What You Can Do
You can choose among many options to help make the impact of your travel experience a positive one for the people, cultures, and lands you visit.
Offset CO2 emissions
- According to Climate Care, travel is the fastest-growing cause of global warming today. Flying releases tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing the greatest negative environmental impact of your trip.
- Possess a genuine interest in learning about the destination and people you are visiting.
- Be aware of the feelings of the locals and respect their customs.
- Discover the richness of everyday activities in another culture instead of seeking the exotic.
- Cultivate the habit of being present, of listening, of not always talking and having answers; of learning by watching and listening.
- Be aware and sensitive to how your actions are impacting the people and lands you are visiting.
- Utilize the opportunity of travel for personal and transpersonal growth and global understanding.
- Have patience, be flexible, and focus on humor, especially when traveling in third-world countries!
- Be open to new ways of doing things, and try not to assume the Western way is the right or best way.
- Learn some words in the local language. You will be enriched by efforts to engage in friendly exchanges with local people.
- Always ask before taking photos of people. If they’re not comfortable, put the camera aside.
- Respect local citizens’ privacy. Always ask before entering sacred places, homes, or private lands.
- Be careful about expecting special attention or privileges. For instance, visiting a school can be a wonderful experience for travelers and students, but too many visits takes away from classroom work.
- Dress appropriately, based on local conventions. In many countries, modest dress is important.
- Bargain responsibly.
- Purchase locally made items.
- Stay in locally owned accommodations.
- Offset carbon emissions by supporting reforestation and energy conservation programs.
- Stay on designated trails and roads.
- Reuse your towels.
- Be sensitive to the amount of water you use, especially in areas where water is scarce.
- When diving/snorkeling, be especially careful not to touch the coral.
- Never buy crafts or products made from protected or endangered animals.
- Avoid giving handouts; only do this when it is well-researched.
- If you decide to give items directly to people, consider:
- Purchasing the items locally.
- Giving items that can be shared by many (e.g., soccer balls).
- Giving items that help with one’s education (e.g., pencils).
- Giving out candy is not a good option. It can promote tooth decay and lead to begging, especially in well-traveled areas.
- Contribute to community- and conservation-based projects with good reputations (Global Sojourns is happy to help you find such projects. See giving back.)
its a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”