While many have heard of the island of Palawan, simply describing it as “beautiful” does not hold a candle to what the island has accomplished over the last half-decade. The three-time winner of Travel+Leisure‘s “World’s Best Island” award (2013, 2016, 2017) has more than earned its place as one of the country’s top vacation destinations. However, as travel demand continues to rise, the Philippines’ Last Ecological Frontier is in danger from irresponsible tourism practices.
Fortunately, there are ways you can contribute to a larger ecotourism movement with a little cost to your own pockets.
1. Stay at an eco-friendly hotel or resort
Aside from air travel, one of the biggest contributors to your vacation carbon footprint is your hotel accommodation. Focus on environmental advocacies that you are most passionate about and find a hotel or resort in Puerto Princesa that operates in line with your views. Astoria Palawan prides on being one of Palawan’s greenest and most eco-friendly resorts promoting renewable energy and efficient waste management.
2. Support local conservation efforts
Book your island tours with companies that follow the best environmental practices. Support organizations that represent your environmental advocacy. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint- but you will also be contributing to strengthening the local community who knows best how to care for their natural surroundings.
The heavier a plane/ bus/ train is, the more fuel it burns, increasing your carbon footprint. Take only what you need and pack light. Bring reusables (bags, bottles, etc.), go for digital copies of your favorite books, and opt for clothes that are light and could be layered for different looks. Keep in mind that the less you bring with you, the less you pay for luggage fees, too.
4. Choose public transportation
Renting your own private car may seem like a tempting option, but if you are committed to helping preserve the environment, public transportation is the way to go. Travel time may take longer than usual, seats cramped and uncomfortable, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for Mama Earth.
5. Buy local products
Source locally as much as possible. Eat at local restaurants that offer organic produce and other environmentally-sustainable food products. Purchase native souvenirs (those that don’t require destroying natural resources) made by the local craftsmen. Supporting resident merchants goes a long way in bolstering local trade and cutting down on your own travel footprint.
There is a lot more you can do to protect the environment while you’re on vacation but these five tips are a good place to start. If you want to know more about our eco-friendly efforts, click here.