RESPONSIBLE & PURPOSEFUL TRAVEL
Responsible travel begins with commitments made before ever making a trip. By taking into consideration impact and planning accordingly, travelers not take with them treasured memories, they also leave behind a lasting impression on local communities and the environment. Our call is to travel in a responsible and purposeful way, committed to being participants of change both in thought and in attitude.
With the intention to inspire and to add your own as you continue to investigate how to be a better tourist, here are some ways you can begin to travel more mindfully:
Choose a local tour operator that demonstrates ethical practices.
There are many ways to find out if a tour operator is ethical. The internet is a great tool to find out how these companies operate, especially through the comments and reviews of their previous clients. Look for a company that is committed to conservation and having a positive local impact. For example, they might ensure that a certain percentage of your tourist dollars remain in the community and create a more dynamic economic flow.
Look for accommodations, operators, and amenities that promote ecological conservation.
It’s always best to reserve ecological accommodations and tours that are committed to conservation. These are companies who avoid using plastic, practice recycling (such as bottles, straws, containers, etc.), and place importance on both investigating and using organic and/or local replacements that have zero impact on the environment and even contribute to the local economy.
Minimize what one carries when traveling to a destination.
Bring only what is necessary in terms of hygienic products and even clothing in order to reduce waste. The weight of your bag has an impact on the fuel economy of the planes, cars, and buses you travel in. Plus, you can bring biodegradable, earth-friendly products with you from home, avoiding having to purchase what’s available at your destination.
Protect & preserve the local wildlife and fauna.
Stay away from protected places and respect the habitats offered for tourism. In this way, we minimize any impact on the lives of animals and they’re not driven away from their natural habits. Don’t fall into the trap that you’re helping these animals by providing economic stimulus for their care. Animals in captivity is never a positive thing. Check with organizations that represent the rights of animals before embarking on a tour that involves animals. An ethical tourism agency can also recommend animal tours that actually benefit the animals.
Invest some of your travel time in helping local communities.
Each destination is different, and the people of those destinations are, too. Always respect local customs and be cautious of things like taking photos of local people without asking. Of course, don’t forget your everyday manners, either. Treating everyone with respect leaves behind a pleasant opinion of travelers and paves the way for future tourists to enjoy these destinations. Volunteer tourism helps local populations in various ways. Consider spending a portion of your vacation volunteering your time to give back to the communities that you’ve visited.