How to become a responsible traveller

Last year, the UN General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development; and since then there has been much more emphasis on Responsible Tourism. We all share this beautiful world that we live in and it is important that we treat it with care especially when travelling. Some are more fortunate than others to live in developed areas where the culture of travel is not as sustainable as it should be. Responsible travel is now high on the agenda and hopefully this will give you a few ideas as to how you can become a responsible traveller.

 

Tourism is today the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels. It brings hope, prosperity and understanding to so many lives and livelihoods all over the world. In 2016 alone, 1235 million travellers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion.

A lot of the time, we don’t really think about the places that we are visiting and how it might affect them. It is therefore important that we change attitudes and behaviours to have minimum effect on the environment.

Use a Water-to-Go bottle

With millions of tourists and travellers exploring ever more exotic destinations every year, having access to safe drinking water is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, when we travel we are forced to buy bottled water when there is not a safe alternative. Single-use water bottles are having a devastating impact on our planet with the latest report indicating that plastic waste could outnumber fish in the ocean by the year 2050. This is possibly the worst problem that has occurred from travel and is something that has to be addressed.

The team at Water-to-Go have been battling this problem right from our inception in 2010 and through painstaking research, we have created a sustainable and responsible alternative to the single-use plastic water bottle. The Water-to-Go bottle filters out over 99.9% of all the bad things in water that can make you ill. These include bacteria, viruses, parasites, lead, chlorine and water borne cysts from any non-saltwater source. That means you can fill up from questionable tap water, mountain streams, canals or puddles and still be able to drink healthy, safe water without ever having to buy bottled water making it the ideal travel companion. The cost of the filtered water works out at just 5 pence a litre, so you will be saving a small fortune in not having to buy expensive bottled water.

We want to raise awareness about the issues of plastic pollution but to also highlight that there is a solution. To illustrate this, 1 Water-to-Go 75cl filter is the equivalent of using 400 plastic bottles. Water-to-Go is a sustainable solution to plastic pollution and is the embodiment of sustainable and responsible tourism. 

Pack light

If you are packing a Water-to-Go bottle, you are already packing light and saving weight. Think twice about how much you are packing and decide whether you actually NEED it. It will be so much easier for you when you are travelling as you won’t have so much to lug about and it means you have space to bring something home. Furthermore, a lot of this stuff may end up becoming waste meaning that will have an effect on the environment.

Lower your carbon footprint

Leaving less of an effect on the environment will mean that you will automatically lower your carbon footprint when you are travelling. The easiest way to do this is reducing your waste. For example, try to take eco-friendly sunscreens and deodorants. When shopping, say no to plastic bags and put your items in your backpack or in a reusable bag. A Water-to-Go bottle will also mean that you are lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your plastic waste.

Respect the culture of a community

If you are already lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your waste, you are already respecting the area that you are visiting. However, it is also important when travelling to learn about the culture, flora, fauna of a community. This will allow you to experience the real essence of the place you visit and you will appreciate the diverse world we live in. A holiday you will remember will take you out of your comfort zone and educate you about different lifestyles. When travelling you should adapt to the local way of life and not the other way round. A good way to do this is with an eco-friendly travel company such as Steppes or Wild Frontiers who have links all over the world. You may be surprised about what you discover if you do this and how much of a better person you become. For a start, a new language will make you a more well-rounded person, more respected in business and very appealing to employers.

Go local

To respect the local community, the least you can do is eat locally produced food. This, in turn, will have an impact on the local economy and the living standard of the local people. The world would be a boring place if we constantly ate McDonalds or KFC. Don’t buy from chains or multinational companies as this will only benefit only a few. Going local also helps reduce the environmental impact of travel while at the same time helping the local community create a better life for themselves.

Give back to the community

Going local with regards to food and resources is great but sometimes that isn’t enough for families in underprivileged areas to get by. A great thing that we can do is take part in charity work and give back to the community. If you are travelling with the eco-friendly travel companies mentioned earlier, they are just a few that work with charitable causes that do life-changing work in neglected communities. As a tourist, it may sound silly but buying souvenirs at full price could help that person no end. It is important that resources go straight back into the communities and an easy way is giving it straight to the people who need it most.

We are naively unaware about the consequences of our actions especially when travelling and in this current climate, it is important that we educate others about responsible travel. As this has highlighted, there are some easy ways to become a more responsible traveller which in turn will make us better people and make a better planet. Becoming a responsible traveller and choosing to bring this attitude as a tourist means travelling in a way that’s ethical and pays a lot of respect to the local people, culture, environment and economy by bringing a positive impact on the community. 

We have to build a better future for people, planet, peace and prosperity.
You can be the change you want to see in the world.
You can be an ambassador for a better future.

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