With the way we treat our planet moving ever more into the spotlight, the sustainable travel market has grown exponentially as responsible travellers strive to make greener choices. It may sometimes seem like the actions of one person might not make that much difference, but little drops of water can form a mighty ocean of change. So, when it comes to green travel in the beautiful country of Jordan, where can you start? A few simple changes can make a huge difference to how your travel will impact the planet, affect the local people, and turn you into a champion for change. Here are a few of our top green travel tips for Jordan.
Travelling to Jordan isn’t just about ticking sites of interest off your to-do list, it’s about embracing the fascinating local culture, so be sure to treat the people right. Remember that sacred ceremonies and holy sites hold great significance for local communities, so dress appropriately to demonstrate respect and ask before snapping that photograph. Learning a few words of the language shows you’re taking an interest in communicating with people – even if all you can manage is ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, and ‘bathroom’, a little effort can go a long way.
Contrary to some misconceptions, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your creature comforts and live like a wild man of the hills to make your mark as a green traveller. All that’s required is to research your accommodation to make sure you choose a hotel, hostel or lodge that endeavours to preserve and protect the local environment. Check that you can reuse towels and sheets instead of changing and washing them every day, find out about recycling policies, and look into whether alternative energy sources like solar or wind power are used.
Why not treat yourself to a five-star stay at Jordan’s best luxury destination Ayla to see how eco-friendly design is done? From beautiful man-made lagoons that attract a rich diversity of fauna to an 18-hole championship golf course dubbed one of the most eco-friendly golfing greens in the world, Ayla proves it is possible for luxury and sustainability to travel hand-in-hand.
Responsible travel puts the needs of local people ahead of the needs of travellers, so give your money to locally-owned businesses rather than buying your souvenirs last minute from the airport. Experiences like the famous Souk by the Sea in Aqaba offers access to more than 50 local artisans and craftsmen as well as locally-sourced food that cuts your carbon footprint down to size.
While we all know to recycle whenever possible, invest in reusable water bottles, and choose earth-friendly transport options, hopping on that flight in the first place can cause some serious green guilt. Try to book direct flights where you can as the takeoff and landing creates most of a plane’s carbon emissions or donate to a carbon offset program to help fund renewable energy projects and balance the impact out.
With hundreds of thousands of tourists exploring the world every single year, it’s essential to practice ethical tourism in order to protect these beautiful sites. Top green tips for exploring Jordan include sticking to designated hiking trails, keeping your hands off the coral when diving, and choosing a reef-friendly sunscreen to keep the marine life safe. Choose tour companies that can tell you how they give back to the community and what measures they take to protect the local fauna and flora or simply opt for a local guide to ensure your money’s doing the most for the local economy.
With research, thought and the right approach, you can make your travels more sustainable. Here’s to a world we can all continue to enjoy for decades and decades to come.