Here’s how to be a responsible traveler for the sustainability of local communities and their environments. 

Did you know that tourism can be mutually beneficial?

You can learn about a location, its people, and its cultures while promoting the preservation of the environment and contributing towards the livelihood and sustainable income for local societies in the following ways:

  • Be an eco-friendly traveler

Plastic is destroying the world’s ecosystems.

Refuse those single-use plastic options and use bamboo, metal, or silicone multi-use alternatives.

Use a lightweight tote bag for a greener shopping experience rather than purchasing a plastic bag. Use reusable waterproof bags as alternatives to Ziploc bags. 

Start every day with a clear conscience, knowing that your toothbrush won’t still exist in a hundred years. Swop your shower gel and shampoo for a solid biodegradable soap or shampoo bar and leave no trace behind.

Instead of buying travel-size products packed in plastic containers, invest in metal or silicone containers that you can decant into. 

The African sun can be turned into cleaner energy when you need to charge your phone or bluetooth speaker while out and about. Not plastic-free, but definitely better for the environment. 

  • Be a community-friendly traveler

Choose to travel to places that are not inundated with other travelers. The ‘must see’ is not always the ‘best see’!

Opt for excursions and accommodations that are run by local communities and/or will inject revenue directly into the hands of the native people. For example Cape Malay Cooking Experience and Mara Naboisho Conservancy.

Financially support projects like The Center for Ecosystem Restoration – Kenya that work towards recovering biodiversity on the African continent and ensuring that communities will be able to enjoy the benefits of this natural indigenous ecosystem for generations to come. 

Buy from indigenous markets to promote local businesses. For example Limuru Marketplace Challenge 

Promote the locations you visit, put them on the map, and set them up for success. Small businesses in uncharted territories tend to have very small or non-existent marketing budgets. They have limited exposure on web search engines but your travel blogs and the photos you post will go a long way for them.