As the world starts to open up again following the pandemic, many people are starting to ask themselves how they can travel more sustainably moving forward. According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism happens when developments “meet the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future”. Essentially, it’s about valuing the local people, environment and wildlife, bringing benefits to all involved. Traveling sustainably starts from the moment that you start planning your trip. We’ve rounded up 5 ways that you can make more eco-friendly choices for your next vacation – read on for more details.
Choose a green destination
If there’s one thing that Costa Rica is known for globally, it’s the value it places on sustainability. It’s one of the pioneering countries behind eco-tourism, in fact. That’s because the communities here are passionate about safeguarding the natural environment for future generations, and the government bodies take tangible actions to lower the population’s impact on the planet. Take energy for example: 90% of Costa Rica’s energy consumption is already fuelled by renewable sources – such as hydro, solar and geothermal. The government is also looking to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Likewise, Peninsula Papagayo is working hard to establish shared sustainability standards for the Guanacaste region, based on three key pillars: social, environmental and economic. What’s more, they’re taking an active role to close the current gaps and make them tangible for all – giving you a better experience while benefiting the communities and habitat here at the same time.
When thinking about going on vacation, it’s easy to let your mind wander to relaxing on sunny beaches in the height of summer. However, for many destinations, tourism during high season can have a negative impact on the environment, since there’s high visitor demand for accommodation and food, as well as a rise in waste production. So much so, that before the pandemic hit, many popular destinations were raising concerns about over tourism. The good thing about Costa Rica is that you can enjoy sunshine all year round, often getting that ‘summer vibe’ when you’re traveling in your home country’s off-season. December through April are the perfect months for dry and bright days, while the green season from May onwards is a great choice for visiting the natural parks and rainforests.
Consider your journey
Although many visitors fly to Costa Rica from further afield, there are a number of things that you can do to lower your impact:
- Choose direct flights. This not only saves you valuable time, but it also reduces the emissions produced compared to taking a route with multiple stopovers.
- Fly economy. Business class seats use considerably more space per passenger, and according to a recent Guardian report, can result in a 5x larger carbon footprint.
- Lower emissions. If you’re flying with Quantas, American Airlines, JetBlue, Lufthansa or KLM, there’s a chance your operator will be using biofuels to power their flight. Failing that, you can opt to offset your emissions to make your itinerary a little greener.
- Stay for longer. By slowing down your travel plans and spending longer at fewer destinations, you can mitigate your air journeys.
The lighter your luggage, the easier it will be to transport and the lower your carbon footprint will be. So how can we streamline our packing lists? Start by putting together a capsule wardrobe with a small amount of items that all coordinate with each other. This means that you’ll be able to adapt and layer up your look depending on the weather conditions during your stay. Choose durable, classic pieces, where possible. Not only is the idea that these pieces will never go out of style, you’ll also be able to get a lot of wear out of them when you’re on the go. If you choose natural materials, you’ll also be able to easily freshen them up more often during longer stays.
Book eco-conscious accommodation
Traveling more sustainably doesn’t stop when you land in Costa Rica: it’s a theme that should continue at the destination too. Our luxury vacation rentals at Papagayo Luxury are designed with the Pura Vida in mind, with slow tourism being at the heart of everything that we do. Whether it’s through using Costa Rica’s wealth of sustainable energy to power your stay, creating bespoke activities that connect you with the native population and traditions or showing you the best biking and hiking trails that Guanacaste has to offer, we’re constantly looking for ways for us all to protect and enjoy the beauty of this region for many years to come. Unlike some of the larger resorts in the area, our properties are managed and maintained by locals and those with long-standing ties to the area, meaning you can relax in an authentic, luxury Papagayo environment.
Ready to book your next stay at a luxury vacation rental in Guanacaste? Our dedicated concierge team is ready to create the ideal itinerary for you. Speak to our team today to get started.