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Tips on practicing Responsible Tourism

September 21, 2011

Which way to doing green correctly? Photo: Amaty

We all want to do good, most of the time. Especially when we’re traveling. In many emerging travel destinations, we often find ourselves easy targets of street vendors, and we give in too easily, thinking that we’ve done our part in helping the local economy. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Or it’s the reverse, you sincerely want to give back to the community, help a good cause, charity or humanitarian effort, but don’t know where to go about obtaining the right information.

And when we travel long distances, we contribute to the carbon emission… but I don’t want to go into the long and short of carbon credit headache. Personally to this day I still don’t get how it works exactly, and I always prefer to stick with actions that make sense.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find a list of Do’s and Dont’s from Australia-based Oasis Travel that makes perfect sense. Explained in simple, everyday language, not some green eco jargon we can’t pronounce, let alone comprehend:

Other ways in which you can reduce your impact on the local environment and benefit the local people by your visit are;

  • Take out what you take in, i.e. never leave litter and remove other tourist rubbish where you can, set an example to others.
  • Buy locally produced goods.
  • Don’t barter too hard, think about it, that last 20 cents is nothing to you but can make all the difference to the vendor!!
  • When shopping take your own bag to save on the many plastic bags used in local markets.
  • Try not to recharge phones and cameras overnight.
  • Switch off the lights and air-con when leaving the room.
  • Try to reuse towels (tell the hotel not to change them daily).
  • Don’t give to street beggars no matter how tempting it may be, as it only encourages the practice. If you want to give donations ask your guide or travel consultant before you depart about giving to a local charity.

Inspiration: Oasis Travel, Australia, The Guardian

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