5 Ways to Travel Responsibly
If you travel responsibly, you will leave a positive impact wherever you go.
Here are five ways to travel responsibly.
Do Not Preach
When you are a guest in someone’s home, you are there to interact with your host and enjoy their hospitality, not to rebuild their house.
Similarly, when you are in someone else’s nation—you are there to learn and enjoy. Not to “fix” parts of local culture you do not like.
Have you got into trouble in a foreign country?
Choose Eco Lodges
Eco lodges strive to minimize their environmental impact. They celebrate regional culture and support local community.
Even though there are few agencies that certify eco-lodges, there is no agreed-upon industry standard.
I suggest that you look out for Sustainable Travel International, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, The International Ecotourism Society and Rainforest Alliance.
These questions will help you find a good eco-lodge:
- Is the lodge affiliated with a conservation project?
- Do they sponsor scientific research?
- Do they have an education program for foreign volunteers and local employees?
- Do they make an effort to be sustainable and “Green”?
- Do they financially support any conservation causes?
- Does the lodge blend in with the environment?
- What options of accommodation do they offer?
- What do other people say about them on Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Facebook, etc?
Eco Lodge Design Concept
Respect Local Culture
One immensely useful guideline of the World Tourism Organization’s “Global Code of Ethics For Tourism” is to open your mind.
Such an attitude transforms your experience. You will earn respect and be more readily welcomed by local people.
Always be tolerant. Respect diversity. Observe social and cultural traditions and practices. It will be an enriching and ennobling experience. It will help you grow as a person.
I suggest that you try to learn local language. For instance you may learn how to say “Hello” and “Thank you” in the local language.
Be aware of local customs. Be sensitive to actions that may be considered offensive (like entering a place of worship with shoes on).
Responsible tourism is traveling with an awareness that we, as travelers, have an effect on the people and places that we visit.— www.dontforgettomove.com
Minimize Environmental Footprint
Travel with a reusable water bottle. I suggest that you also carry a foldable, reusable bag for groceries and shopping.
Use eco-friendly, reusable, organic bamboo straws instead of single-use plastic straws. Consciously limit the amount of plastic waste you generate.
Whether you are travelling for one week or one year, volunteering a part of your time to useful causes does help you leave a positive impact.
Many reputable organizations offer various opportunities. If you have a skill (like medical care experience) that may be useful in a developing country, use it for the general good.
Do you travel responsibly?
© 2019 Srikanth R