How to Enjoy Traveling Without Causing Harm

 

Tourism is a growing industry that in many ways is benefitting poorer communities across the world. The ever-increasing numbers of visitors provide a source of income and employment for local people, leading to improved standards of living; but the tourist industry does have its share of less commendable attributes as well. Environmental pollution is a significant problem, and as the travel sector is based on the idea of visiting different places, emissions, particularly from planes, are also rising. It’s an unfortunate irony that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions threatens the very existence of the natural wonders of the world that people enjoy visiting. One solution to the dilemma could lie with ethical tourism.

What is ethical tourism?

Ethical tourism is based on the idea that you shouldn’t cause harm to the world or its inhabitants through your leisure activities. Environmental awareness campaigns alert people to the damage being caused to the natural ecosystems by unwitting tourists, which have led to an increasing demand for travel options that are less impactful. The green tourism niche is now booming in popularity, as travelers feel they can enjoy a trip without causing too much harm.

There’s also been a growing awareness of the problems tourism can contribute towards in the lives of the local populations. Ethical travel aims to address these issues by ensuring that local citizens are benefitting from the influx of tourists, and aren’t being exploited or ignored.

Choosing an ethical travel option

If you want to take a trip, how do you know what harm you’re likely to cause? There are ways you can research the impact you’re likely to be making, so you can see how your alternative travel options pan out. If you want to find out how much you’re contributing to emissions from traveling by plane, for example, you can use an online calculator that works out the figures for you.

There are a variety of ethical tourist companies offering packages designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, and many of them provide a great service based on genuine concern for ethical issues. When you’re looking for your holiday package, just check the credentials of the business to make sure they are genuine. Unfortunately, as with so many things, less scrupulous people will try to make money from a popular idea without supporting the ethical aspects.

Volunteering

One way of enjoying your travels with a clear conscience is to volunteer overseas. There are plenty of organizations that arrange trips all over the world, matching willing volunteers with environmental and community projects that need assistance. You get to visit the most amazing places in the world and have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a positive contribution to the area you’re visiting and its local population.

In a world so full of incredible sights and fascinating cultures, it’s no wonder so many of us yearn to travel the globe and experience these wonders for ourselves. If you’ve got the travel bug, just ask yourself whether you know what impact you’re having, and try and make sure it’s a positive one.

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