Findings by safari company Yellow Zebra Safaris have shown ways travellers could potentially reduce their carbon footprint and waste impact. Safaris found that 24% of an individual’s footprint in greenhouse gas emissions came from tourism.
Julian Carter Manning, the director and co-founder of Yellow Zebra Safaris, said the company calculated how each change would lower levels of carbon emissions and waste production, with each one measured by a score out of 20. The higher the score, the better the impact on the environment.
He added that single-use plastic tied with suncare for first place.
The list showed that reducing meat consumption or adopting a vegan lifestyle (12/20), wearing sustainable swimwear (11/2), packing lighter (10/20) and eating locally (9/20) also reduced one's carbon footprint.
Manning said the average water bottle took 450 years to decompose.
Estimates show that a 500ml plastic bottle of water has a carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams of carbon dioxide. Switching plastic single-use bottles to a reusable one will save 0.01449 tons of CO2 per year per person, lowering the contribution to plastic waste by 175%.
“With the tourism industry predicted to grow by 4% every year, and, on average 24% of an individual’s footprint in greenhouse gas emissions coming from our love of travel, the direct impact we are having on our environment has caused the travel industry to try to find a balance between travelling and respecting the planet at the same time.
“Thoughtful travel can provide many benefits to the traveller and the communities they visit. Making sustainable and manageable choices while you are away will allow everyone to continue exploring the world while helping to preserve it,” said Manning.