Recently I have received a lot of messages asking how I remain ethical whilst travelling. Of course when we travel we are putting a larger impact on the world as a whole, then we would if we were staying at home.
So here are a few tips on how to plan a more responsible trip.
1. Choose the right hotel!
Your hotel of choice can make such an impact. Personally I love to stay at eco hotels such as Thala Beach in Port Douglas, or Conscious Hotel Vondelpark, Amsterdam. These types of hotels are mindful of the impact they have on the planet and their workers, and try to leave as little trace as possible.
Alternatively, there are hotels like Magdas Hotel, Vienna which is completely run by refugees.
When booking your hotel, just do a little more research and you will be able to find hotels like these, who are making a difference all over the world.
2. Avoid Questionable Animal Activity
Poor animal treatment is something we should all be conscious about when we are travelling. Although you may think you are doing the right thing by going to a sanctuary, you may just be adding to the problem.
Make sure you choose a rehabilitation centre, somewhere where you know that the animals are being released into the wild once they have been treated. The higher demand for tourism, the more it will encourage smugglers to take animals from the wild.
Also, try to avoid seeing animals where feedings attract them. This can disrupt the ecosystem/feeding patterns.
3. Leave only footprints
This isn’t just an issue travelling, but also a problem we have in everyday life. However when travelling to some countries, such as Vietnam where you are unable to drink the tap water, sometimes your only option is to buy bottle after bottle of water.
A way to reduce buying so much plastic, is purchasing a LifeStraw for your travels, so you can filter the nasties and drink tap water. Also make sure to travel with a cloth bag, so you do not need to buy plastic bags, and take a refillable water bottle for the countries you can drink from the tap.
Also purchase some soap, shampoo and conditioner bars, rather than using so many plastic containers,
Do not litter, and pick up other peoples litter, and make sure to recycle.
4. Support Local Businesses
When travelling, especillay in poorer countries try to avoid shopping at the supermarket. When you buy from a market or small shop you are two steps removed from buying from the poor.
Travel should be about trying new cultures and food, so rather than going to a large chain like McDonalds and Starbucks, try small independent restaurants and cafes. I guarantee that the food will always be a lot more fresh.
If you’re going from place to place be mindful of the transportation you are taking. Obviously flying is the quickest, but it has a large strain on our environment.
Think about alternatives, such as local buses, trains or even car sharing.
Although it maybe slower, it will probably be cheaper and more eco friendly!
Of course when you are travelling, not everything you will do will be perfect. But these are some simple things that will help along the way.