8 ways to be a responsible ecotourist
With even the most remote places now within our reach, more and more people want to discover and experience nature. But increased levels of tourism can be detrimental to any environment. In order to have minimal impact on the natural world, every traveller should keep in mind the following:
• Don’t litter and even better, pick it up wherever you see it ! Plastic pollution, especially in the oceans, is a big environmental issue, harming not only wildlife but also humans.
• Don’t go to wildlife attractions that use animals for our entertainment. Have you ever wondered how a three ton elephant would ever obey a human ? How a bear could suddenly walk on two feet instead of four ? How doplhins that spend their lives in the vast oceans could cope living in a tiny tank ?
• Volunteer in a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre. Give a bit of your time to help conservation efforts. It is a good deed and you will also bring back an amazing experience to share at home !
• Don’t feed wild animals. Unless you know the specific diet of an animal, feeding them could do more harm to their health than good. Human foods are also most likely not appropriate.
• Buy local products from local shops. Not only will you support local communities but you will also discover new tastes. And who knows, you might come home with a recipe or two in mind.
• Do your research. Before you go whale watching or on a hiking trip, make sure the company is ecofriendly : it should respect the environment and its wildlife.
• Keep your distance. As tempting and popular selfies have now become, don’t endanger yourself or wildlife for a photo. Your shot will be much nicer without you in it anyway !
• Camp responsibly. Everyday use household products such as shampoos or washing up liquids pollute the environment. When out camping, use bio-degradable products that will not harm our planet. They are easy to recognise in the shops.
Now you know how to be a responsible traveller, go discover the world and its wonders ! And remember, leave nothing but footprints behind.
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