Responsible travelers are not born; they’re made. In the age of information overload, it’s easy to measure the scope and consequences of our choices—and to improve our traveling habits, aligning them with our responsibility to the environment. We just need to join the various efforts being made by companies like Iberostar to, among other things, protect the sea and marine life. Making small changes in our behavior when we travel can cause an ecological butterfly effect in the places we visit.
Commit to sustainable mobility
You’ll reduce your carbon footprint if you travel using public transportation. Organize your trips ahead of time and you’ll see that nowadays it’s easy to coordinate schedules and buy tickets online. Tour cities on foot or by bicycle and, when renting a vehicle is unavoidable, choose an electric car (in the very near future we’ll see more initiatives like that of the Balearic Islands government, which plans to make all rental cars on the islands fully electric by 2030).
Eat local products
It’s not only about trying exotic flavors or local, traditional recipes; it’s also about reducing your ecological footprint. Consuming products produced within a 100-kilometer radius avoids the use of trucks, planes, trains and boats for their transportation and distribution. More than just a passing fad, the consumption of local products represents a shift in social awareness that everyone should be a part of. What’s more, seasonal ingredients taste better and are easier to find.
Only buy legal artisan products
Choose responsibly made products, produced with raw materials that comply with local laws. Many artisan products use native trees that should not be cut down or materials that come from protected species, such as bones or turtle shells. Before purchasing a product, it’s essential to be informed about its origin.
Don't pay to take pictures or encourage begging
This point generates a lot of controversy because, although we think we’re doing good by participating in these practices, we’re actually doing just the opposite. NGOs that fight against the exploitation of people by criminal organizations say that in order to discourage this problem, you should not support begging (a form of trafficking defined by the United Nations). You also shouldn’t pay to take pictures with children.
Make a positive impact
It’s fundamental for the money you spend during your trip to make a positive social or environmental contribution. Some hotel chains operate non-profit foundations that invest large sums of money in educational or social initiatives.
For the Iberostar Group the aim is to care for the sea through its Waves of change program. This project comprises three lines of action aimed at protecting the oceans against current threats. The first is eliminating disposable plastic products from all our rooms.
The second, is our commitment to sustainable fishing which has seen a wide range of establishments in this chain offer only products caught and transported under the MSC seal of quality and guarantee (Marine Stewardship Council). And the third, is to care for the coastal areas through a range of initiatives which look to promote the diversity and ensure the preservation of the coastlines, seabeds and reefs.