How To Be An Ethical Traveler in 10 Steps!
Posted: May 12 2016
We all dream of taking off over the clouds to a far away land, savoring delectable sweets we can’t pronounce and seeing the sunset over a new landscape. And wouldn’t these dreams be all the more enchanting if we knew that we didn’t cause harm to others during our adventures?
Ethical travel: (/ˈɛθɪk(ə)l/ˈtrav(ə)l/), also known as “sustainable travel”, the exploration of the world without damaging the environment. It may sound complex but we can boil it down to being respectful to the place you are visiting and its people. Follow these easy steps and make your adventure not just unforgettable but sustainable!
Respect the way of life and try to enjoy the experience without judgements of right and wrong. Always be polite, ask before taking pictures and be very careful about drinking in excess or smoking, cultural acceptance of these practices varies greatly across the globe. Read about cultural guidelines, especially when visiting religious locations, and learn to say thank you! Arigatou! Merci! Grazie!
According to the web page www.ethicaltraveler.org, the 10 best destinations for ethical travel for 2016 are:
- Cabo Verde
- Micronesia (Federated States)
So there you have a few options to plan your next trip!
If you don’t really know where to begin, start by joining a small group tour that specialize in sustainable eco-tourism. Here’s a link of an organization that gets small tours together for ethical travelers: http://ethicaltraveler.org/journeys/
They are made to be followed! If you go to a place where there are endangered species and they have specific rules about how to treat them, follow them. Forget about taking a selfie with a starfish, you’ll just have to take a mental one!
Don’t be wasteful with water and energy: take a shower instead of a bath, do not let the tap water run, turn off electric devices when they are not in use.
Try local dishes in local restaurants, go to a different place every day and buy local food to contribute to the economic growth… You’ll love it!
Don´t buy anything that is made from endangered species, buy locally produced goods and services and take an interest in where the items are being produced. Even though bargaining is a custom in many places, don’t let it become a sport and pay the fair price so both parties are happy!
Keep yor distance from wildflowers and animals! Let them be in their own space. And remember, NEVER throw your trash in open spaces, save it in a bag and wait until you find one.
The more you know, the more you will be able to keep your negative environmental impact to a minimum.
Watch out for our list of eco-friendly hotels that won’t break the bank in two weeks on our blog! We promise you won’t be dissapointed.
So, as Confusius once said “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Experience the care and compassion required to sustain the people and places you visit and you will be opening your eyes and heart to a better world.