In recent years there has been an increase in global travel, and in particular air travel. Vietnam is a popular destination among British and Irish tourists. However, air travel to Vietnam can have a negative impact on the local population and the environment. In this article we provide a number of useful tips to take nature and culture into account in order to travel more sustainably.
Of course, it is never possible to travel one hundred percent sustainably, but a good first step is to look into the possible negative consequences of a trip to Vietnam. Travellers can, for example, read up on the local norms, values and customs in Vietnam before departure. In addition, when applying for a visa to Vietnam, they can choose to compensate for the CO₂ emissions of the flight.
Supporting the local economy and population
One aspect that can be taken into account is supporting Vietnam's local economy. By using accommodations and restaurants run by locals, the local economy is strengthened. For example, travellers are better off eating at local restaurants rather than at large, international chains. Likewise, they should buy regional products such as souvenirs in local shops, or book tours or excursions with local organisations.
In addition, it is important to take into account the customs and culture of the Vietnamese people. Adhering to the dress code is a sign of respect, for example by covering the knees and shoulders in temples, and adapting to the interpersonal relationships of the local population. Do not take unsolicited photographs of people, but ask permission first. Many Vietnamese people do not appreciate being photographed and it is even forbidden to photograph policemen or soldiers.
Compensating CO₂ emissions of your flight
Aside from the stay in Vietnam, the flight to the country can also have a negative impact on the environment. In order to keep the CO₂ emissions of the flight as low as possible, it is recommended to use direct flights as much as possible, without stopovers. This is because a lot of kerosene is consumed during take-off.
In addition, it is possible to compensate for the CO₂ emissions of the journey by supporting projects that reduce CO₂ emissions elsewhere. When applying for the Vietnam visa it is possible to indicate on the form that you wish to compensate the climate damage caused by the CO₂ emissions. By ticking this option you will be charged an amount - depending on the distance of the journey - which will be allocated in full to one of GreenSeat's climate projects.
Climate project of GreenSeat: windmills in India
GreenSeat currently has 3 ongoing projects, which aim to improve living conditions in Africa and India. Thanks to the projects, low-income households in a number of African countries will have access to charcoal ovens and biogas, so they will no longer have to cook on open fires and deforestation will be prevented. In India, windmills are being built to partially replace polluting power plants. All of GreenSeat’s projects have received a VCS and Gold Standard certification. This shows that the projects meet international criteria and actually compensate for the calculated amount of CO₂.