Embarking on eco-friendly journeys doesn’t just mean staying in a tent and getting around solely by bike. It’s about an attitude of respect towards the environment and, above all, towards the people living in the area, those who work there, and the local communities as a whole.
An eco-conscious traveler gathers as much information as possible about the area, transportation methods that cause the least pollution, and the services available. This doesn’t mean avoiding technology; in fact, digital maps and geolocation systems can be used to navigate, for instance.
All of this is done while respecting the environment and having an openness to engage, allowing interactions with others along the journey. Part of sustainable tourism involves establishing connections with local communities and actively sharing in their way of life.
How? By purchasing goods from local markets, choosing hotels and restaurants run by local residents, and opting for local tour guides. This way, the money spent during the trip goes directly to the local people, benefiting the local communities. It also offers a different experience for the tourist: emotions play a significant role in the tourism experience.
Here are five useful suggestions for becoming a responsible traveler and practicing sustainable tourism:
1) Choose to stay in eco-friendly accommodations that are built with respect for the environment, utilizing natural materials and powered by renewable energy sources. This helps combat climate change and contributes to the local economy’s support, without creating pollution or waste.
2) Favor typical restaurants that use locally sourced organic products. This not only allows tourists to savor healthy, unique, and incredibly delicious dishes, but also helps local producers compete with large industries that prioritize profit at the expense of product quality and fair compensation for laborers, farmers, workers, drivers, and distributors.
3) When feasible, walk or bike. It benefits both tourists and locals. No parking issues, very low bike sharing costs, zero pollution, free physical activity and well-being.
4) Always respect the environment by not littering, not picking flowers, and not disturbing animals, especially during hikes within parks and nature reserves. Minimize plastic usage by opting for reusable water bottles and utensils. Maintaining the beauty of dreamlike places requires everyone’s effort to keep them free from pollution, actively supporting responsible tourism.
5) Remember that you are a guest everywhere, every day. Rhythms, habits, customs, dialects, languages, and traditions are often different, and a tourist has the responsibility to understand and accept that they can’t behave like they do at home, regardless of the money they spend on travel or accommodation.
South Face Paradise is committed to designing tours that uphold these principles.