of alternatives to cotton swabs and the cup to replace the tampons that also line the oceans’ bottom.

Don’t bother with packaging: leave with the bottles or tubes you need but throw away the packaging in the right garbage can before you go. They will be sorted out for recycling afterward.

6. Don’t leave any trace of your passage

Packaging, cigarette butts, plastic bags: on vacation, being careful with your waste is essential. If you travel abroad, try to bring back products such as batteries for recycling. Try also to limit your purchases wrapped in plastic: prefer local craftsmen to “Made in China.” Besides, the local newspaper’s front page as packaging is an “added value” to the souvenirs that make you happy!

Some countries are not yet ready to deal with this type of waste, which leads to dramatic situations.

These recommendations are also applicable underwater, where again, we must take care not to disturb the already fragile fauna and flora.

7. Respect the fauna and flora: the least you can do to limit your ecological footprint while on vacation

It’s so lovely to discover landscapes that are different from what we see every day. Help preserve our environment by avoiding going off the beaten track, at the risk of disturbing animals or trampling plants.

Never touch corals with your fingers, flippers, or an anchor; respect marine organisms whether they are plants, animals, or minerals; don’t pick up anything you don’t know. Comply with the regulations concerning recreational boating or fishing (or hunting) activities, and in this case, of course, respect the authorized sizes and quantities. And avoid polluting sun creams.

Wherever you are, keep the same eco-friendly reflexes! Do you pay attention to your ecological footprint all year round by favoring clean transportation, consuming locally, or avoiding wasting electricity?

Then don’t stop these good habits during your vacations, on the contrary!

Powerful Reasons to Practice Sustainable Tourism

Over the past few decades, the tourism sector has grown considerably and has become a sector of great importance for the economy and international trade. The total turnover of international tourism in 2015 was 1.260 billion worldwide, while the number of international travelers this year was 1.186 million. It has also proved to be a stable sector, resistant to crises and other economic phenomena, and has shown uninterrupted growth since 2009.


However, despite the economic benefits that the sector brings, conventional tourism also has several adverse effects, which are significant given the size of the industry: pollution of protected areas, erosion, hotels being overcrowded, displacement of the local population when visitors arrive, etc. In this context, the concept of sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important.


Through the diversity of relationships associated with tourism, sustainable tourism can act as a catalyst for change globally, promoting local economies in the fight against causes such as hunger, peace, and security. Let’s check out how we can all be responsible travelers!



But What is Sustainable Tourism?

Sustainable tourism is something simple to which every traveler should be committed. In general terms, sustainable tourism is when traveling is an activity with a low impact on the environment and local cultures. But what is defined so simply is not so simple in practice. Achieving sustainable tourism development requires the commitment of all those who are part of the world of travel. Governments, companies, citizens, and localities, and, above all, travelers must do their part to benefit the industry.


At Towards-Sustainability, we believe that it’s the best way to travel around the world, as it is the only way that enriches both the visitor and the destinations so that it benefits the whole world. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has since 2015 as its main task to promote it.


Why Sustainable Tourism?

Practicing sustainable tourism is nothing more than applying to the world of travel what today is a necessity in all aspects of life, sustainability. Our planet’s resources are limited, and the unrestricted use that humanity has made and continues to make of them has us on the brink of a crisis. 


Sustainable Tourism and Environment

Global warming, driven mainly by greenhouse gases, will have impacts ranging from rising temperatures to rising sea levels. The United Nations warns that unless the process is stopped, our societies’ future is at risk.


Although more and more efforts are being made, the process is slow, and maintaining lifeways that consciously or unconsciously continue the planet’s depredation keeps us at high risk. Environmental sustainability must apply to everything to avoid this crisis. Traveling is one of the most important economic activities and one of the most enriching experiences for anyone. Those of us who are travelers become addicted to knowing other places, people, and cultures. But tourism can be a constructive or destructive activity in environmental and cultural terms. 


Axes of Sustainable Tourism

There are three axes for the development of sustainable tourism, and the ideal is that benefits are achieved in each of them. These are environment, economy, and culture.



When thinking about sustainability and sustainable development, the first thing that comes to mind is natural resources, which has an essential implication for tourism. It all starts with transportation because to get to a destination; we have to use some means. Although there are means without environmental impact at the local level, such as cycling or merely walking or hiking, there are no 100% clean alternatives to reach other cities or countries.


Sustainable tourism faces one of its main challenges since only traveling implies more than 70% of travel’s environmental damage. Accommodation, tourist facilities, and services for visitors also generate an impact, which sustainable tourism seeks to reduce or cancel. Many travelers like to practice ecotourism and live with nature.




There’s no doubt that tourism is one of the most important industries of our time. Figures from 2019 indicate that travel generated 8.9 trillion dollars globally, more than 10.3% of the world economy, and 1 in 10 jobs depend on this industry. Therefore, everyone wants a piece of the cake, but there is ambition in any place where there is money. Sustainable tourism cares about ecology and people, and therefore an adequate distribution of the resources generated is one of its interests. Hence, the fair tourism concept, where everyone involved can make a living from their work supporting the local economy.




There are millions of people traveling every year, and there are places that we all want to see at least once in our lives. And that’s why some destinations receive too many visits, to the extent that the number of visitors ends up exceeding the local population. Travelers tend to seek authentic experiences, but it is sometimes easy to consume the known. When many people go to the same places looking for the same experiences, you have mass tourism.


And the problem is that this is so big that serving it implies sacrificing services for local communities. This situation already occurs in many European cities where they fight against this tourism that leaves no benefits. On the other hand, receiving so many visitors runs one of the most severe globalization risks: identity loss – this can cause the loss of traditions, customs, languages, dresses, or become consumer products for the visitor, dissociated from their original meaning.



Your role is essential but very simple, choose well, visit places with respect, and consume in businesses that fight for tourism to be fair for everyone. Here, at Towards-Sustainability, we will always keep you informed of the options that exist for you. When traveling, you enjoy and help your destination and the world with responsible tourism in the natural and cultural.



5 Ideas for an Ecological Honeymoon

You have found the love of your life! He proposed a few weeks ago, and the two of you are both busy organizing your woodland wedding, which you intend to do in the enchanting forest of the national park. It will be a simple but fun gathering with your loved ones amidst giant old trees, with their creeping roots, and surrounded by a myriad of colors created by majestic plants and beautiful flowers basking in the sun. You and your future husband/wife are both nature lovers and having the opportunity to celebrate your love for each other in this magical place is a dream come true.

In the same spirit, you are also planning your honeymoon and don’t want to have a negative impact on your beloved planet but are not sure how to proceed. Not to worry anymore! Even as newlyweds, you will be able to embrace the sustainability trend by planning an ecological honeymoon. Here’s how to do it:


1. A Local Honeymoon

After saying ” I do”, the essential goal is that you spend quality time with your life partner. Although travel may be a shared desire, it is probably best to do something in your own country this time. With the current pandemic, you may be required to stay in quarantine upon arrival at your destination. So why travel to the other side of the world if you can barely leave the hotel? Moreover, a cozy local place, accessible by bus or train in a few hours, is always more environmentally friendly and saves money.


2. Embark on a Hiking Trip

If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, a hike could be the perfect way to celebrate your new married life. Go on a hiking adventure to explore your honeymoon destination and marvel at the incredible biodiversity. Most packages offer tours that range from easy to more complicated, and you can choose the one that best suits your couple. But remember not to disturb the natural ecosystem, leaving it as you found it.


 3. Think Sustainable Transportation

The easiest way to travel sustainably at your destination is to use transportation with a smaller carbon footprint. For example, cycling or walking are the best options, but you can also use public transport, including buses and trains when necessary. And if you really need a car, try renting an environmentally friendly electric vehicle from a car rental company that supports the cause of protecting the environment.


4. Go for a Bike Trail

Are you a couple who truly appreciates the benefits of fitness, and who would never turn down a physical activity? Look for a place that offers bike trails for your honeymoon! This will allow you to create beautiful memories like you never had! Since you’ll be riding next to each other while enjoying nature, you’ll also strengthen your marriage bond. You can even opt for a tandem bicycle for more fun.


 5. Ditch the Gigantic Resorts

Did you know that by opting for room cleaning service during your stay in a resort, you also allow the use of several thousand liters of water? In fact, these huge resorts are anything but sustainable. They are known to have a destructive impact on the environment because of their amount of carbon dioxide emissions and their waste of energy, water, and food. Therefore, you can choose to lodge in a simple bed & breakfast, in a certified “green” hotel, or even go camping.

However, if you really don’t want to compromise on your 5-star hotel stay, at least hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign and turn off the air conditioning to be energy efficient.


Living in a sustainable world will not happen overnight, and it is more of a journey than a destination. Yet, every opportunity you have to contribute to environmental protection will be a step forward.

In the meantime, have you found other ways to go on an ecological honeymoon? Click on the “Comments” section below and share your idea with us.