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Responsible travel: Looking at the tourism industry these days, you might think it’s in a downturn. Travel restrictions are in place and there’s a trend away from air travel and carbon-heavy practices. However, there is still a way to travel responsibly and sustainably, here’s how.
Leave No Trace
By now, most people have heard of the “leave no trace” concept. Although its origins are unclear, its message is fairly unambiguous. It means that wherever you travel to in the world, leave the place the way you found it as if you had never traveled there at all.
This might sound aspirational, but it’s easier than you think. There are seven principles for leave no trace attitude. These include planning, camping ethically, disposing of waste, leaving whatever you find, minimizing campfires, and respecting the local wildlife and the local people.
Reduce your carbon
The world is in the grip of a global climate catastrophe, which is why it’s so important for individuals to do what they can to reduce their carbon output. Air travel is one of the most polluting forms of transport, so it makes sense to target this first by reducing or carbon offsets.
Of course, air travel is not the only way you can reduce your carbon output if you’re still determined to fly for travel or family reasons. You might think about offsetting the carbon you use by eating a vegan diet. Eating vegan is one of the best things you can do for the planet.
Sustainability is a buzzword for our times! Business people always want to talk about growth, because growing a business and getting a greater market share means better profits, but a business can only grow so big, and then the economy collapses. Sustainability is a better idea.
But sustainability applies not only to businesses, it also applies to travel. If you want to travel abroad, think about how you can travel sustainably, how can you travel so that your carbon output is the same as the carbon capture from trees and technologies — think carbon neutral.
If you want to travel responsibly, one easy way to do this is with a staycation. Staycations are on the rise because of travel restrictions, but also because they allow you to visit places of interest in your area and enjoy a cheaper, more responsible vacation; the opposite of a timeshare.
In the past, families used to sign up for a timeshare that allowed them to vacation in the same exotic location at the same time every year. But timeshares are expensive and carbon-heavy. That said, it’s hard to leave one, so find out how to get rid of vacation village timeshare.
Finally, you can boost your ethical travel credentials by choosing ethical travel destinations to visit. An ethical destination is one that can benefit from your tourist money or your skills. If you can provide some value to the community on your travels — just remember to travel sustainably. For example, check out my trip to Kenya, where I talk about volunteering as a citizen scientist in the Maasai Mara.