Responsible Travel isn’t just about not littering and minimizing our carbon footprint as much as possible. It’s also about being a global citizen.
“Traveling is an opportunity to not only learn about others and their cultures, but to share our ways with them. It is important to understand the stark differences and not "flaunt" what may be perceived as "better than" or judge what may be perceived as "less than." Instead let's teach our new friends what we have to offer instead of just taking from our hosts.”
Some ways you can be a Responsible Traveler
.:Carry a water bottle from home and take it back with you when you leave
.:Educate yourself about your destination. See if there are any ways you can help out during your time there. Learn at least five sentences of the local language. Learn to pronounce the names of the cities you’ll be traveling in. Your experience will be enhanced exponentially.
.:Don’t contribute to the problem. Giving a local child candy is NOT responsible travel. Think about it. How is that impoverished child going to get dental care?
.:Just because the shopkeeper gives you a plastic bag and wraps your purchase in yet a second plastic bag doesn’t mean you should take it. Politely hand them back the bag(s) and place your purchase in your shopping tote or daypack.
.:Try to find proper trash receptacles, not just a burlap sack under the fruit stand with the vendor’s rubbish in it. More and more these days, countries are jumping on the recycle train - look for a trash can with a pile of plastic bottles, it may not be labeled with a Recycle Logo like at home, but someone is likely to take it to a place that will recycle it somehow.
.:Don’t just leave your unwanted things in the hotel for the maid to dispose of. Your best intentions are someone else’s problem to dispose of. Just because you think someone may appreciate your tattered T-shirt with a NY Yankees logo on it, doesn’t mean they will. Ask first, otherwise you are just dumping your junk in another country with larger trash problems than us. Chances are they’d much rather have a cash tip to buy their own T-shirt with their own local team logo on it. Don’t be presumptuous.
Throughout her years of traveling and living abroad, Get Out There Tours founder, Laura Stegeman has had special projects she’s held close to her heart. One such project is what is now called the IPP or Inka Porter Project. While living in Cusco, Peru, Laura would talk with other expats, travelers, and friends at places like Rosie O’Grady’s Irish Pub about the unethical treatment of porters on the Inka Trail by certain tour operators and backpackers doing the trail with a local guide. One such conversation led to a meeting with some expats about starting what is now the IPP. Her involvement included writing an article about the mistreatment of Inka Trail Porters at horrific levels. Efforts by many lead to the formation of the IPP and improvements to the treatment and pay (now a government regulated $15UDS per day) to porters has been one of the results.
Other ethical treatment of porter programs exist in countries such as Nepal. See the website for International Porter Protection Group at:
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