Responsible travel is a phrase I’ve only come to know within the last few years. When I look back on my childhood, growing up in Hawaii, sustainability was our way of life. My grandparents had a farm, a backyard garden, and we raised animals. Even further back, as kids, we learned of our Hawaiian ancestors and how they would fish, hunt and farm in a way that would maintain their supply, feed their community while keeping balance in their environment. What I knew as “taking care of your land” is now known as the concept of sustainability.
Responsible travel accommodations.
We consider providers who are mindful of their environmental footprint and have the purpose of growing their communities. In Bali, we stayed at a guest house who created hydroponic gardens and beehives that supplied vegetables and honey for their small cafe and their neighbours. In New Zealand, we stayed with a small family who, at the time, just opened their farmhouse for visitors. When we went back a year later, they had grown their farm, and their family, and were teaching food classes, such as cheese-making, to the local community.
BOOK WITH A COMPANY ALSO PASSIONATE ABOUT RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL.
We like to support companies who go on to support charities and foundations which go on to support areas in need. Yellow Zebra Safaris is one of those companies. Their story shares how two men and their ambition for wildlife conservation inspired the company name and how wildlife protection continues to be a pillar of their operation today. With their extensive history of supporting communities in Africa, it would make us proud to know our safari experience is directly helping conservation efforts, anti-poaching teams, and even providing education.
SEEK AUTHENTIC ACTIVITIES TO ENRICH YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Learning about the destination’s history can help you to uncover unique experiences.Outside of India, the slums are synonymous with impoverished, unpleasant areas in cities. Not places you generally want to visit. However, when we travelled with guides in Mumbai, they showed us the reality of living in slums is mostly about recycling. When the harvest finishes in the countryside, families come to work in the slums to recycle trash to earn money. Recycling is big business in a densely populated city. The recycling industry helps to keep garbage out of streets and rivers while creating economic benefits for the people.Visiting the slums was authentic to India, and we learned so much more about local life we otherwise wouldn’t have on our own.
WORK WITH A COMPANY THAT ALIGNS TO YOUR VIEWS
I am so grateful to have worked with Hawaii Tourism at a time when the focus was shifting to sustainable tourism by helping organisations to become more eco-conscious and encouraging travellers to travel pono, or “go right with positive intent”. As we continue to travel, we’ll be proactive in discovering these sustainable organisations who are doing more and being successful. We will travel pono, and share those experiences with you.