Eco-Friendly Travel in Kerala: How to Explore Sustainably

Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” offers an array of experiences for travelers. From lush backwaters and scenic beaches to misty mountains and vibrant wildlife, this southern state of India provides a paradise for nature lovers. However, with tourism booming, the need to explore responsibly has never been greater. This guide will help you navigate Kerala in an eco-friendly manner, ensuring you leave a minimal footprint while enjoying its natural wonders.

Choose Green Accommodations

Opt for Eco-Friendly Resorts

Kerala boasts several eco-friendly resorts that prioritize sustainability. These accommodations use renewable energy sources, recycle waste, and support local communities. By choosing such places, you help reduce the environmental impact of your stay. For instance, CGH Earth and Vythiri Village are renowned for their green practices.

Stay in Homestays

Homestays offer a unique way to experience local culture while supporting the community. Many homestays in Kerala emphasize sustainable living, using organic farming practices and minimizing waste. Staying in a homestay not only provides a personal touch to your visit but also promotes eco-friendly tourism.

Travel Responsibly

Use Public Transportation

Kerala’s public transportation system is extensive and efficient. Buses, trains, and ferries can take you to most tourist destinations. Using public transport reduces your carbon footprint and offers an authentic travel experience. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Indian Railways provide reliable and affordable options.

Rent Bicycles

For short distances, renting a bicycle is a great way to explore Kerala. Many cities and towns offer bicycle rentals. This mode of transport is not only eco-friendly but also allows you to experience the local environment more intimately. Cycling through the scenic landscapes of Alappuzha or Fort Kochi can be incredibly rewarding.

Engage in Eco-Friendly Activities

Explore Wildlife Sanctuaries

Kerala is home to numerous wildlife sanctuaries that practice conservation. Visit places like Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park, where you can see diverse flora and fauna. These sanctuaries promote eco-tourism and educate visitors on the importance of preserving nature.

Participate in Responsible Trekking

Kerala offers beautiful trekking trails in the Western Ghats. When trekking, ensure you follow Leave No Trace principles. Stick to designated paths, carry reusable water bottles, and avoid single-use plastics. Munnar and Wayanad provide excellent trekking opportunities with stunning views.

Support Local and Sustainable Businesses

Shop Local

Buying local products supports the community and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods. Kerala’s markets are filled with handicrafts, spices, and traditional clothing. Opt for items that are locally made and eco-friendly. Coir products and handloom fabrics are great sustainable choices.

Eat Local and Organic

Kerala’s cuisine is rich in flavors and predominantly uses locally sourced ingredients. Choose restaurants that serve organic and locally produced food. This not only ensures a fresh dining experience but also supports sustainable agricultural practices. Dishes like Appam, Puttu, and Kerala Sadhya showcase the best of local cuisine.

Reduce Waste

Carry Reusable Items

Bring reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils. Many places in Kerala now have refill stations for water bottles, reducing the need for single-use plastics. By carrying your own reusable items, you contribute to reducing plastic pollution.

Avoid Single-Use Plastics

Kerala has taken steps to ban single-use plastics, but as a traveler, it’s crucial to adhere to this initiative. Avoid using plastic straws, bags, and bottles. Choose alternatives like bamboo or metal straws and cloth bags.

Respect Local Culture and Environment

Follow Cultural Etiquette

Kerala is rich in cultural heritage. Respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and ask for permission before taking photographs of people. Showing respect for the local culture enhances your travel experience and fosters goodwill.

Conserve Water and Energy

Water is a precious resource, and conserving it is essential. Take shorter showers and avoid unnecessary laundry services. Additionally, turn off lights, fans, and air conditioners when not in use. Small actions like these can significantly reduce your environmental impact.

Join Eco-Tourism Initiatives

Volunteer for Conservation Projects

Several organizations in Kerala focus on conservation and sustainable tourism. Volunteering for projects such as beach clean-ups, wildlife conservation, or community education can make your trip more meaningful. It also provides a deeper understanding of the environmental challenges faced by the region.

Participate in Eco-Tours

Eco-tours offer guided experiences that emphasize sustainability. These tours educate travelers about local ecosystems and conservation efforts. Participating in an eco-tour can enhance your understanding of Kerala’s natural beauty while ensuring that your travel is responsible.


Exploring Kerala sustainably is not only possible but also rewarding. By making conscious choices about where you stay, how you travel, and what you do, you contribute to preserving this beautiful region for future generations. Embrace eco-friendly practices and enjoy the rich experiences that Kerala has to offer, knowing you are making a positive impact.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *