Gaining a Global Perspective, Sustainably

Why I Care About Sustainable Travel

Zach Wilke cares about sustainable travel — a short phrase that does not do justice to the ideas it inspires.

Who I Am

I am a design intern and photographer for Fulcrum Creatives. As such, I’m continually inspired by the world around me — the humbling expanse of nature, expressions of other cultures and by incredible human creations. I feel driven to explore as much of the world as I can, and to allow myself to be influenced by the places I go.

Why I Care

Not to sound cliché, but traveling really will give you a fresh perspective, if you let it. I’m amazed at the things that globally and socially conscious people have accomplished when working together, and also by the work that my peers and I have made during or after a trip.

The U.S. State Department cites that only about 36% of Americans own a valid passport.

I’m also a little astonished at how few people in America actually prioritize travel. The U.S. State Department cites that only about 36% of Americans own a valid passport and therefore have the intention of going abroad at some point. This statistic leads one to wonder if there is potentially a large number of people who hardly, if ever, venture even outside their own state or community. And what is the impact of so few people seeking out new experiences by visiting new places and experiencing a variety of cultures?

The world is more connected than ever before, so go out and see it — however you can. You won’t regret it.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park CO, March 2016.

Tips for Traveling Sustainably

  • Environmental responsibility. Don’t be wasteful, and do no harm. There are countless resources on Medium and elsewhere regarding environmentalism. But in the end, the mountains, the oceans, the cities — they’re not yours to disrespect. Be a considerate traveler.
There is a huge misconception that travel must be so costly.
  • Traveling affordably. The first objection that comes up in this conversation is usually about travel costs. While I know not everyone has the means for a long trip overseas (myself included), there is a huge misconception that a trip anywhere must be so costly. Take budget airlines at weird times. Avoid big hotels and tourist traps. Drive — what a wild idea! But really, who says a road trip even for just a few hours can’t be exciting?
  • Supporting local businesses while abroad. Small business owners in tourism-dependent countries rely on your business. Staying in a big chain hotel overseas will get you the same cookie-cutter experience anywhere in the world, while crashing in a little family-owned B&B will put you right in the culture.

Zach Wilke is a design and photography intern at Fulcrum Creatives. When he’s not behind the lens…he’s probably still behind the lens, or near any body of water or bike trail he can find. Infrequent (but quality) Instagram posts await @_wilke.

What do you care about? Request a care card to let us know on

Let’s build a community of care, together.

…If you don’t care.

Fulcrum Creatives is a Certified B Corporation (B Corp) creative studio in Columbus, Ohio, focused on creating, elevating and sustaining brands that care.