ur platform, Klow was born on the roads, while traveling the world. We are a community of people looking for alternatives ways of living & promoting sustainability as a standard. Our travels made us see the true issues that troubled our surroundings and the impact that we have on all that is around us.
Travelling is such a huge part of so many people’s lives, but in the future, we believe that it is for the best of the world and future generations that we start to travel ethically and travel responsibly by paying for tourism that limits climate change. In turn, this form of slow travel, as we call it, will better the lives of locals, animals and the environment. So often we see exploitation of women and children, livestock and land - all just to make a quick buck. By championing eco tourism and conscious travel, we can still enjoy the world - only for longer and as nature intended.
What Exactly Is Ecotourism?
Before we can buy into the concept of ecotourism however, we must understand what it means. It is a broad term and encompasses many different ideas - all as relevant as each other. Perhaps the most obvious, though, is travel to an area that is relatively untouched by mass tourism. Holidays sold to these destinations will want to leave little effect on the surrounding area given how unharmed it has been by man.
Ecotourism can also mean the promotion of conservation holidays that either work towards rehabilitating the environment or helping local people. Other strands of ecotourism, or responsible travel, lie in education - the money paid by travelers then goes towards further ecological projects or developing communities so that cultures are promoted to help them prosper.
Can I Still Travel Responsibly If I Go On A Regular Holiday?
Importantly though, ethical travel doesn’t necessarily have to mean buying a holiday or tour from a responsible travel operator. Indeed, there are so many ways to adopt smaller conscious travel habits. Looking into whether it is possible to catch a train to a final destination as opposed to a plane is actually far more viable an option than many think. Plus it makes the act of travel so much more a part of your whole holiday without having to struggle through airports with their huge lines at security. Travelling by train can be a relaxing experience that enhances a trip as opposed to adding an ordeal to one. If the train simply isn’t an option, perhaps look into the many carbon offsetting schemes that airlines have in place now. This means that for a small donation, the airline gives funds to local community energy projects, or similar, to mitigate the impact that a flyer has on the wider world. Also, by choosing to book direct flights, as opposed to making a transfer, an ethical traveller’s carbon footprint will be smaller still.
Once at a final destination, if staying in a hotel, customers can choose to limit their environmental impact again, by not having clean sheets and towels in rooms every day. Most hotels now operate schemes that promote reusing towels until the end of a stay, thus minimizing the amount of water and electricity used for laundry. It’s a really simple idea, that has a big effect. Another small idea that can have a huge recrimination is always to pack a plastic bag. In particular, waste management in poor countries is not as developed as some Western nations. By not using several plastic bags from a local community over the course of a two week holiday, a great deal of waste can be saved. Lastly, a key notion for responsible travel, is to research popular animal attractions with a fine tooth comb. Riding an elephant or seeing a bear dance may seem like fun, but that animal in all likelihood will have been treated very poorly to make it behave as part of a show.
How To Leave A Positive Impact When You Travel ?
It is crucial, therefore, to ecotourism that travelers recognise the impact that they have on the local population. This impact doesn’t have to be negative either. A big footprint can be left, as long as it’s a positive one. There are numerous ways and projects worldwide that offer travelers the chance to help locals and their environment - from coral rejuvenation programmes to visiting local markets to buy artisan goods that are a family’s main source of income to name just two. More extensive voluntourism schemes are also abundant. However, it is a good idea to do plenty of research on such ventures to ensure that money spent on them does go directly to the very communities they are advertised to be helping.
What Should I Look For In Ecotourism In Future?
Fundamentally, however you choose to partake in ecotourism, it must do the following things. Any communities visited must have a heard opinion on any development regarding tourism local to them. Additionally, any development that does occur must empower citizens of a country at local and national level. Furthermore, any action that is taken must have an entity, be it government or a travel company, that will be held responsible for any wrongdoing. Lastly, groups of people that can be easily exploited like women and children must be affected positively by the tourism industry to ensure that there is equal prosperity for all.
Why Slow Travel Is Important To The Klow Community
It is for reasons like this that we, at Klow, advocate traveling in such a manner to benefit the world as well as broadening our own personal experiences and knowledge of other cultures. As a community of explorers, we should all aim to lead an eco lifestyle, 365 days a year, and not forget the effect that our travel plans could have on our way of sustainable living. As mentioned above, there are both small and big ways that we can all employ to make a huge collective difference to our planet. Plus, the more of us that continue to make changes, the more pressure large companies will have to start ecologically friendly initiatives that can make a significant impact on the very communities that need help the most.