Environment · Travel

How to be an Ecotourist?

On the previous post, we were finally given a better perspective about what Ecotourism is and how it can impact our environment if we practice responsible travelling.

As a Travel Blogger, I always make sure that I incorporate the concept of “responsible travel” and “CLAYGO” wherever I go. If I’m visiting an ecological area, I take pictures and try to get to know the history of the site. I like engaging myself with the locals of that community because it’s a fun way of getting to know what makes that place special. I also enjoy collecting local products because as we say in the Philippines, “Support Local. Love Local.”

As much as possible, I stopped entertaining the use of plastics. It’s a practice I like sharing with others. I explain why single use plastics like straws and plastic bottles can be harmful to the environment. I’ve replaced the single-used bottles with a personal reusable water bottle. Hence, make this a habit when you travel also. It’s easy to say No to Plastic if you’ve seen how destructive it is to the environment. I will take more about the harmful effects of plastic in another blog post.

My goal is to educate fellow travelers about the importance of Ecotourism. About how fulfilling it is to embrace an intimate moment shared with nature compared to mass tourist occupied destinations.

So, how does one become an Ecotourist? Well, you don’t need to spend a lot to be an Ecotourist. It’s all about making smart and better decisions in planning your vacation. You must keep in mind that when you travel, you are aware that you have the capability to create impact to our Environment so it’s better to lessen any possible impact you might cause. Because after all, we are aiming to lessen our carbon footprints and committing to a more sustainable ecotourism.

The following guidelines will help you make the right decisions when going on a next adventure.

  1. Be conscious about the area you will be visiting. Take time to learn about the local customs, culture and the people. It’s always better to blend in like a local and not standout as a Foreigner. It gives you a different perspective of the place and what makes it unique. It’s also good to know a few words in their native language or dialect. There will always be a language barrier so it’s always good to know a few safe words.
  2. Respect the local and their culture.  One of Ecotourism’s objectives is to promote cultural awareness. It’s also about honoring the local cultural traditions and building respect.
  3. Pack light. To save energy, it’s always a smart choice to pack essentials and it saves you money and the need to Check in baggage. It is also said that it makes the airplane more fuel-efficient.
  4. Save water. Water is a necessity but at the same time scarce in some areas of the world. It’s advisable to take shorter showers, shut off any leaking faucets and re-use the hotel towels I use.
  5. Save energy. When you are going out of your hotel, make sure that you have turned off all the lights and unplugged any electrical devices. When I travel, I leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on my hotel room door. I prefer doing my room’s housekeeping because it saves energy and I learn to be responsible in keeping it tidy.
  6. Choose to stay in an Eco-friendly resort with environmental friendly standards. As an Ecotourist, you will take into consideration staying in locally owned hotels.
  7. Take the public transportation, ride a bike or walk to your destination. 
  8. Practice smart shopping. We may be on vacation but it doesn’t mean we forget to make right choices in shopping. Opt to not buy products that are made from animals.
  9. Support and love local.  Choose to buy locally produced goods which will benefit the locals of the community.
  10. Practice a Zero Waste lifestyle. I also have been trying to put into practice the Zero Waste as an advocacy. It’s being dedicated to reducing the amount of waste you produce and reusing materials you have at hand.
  11. Pick up litter. Sounds simple but this act is meaningful. If you have trash and see no trash bin around, keep it in your pocket for the meantime and wait till you see one to dispose it. If you see trash lying around, be the better person and pick up the trash. It’s good to lead by example and you never know, you might just inspire people around you to do the same.
  12. Follow the 5Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.
  13. Leave only footprints. If you’re going to be an Ecotourist, you will always have to keep in mind this questions “Will this harm the Environment?” It serves as a friendly reminder that your action may possibly cause harm and disturb the natural ecosystem of the Ecotourist spot. As much as possible, let’s try to preserve the natural beauty of that place.
  14. Remember that you are an Ecotourist, a responsible traveler. It’s an overwhelming feeling visiting a new place but don’t forget to be a responsible traveler. Keep in mind that the intimate purpose of Travelling is to reconnect with nature and enjoy its raw beauty. To fully enjoy this, we must conserve and protect it.

If you have other ways that can contribute to being an Ecotourist, please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you!

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