Do's and Don'ts of Eco-Travel
As human beings, like any other species, we affect our environment, for better or for worse, whether we are in our normal, everyday surroundings or far away from home. This impact can not be avoided, but we can choose to behave in such a way that our actions have a positive rather than a negative impact, or at least, reduce any damaging effects as far as possible.
- Remember that as a traveler you are the guest. Be courteous, sensitive and respectful towards the local people and their customs in the places you visit. Inform yourself as much as possible about the history, natural history and local customs of your destination before you go. Do not offend and alienate the locals through inappropriate behaviour or dress.
- Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints. Leave places the way you found them. Pack out your rubbish and if you see rubbish lying around in protected areas, pack it out, along with your own. Don't scratch your name or any other graffiti on trees or ancient monuments.
Keep to marked trails and don't unnecessarily collect any items you find in the wild. Use local guides to learn more about what you are seeing.
- Support locally owned businesses, artisans and family-owned restaurants and lodgings.
- Choose modes of transport that are eco-friendly or find ways in which you can offset you carbon emissions created by your travels.
- Choose tour operators and lodges who support and improve the lives of local communities by initiating or donating to charitable causes, such as improving the local school or installing clean water facilities in the village or stewarding private nature reserves.
- Visit local environmental groups/centers.
- Talk about environmental issues with everyone you meet.