It is hard to deny that we humans are wreaking havoc on our planet, from air pollution to nuclear spills to the vast amounts of waste floating in our oceans.
We simply cannot stand idly by, and just because you are travelling away from your home, does not mean that you shouldn't be conscious of your impact on the environment. Have you considered becoming an 'eco tourist' on your next trip away?
The International Eco Tourism Society describes ecotourism as, “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”
We’ve put together a few tips to help you become a more conscious and eco-friendly traveller.
- Research your hotel - do they use alternative energy sources, offer free water refills, donate to a local charity or use local staff?
- Similarly, do your tour group limit group size (thus reducing their impact on the environment and providing a more personal experience) and support the local community in anyway?
- Pack Light. Re-use items and pack things that you can wash in your sink rather than send off to the laundry.
- Act at home in your hotel - Turn off TV, lights, AC when leaving the room. Have shorter showers and re-use your towels, consider a do not disturb sign on your door so the room isn’t cleaned every day - saving on chemicals, electric and laundry.
- Bring a BPA free water bottle with you and re-fill whenever you can.
- Bring a re-usable shopping bag for your groceries.
- Dispose of your rubbish responsibly, and if you see trash at the beach or on a walk, pick it up! In Kuta, look for the green ’SCLA’ bins along the roads. These are sponsored by local businesses and rubbish disposed of properly.
- Seek out local artisans and learn about their craft, and purchase if you like - in Lombok you can find stunning hand woven sarongs in many villages.
- Get to know the locals and respect their tradition and culture.
- Give back to the community. For example, in Kuta you can donate clothes and food to the blind orphanage via Mimpi Manis, donate to Endri Foundation which does amazing work with sick and disabled citizens, or Kuta Lombok Dogs which helps the stray dog population. You could also bring school supplies and give to local children.
We hope this gives you a little food for thought about your next travels. You can read more about our own Eco Policy here.