Are you a green person and looking for ways to travel without causing any harm to the environment? If you answered yes, then you are in the right place. This article will discuss some of the responsible things you can do during your safari to conserve the environment, support the locals and even involve interpretation and education. But before we do that, we’d like to say congratulations; you’re doing an excellent service to the community and the globe at large.
So, what does it mean to be an eco-traveller?
In a nutshell, eco-travel consists of all variants of green travel and ecotourism. So, it focuses on aspects like responsible travel, ethical tourism, sustainable tourism or culturally aware travel. Of course, these terms are used interchangeably because they mean the same thing – to some extent. An eco-traveler is a person who prefers to travel while having as little impact on the earth as possible.
Here is how to be an eco-traveler
Start with your accommodation
Book your accommodation in a green or eco-friendly hotel. If you are a camper, then work with an operator who promotes green tourism. Many providers are becoming more aware that their clients love the earth and therefore integrate green culture into their solutions. Some of these facilities will encourage you to reuse your bed sheets and towels; have measures in place to minimize electricity and water usage and use green energy – like solar systems. You can contribute to these efforts by opening windows instead of using A/C, showering rather than bathing and turning off lights whenever you are not in the room.
Support local businesses
Instead of purchasing your stuff from well-known brand names, you can visit the artisan stores, local markets and neighborhood restaurants for souvenirs, clothing and food. It’s even better if it’s locally made or organic. By doing this, you will be helping the locals and take home a specially designed thing that’s unique and not cookie-cutter. You can also visit free-to-enter museums and make a donation to keep their research and education programs running. This often benefits local children.
Watch your travel accessories
Statistics show that every year, 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are manufactured and a bigger portion of these brushes end up in the ocean. So, you may want to change from plastic to biodegradable toothbrush. It’s also a good idea to pack a reusable straw for your beverages. Another great accessory to bring is a solar powered charger to charge your camera, tablet and phone.
So, in a nutshell, as an eco-traveler, you should
- Be keen on what you buy as gifts or memory items to take back home. Do not purchase items made out of ivory or other regulated animal products, because you will be contributing to poaching, which is the number one reason why elephants are now endangered.
- Not waste water and electricity – you can do this by switching off lights that are not in use and taking short showers instead of baths.
- Avoid using plastics and go for alternatives.
- Take time to interact with the local culture – it’s a great way to appreciate diversity
- Only work with providers who are keen on promoting a green lifestyle.
To read more on topics like this, check out the travel tips category.