There has been a rapid change in today’s society of more people becoming aware of their choices having an environmental impact. As a result, individuals are changing their routines and opting for substitutes to products and services that are more sustainable. Though this may be easy to do on a daily basis at home, it can become quite a challenge while on vacation. Many vacation destinations face harsh impacts from visitors who avoid taking actions that are environmentally friendly. Here are a couple of easy tips for tourists to use to be eco-conscious while on vacation.

All these recommendations can help tourists make a positive impact on the environment while on vacation. These easy steps help individuals lessen their carbon footprint and preserve the environment of vacation spots.

1.) Support local:

Instead of going to a large food chain for your next meal, dine at one of our local restaurant establishments that serves locally grown food. The food does not have to travel a long distance to your plate, which reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the environment. You can also shop at local retail establishments that have less of a carbon footprint than large businesses because they do take up a lot of resources. Supporting local tastes good and makes you feel even better.

2.) Skip the plastic:

Instead of getting your leftover food in a plastic or styrofoam container that restaurants provide, purchase your own to-go containers and bring them along when you go out to eat. Styrofoam is bad for the environment due to the long decomposition period which causes a buildup of waste and plastic is harmful due to the chemicals it releases and because plastic only can break down into microplastics and never fully go away. If you decide to go to the local market or purchase items on your trip, try to bring a reusable shopping bag instead of bagging it in a plastic sack. Even though it might be more convenient to use plastic products, using less has a long-term positive impact and the environment will appreciate it!

3.) Treat your hotel room like your home:

When you’re at home, you probably shut your TVs and lights off when they are not being used. Do the same when staying in a hotel room to reduce the amount of burning coal needed for electricity. By doing so, you minimize the amount of mercury that enters the air from the coal which is beneficial to your health. You can also opt-out of having your sheets and towels cleaned every night to avoid water waste. Sustainable actions like these really go a long way in helping the environment.‍

4.) Choose a sustainable transportation method:

If you do not have to drive to places in town, try using another means of transportation like walking or biking. This reduces fossil fuels and is a fun way to explore the city!‍

5.) If you do drive, carpool!

In the case that you do have to drive, try to carpool with others. This is a great way to minimize traffic, air pollution, and is more environmentally friendly.‍

6.) Opt for a reusable water bottle:

Avoid using plastic bottles for your drinks and invest in a reusable water bottle. This creates less plastic waste and is a more sustainable method for drinking. It also helps you avoid consuming chemicals that seep into the water from the plastic bottle which your body will be grateful for.

7.) Choose a recreational activity that is eco-conscious:

If there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, try choosing a more sustainable activity that helps avoid negative impacts on the environment. Instead of taking a boat out, explore the waters on a kayak or paddleboat. Boats can be intrusive and dangerous to aquatic wildlife and have an impact on the clarity and quality of the water. Choosing recreational activities that require manual input creates less of an impact on the natural ecosystem.‍

8.) Respect nature:

If you decide to take a hike on some nature trails, avoid veering off the path to preserve the natural beauty. When people step off the designated trail, they disturb the land and cause destruction to the ecosystem. Trails are put in place to create minimal damage to the environment.

9.) Don’t forget to pick up after yourself:

Whether you decide to enjoy a nice day at a local park or embark on a beach day, do not leave your trash or belongings behind. It is harmful to the surrounding environment and animals because most things take a long time to decompose and release chemicals to the ground and animals face danger from trash by ingestion and harm to their habitat.‍

10.) Recycle trash:

The saying “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle,” comes in handy when you are about to toss trash away. Try sorting through your trash and recycle items that are recyclable to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Recycling also helps conserve energy and resources used to produce new products.

Here are some great trip ideas around the Maryville, MO area.

Backyard Vine & Wine

Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Conception Abbey & Seminary College

Deer Run Trail

Hopkins Historical Society

Missouri Arboretum

Mozingo Boating

Mozingo Campgrounds

Mozingo Equestrian Trails

Mozingo Event Center

Mozingo Fishing

Mozingo Lake Golf Course