By Tania Segura, WWF Travel
April 22 marks an important day—when the public, corporations and government demonstrate their commitment to nature and future generations. As travelers who value the places you visit, you have opportunities to experience well-managed, pristine environments, and those in need of more TLC.
“When I travel, and see the wonders of nature, I realize how close we are to losing these places, and we all must double our efforts to keep and restore them.”
Maggie Ozner, WWF Traveler
Earth Day’s strength lies in its history as a grassroots movement. As a traveler, here are six ways you can become a part of this global movement:
- Purchase carbon offsets. Carbon offsets help cover the effect of your transportation footprint. Rising temperatures affect places, species and people’s livelihoods. Learn how you can offset your travel with Sustainable Travel International. Your contribution can be used towards carbon reforestation projects or renewable energy projects in the United States or internationally.
- Reduce waste. If Natural Habitat Adventures and other tour operators provide you with a reusable water bottle, use it! If they won’t be providing one, pack your own. International travel usually requires travelers to drink purified water; think about buying large jugs to refill to avoid buying lots of plastic water bottles. Another option would be to use water purification tablets or a packable purifier with a filter for water with sediments or UV light to kill bacteria in clear water.
- Purchase thoughtfully. Avoid certain souvenirs that could have been trafficked illegally such as products containing animal parts. Read more about how your purchases affect wildlife crime as well as How You Can Make a Good Buy.
- Eat responsibly. Is the meat in your dish from an endangered animal?, How was it caught? More than 85 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limits. WWF is currently working around the world to improve fishing practices and trade. Apps such as the Marine Stewardship Council’s Seafood Finder help you make responsible choices.
- Travel with your kids. Prepare future generations as they grow to steward the Earth’s natural resources with care. Immersive travel fills children with wonder, captivating their curious mind for years to come. WWF & Nat Hab offer many different trips for families, such as the Family Galapagos Adventure.
- Donate and stay informed! Contribute to conservation work being done around the world or in your community. There are many ways to stay involved. (1) Know the facts. WWF distributes regular updates to keep supporters up to speed and so do many other conservation organizations. (2) Fundraise with your kids or organization. This provides a great way to not only bond with fellow colleagues or your children, but also helps teach kids the value of giving and caring for nature. (3) Purchase products for yourself or as gifts from WWF partners who support our work. By supporting WWF partners, you support WWF’s conservation work.
- Travel with WWF and Natural Habitat Adventures! Since 2003, WWF has received more than $2 million from Natural Habitat Adventures, our primary tour operator. These donations have helped us support sustainable travel in priority regions around the world.