Dreams, expectations, eagerness to know … That is the main mental luggage of the traveler, but today it must make room for other concepts: solidarity, sustainability, respect, ecology … In a globalized and increasingly interconnected world, we are more aware of its fragility, and we can no longer travel like the nineteenth-century explorers, driven by their ambitions and not very concerned about the fate of the communities and places they altered with their presence alone.
Today we know that mass tourism leaves behind a trail in the form of CO2, mountains of plastics, and a huge expenditure of goods as scarce as water. On the other hand, it is an essential source of income in many communities. So how to reconcile the desire to see the world without contributing to its degradation? It seems a complex dilemma, but our individual behavior influences things to change.
Our recommendations are simple but very useful if you want to get started in ecotourism. Take note of this decalogue to be an exemplary tourist:
Choose The Least Polluting Transports
As the public, electric, the bicycle and the best and healthiest: walking. If you have a bad conscience about the carbon footprint left by traveling by plane or other means of transport, there are several solutions. For example, some airlines, such as KLM, offset CO 2 emissions through contributions in reforestation projects.
Stay In Sustainable Establishments
Every time they are more, and they are everywhere. The accommodations that are committed to respecting the environment are built with local or recycled materials, save water, opt for non-polluting energy (solar, wind, etc.), are supplied by nearby producers, and limit waste to the maximum. Search engines like Ecobnb facilitate the location of sustainable establishments anywhere in the world.
Maybe it’s the most complicated. The containers and utensils of use and to throw, almost always of plastic, seem designed to facilitate the life to the tourist, but it complicates it to the planet. Avoiding them to the fullest is the best option if we don’t want to end up drowning in plastic.
It is obvious, but it should be repeated. In protected areas, it is necessary to comply with its regulations, which usually prohibit deviating from marked trails and collecting plants, shells, etc. And you don’t have to generate any kind of waste.
Do Not Contribute To Animal Abuse
It is often done involuntarily and out of ignorance. In general, it is enough not to walk on the back of an animal, be it an elephant, or a donkey; not take pictures with animals; not attend cruel celebrations where animals are mistreated; Do not feed wild animals and make sure that the sanctuaries, orphanages or conservation centers we want to visit have as their only priority: animal welfare.
Support The Local Economy
There is nothing wrong with buying souvenirs of the trip, but better if they have occurred on the spot, they are related to the local culture, the craftsman receives a fair remuneration and does not come from labor or child exploitation.
Local Food Tastes Better
Gastronomy is an important part of the culture of each town and a good way to get to know it. The food, better if they are local and seasonal: they are cheaper, fresh, and healthy. And by the way, you contribute to the economy of those who produce them.
Respect The Heritage
The rules governing visits to many historical sites may sometimes seem excessive, but they are the guarantee of their present and future preservation — nothing to take a stone of remembrance.
Participate in local development projects.
It is another way of traveling and knowing other cultures, living with them and collaborating in improving their quality of life. Various agencies coordinate and manage volunteer programs or practices that can be done worldwide.
Share Your Experience
Just as the memories of the trip are shared with friends or on networks, it shares the advantages of sustainable tourism in this decalogue.