Extend the length of your stay
Flying to a destination for an ecotourism weekend is a bit of a paradox; air travel is said to account for 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming.
Take it easy, take your time! Travel less but for longer periods, it will be more fulfilling and restful as well.
Offset your carbon footprint by giving back to projects that contribute to the protection of the environment and to biodiversity conservation.
Avoid using plastic bags or Styrofoam food boxes as their disposal is a major problem. Take your own bags with you when shopping – say ‘no to plastic’. Try buying in local markets instead, where packaging is reduced, the food is fresh and your purchase directly benefits the local producers.
Say ‘no to straws’ when ordering a drink. The excessive use of straws is becoming an issue. Count how many drinks a day you have with a straw used for only a few minutes, then thrown away. Calculate the figure over a year, multiply by the number of tourists and you can visualise a mountain range of waste growing. If a glass is not clean, using a straw does not make it any safer.
Avoid wrapping your luggage in kilometres of the plastic sheeting that is now commonly offered in airports; buy locks and carry precious items with you.
Waste is a waste
Avoid leaving any rubbish behind. Ideally, pick up any rubbish you see littering the forest, the sea or beach. Action speaks louder than words; you’ll notice that you encourage others to follow suit by spreading good practice instead of moralising. And you’ll feel so good!
Smokers, please don’t throw your cigarette butts in the sea, the rivers or even on the ground, just think, they end up in the stomachs of the fish you eat! Keep them with you until the next dustbin.
Bottled water is easy to find, but unfortunately recycling facilities are not. You can reduce the number of plastic bottles you use by:
Simply refilling, you’ll find water fountains in many places, tap water in the UK is normally safe to drink.
Save energy and water
Turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationery.
For the best sightseeing experience walk or cycle. Choose a fuel-free or shared transport (next time in the taxi queue, don’t be shy to ask if anybody wants to share a taxi, cuts the queue and good for the environment) option like a public bus.
In you room, use air-conditioning sensibly.
Turn off taps and switches. Many hotels suggest you choose not to have your towels and bed linen changed daily.
Water is precious, help save it.