Jonathan Trudel

How Adventurers Can Sustainably Explore the Globe


I’m Jonathan Trudel, and as someone who’s traveled to over 15 countries and engaged in countless outdoor sports, I’ve learned a thing or two about the importance of exploring our planet responsibly. Today, I want to share some insights on how we, as adventurers, can tread more lightly on the Earth while pursuing the thrills and experiences that call us to the wild and far reaches of our beautiful globe.

Embrace Slow Travel

One of the most impactful ways to reduce your environmental footprint is to embrace the concept of slow travel. This means staying longer in one place rather than hopping quickly from one destination to another. Slow travel not only allows you to deeply connect with a place, understanding its culture and environment, but it also significantly cuts down on the carbon emissions associated with frequent flying or driving. When I spent extended time in Austria and Germany, immersing myself in the local lifestyle and exploring the landscapes deeply, I found that this approach enriched my experience far beyond any whirlwind tour could.

Choose Eco-Friendly Transportation

Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions when traveling. Opting for trains, buses, or even bikes over airplanes or cars can make a big difference. For shorter distances, consider walking or cycling. These are not only zero-emission options but also allow you to see the locale in a more intimate, detailed way. During my travels in Japan, I was impressed by the efficiency and ubiquity of public transit, which made it easy to choose over renting a car.

Support Local Economies

Sustainable travel isn’t just about the environment; it’s also about supporting the communities you visit. Choose local and small businesses for your accommodations, meals, and activities. Not only does this help sustain the local economy, but it also reduces the demand for over-touristed sites, which can suffer from environmental degradation. When I was in Canada, staying in locally-owned lodges and joining tours led by indigenous guides provided authentic experiences and helped distribute tourist dollars more equitably.

Pack Light and Right

Packing can also play a significant role in sustainable travel. Lighter luggage means less fuel consumption, whether you’re flying or driving. Additionally, packing environmentally friendly items can contribute to your sustainable travel goals. Opt for reusable water bottles, eco-friendly sunscreens, and biodegradable products. It’s a simple change that I’ve found makes a significant impact, especially in preserving the natural beauty of the places I love to visit.

Engage in Responsible Wildlife Activities

As an outdoor enthusiast, interacting with wildlife can be a profound experience. However, it’s crucial to engage in wildlife activities responsibly. Always maintain a safe distance from animals, never feed wildlife, and choose tours that respect animal welfare and natural habitats. In New Zealand, I had the opportunity to participate in a conservation tour where the focus was on observing wildlife without disturbing it, which was both educational and inspiring.

Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace principles are close to my heart, and they are essential for anyone venturing into the outdoors. These principles include planning ahead and preparing, traveling and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of other visitors. By following these guidelines, we ensure that the natural spaces we enjoy are left pristine for future adventurers.

Educate Yourself and Others

Finally, part of being a sustainable adventurer is continuously educating yourself and others about the best practices for eco-friendly travel. Knowledge is a powerful tool for change. By sharing our experiences and the lessons we learn about sustainability, we can collectively make a bigger impact. I often share stories and tips from my travels on this blog and through social media, aiming to inspire others to consider how they can make their adventures more sustainable.

Closing Thoughts

Traveling the world is one of life’s greatest joys and privileges. As someone who has seen the beauty of our planet in so many forms, I feel a strong responsibility to protect it. Each choice we make as travelers affects our environment and the communities we visit. By adopting more sustainable practices, we can help ensure that the incredible places we visit will be enjoyed by generations to come.

I hope these tips inspire you to think about how you can travel more sustainably. It’s a journey of continuous learning and adaptation, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile. Let’s all do our part to explore the globe responsibly!