When travelling, it's important to travel lightly. This means not leaving a huge carbon footprint behind you.
One of the easiest ways to travel lightly is to use the SustainableTrip.org website. This site only promotes hotels and tour operators that adhere to certain criteria to help protect their regions natural resources, protect cultural resources,promote conservation and provide income for the local community.
Other ways you can help the local environment when you travel is to only engage in activities that don't do a lot of harm to nature or pollute.
For example you can go for walks in nature, use local public transport and choose locally owned accommodation.
It also is a good idea to only buy eco-friendly souveniers.
When you're walking, respect the local environment. If you're hiking, stay on designated walking trails.
Don't touch or harrass animals.
Plan your vegan meals ahead of time.
Sometimes, eating out as a vegan when you're abroad can be difficult. But there are ways you can overcome most obstacles.
Use HappyCow.net to find local vegan food and restaurants before you leave home. Local vegan societies may have lists too.
Connect with local vegans
Connecting with local vegans wherever your travelling to inspires more eco travel and vegan travel.
Contact local vegans for recommendations of cafes, bakeries, restaurants and vegan stores.
Use FaceBook or Twitter to search.
CouchSurfing.org is a site for people looking to sleep on couches, air mattresses and floors.
They have a vegan and vegetarian group at http://couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=2040.
Carry plenty of snacks
There will be times when you need to have a good supply of vegan snack foods, like when you're stuck at an airport or on days out where there are no vegan restaurants or cafes.
You can also pack leftovers from dinner the night before in a plastic container and take a spork with you too.
Learn local words
When you're in a foreign country that doesn't speak your language, it's important to know a few essential local words.
If you're vegan you especially need to know the local non-vegan words like chicken, eggs and milk to amke sure non end up in your food.
You can also buy the Vegan Passport book from vegetarianguides.co.uk/products/veganpassport.shtml which contains just about all the words you need to know in almost every available language.
When you're travelling, don't use the word 'vegan' when ordering food because the locals probably won't know what it means. Instead say things like "no milk" and other easy to understand phrases.
Travelling is good for the soul but it isn't always good for the planet.
But you can lighten the earth's load by travelling lightly.
And as you make your way around other countries, the more the world learn about vegan diets, which means the easier it will be to travel vegan in the future.
So when you travel don't afraid to make sure your trip is totally vegan.
If you ask for enough menu alterations, the restaurants the world over may soon start offering vegan alternatives.
And enjoy your next vegan holiday.
Ruth Barringham is a vegan, writer and web entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. She runs several websites on the internet and her main site for writers is Writeaholics.net. She also has a new vegan website, Australian Vegan.net.
- Published: 17 December 2013
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