The world is becoming a global village , travelling from one place to another is becoming easier by the day.However,in spite of the ease of travel ,it has significant impact on our environment and societies from global warming to local communities losing authentic cultural values.
Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect the culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future.UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai
As an ambassador of responsible travel, I would like to share with you the ways that you can mitigate the negative impacts of your travel on destinations.
Reduce on Air Travels
The global aviation industry produces about 2% of human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. This problem worsens as the number of air travel increases. So we should avoid taking flights as much as possible.
Moreover, instead of choosing cheap flights that do not have measures to mitigate carbon emissions, one can select Eco-friendly and sustainable airlines to offset the carbon footprint.
In the same spirit, you can donate towards projects or programmes that contribute towards lessening Carbon Dioxide emissions like reforestation and protection of the oceans and forests.
Use Public Transport
This is another effective way on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.Trains, buses, tuk-tuk and matatus are one of the lowest carbon-emitting modes of transport next to bicycle cycling. However, whenever possible ditch public transport and walk. This is a good fitness routine and it doesn’t emit carbon into the environment
Stay in Eco-Friendly Facilities
Eco-Friendly facilities in Kenya include:- Kizingo Beach Resort, Olarro lodge, Ill Ngwesi Lodge, The Great Rift Valley Lodge &Golf Resort and Serena Safari Lodges
When searching for Eco-friendly facilities in Kenya, check out this Ecotourism Kenya page.
The following are some characteristics of Eco-friendly facilities:-
- The cleaning products and detergents used in the Eco-friendly hotels are generally low VOC.
- The rooms, lobby and bathrooms should have recycling dustbin where the trash can be disposed of.
- The structure of the hotel should allow as much ventilation as possible in order to reduce the use of air conditioners where possible.
- They give back to the local community and environment
- They are actively committed to becoming carbon neutral businesses
- They reduce single-use plastics
- They utilize Green energy sources
- They practice recycling and linen reuse initiatives
Choose Eco Friendly activities and Tour operators
During your travel, you may get engrossed in activities that are environmentally and culturally degrading to the destination. Research on the activities you are bound to engage in and the impacts they have on the environment and local community. e.g Riding of elephants in Thailand and whale Shark tourism in the Philippines.
Also, take a good look at your Tour Operator. A responsible company should support conservation efforts in the area, they would not promote unethical experiences and they have a structured Corporate -Social Responsibility Programmes.
When travelling to foreign lands getting a taste of their authentic and local cuisines is in one of many tourists bucket list. However, as a responsible traveller, you should avoid unethical dining cultures, for example, consuming of species that are endangered. For instance, eating whale meat in Iceland.
When you engage in these unsustainable practices, we increase the demand hence these species will face extinction in future.
Take note that all local foods are not sustainable
The following tips can assist you in being a responsible traveller.
- Do not take pictures with the locals without their consent
- Bring reusable bags for your purchases or shopping
- Be mindful of your water and electricity consumption
- Do not litter around during your trips
Check out Tips of a Responsible Traveller by UNWTO