Traveling: Responsible Travel

Dear Traveler,

You who travel the world and is in every hip and happening destination, we rely on you heavily to do your part to the preservation of Mother Nature's resources.

Green travel, eco-tourism, responsible travel, let not all these be a byword disrespected and ignored. We enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and we should play a part in keeping it that way. 
In the Philippines, the harsh reality of tourism is a blessing and a curse. We all want that beach front hotel or that new flight route or to get a close encounter of our endangered animals. Though we may not be able to reverse these on our own, we could try to lessen their effects. 

Here are some things you can do.
Reference: Sarah Schlichter as quoted in

1. Save on water (reasonable use) , close the lights, air-conditioning, and other gadgets when you are not in the room.
2. Reuse your sheets and towels instead of having them replaced after every use. 
3. If you do not use the hotel's toiletries, bring it with you and use it at home or in other parts of your travel. 
4. Should your hotel support eco-friendly practices, participate in them and commend them for these. 
5. Use the bus, train, shared vehicles in traveling to places within a country if time allows. Traveling across Europe is equally efficient via the railway system, for example. 
6. While traveling within the city, use the bike, or hail a cab instead of rent-a-car. 
7. When hiking, stay on marked trails, keep you trash or even, pick up trash along the way so as to bring it down with you when you leave. 
8. When snorkeling, do not touch the corals or stir up sediments that disturb the reef's fragile ecosystem. When viewing and endangered species, be careful not to touch or disturb. Looking and observing their natural behavior may actually give you more to remember and discover. 
9. Buy, use, eat locally produced products. You support the local economy and reduce the need for "flown-in" supplies and goods that in itself have had their own carbon print. 
10. Talk to people, know their language, culture, respect their beliefs, wardrobe, way of life. People are part of that ecosystem and the less we change them, the more we preserve what is beautiful in our differences. 

Resolving to travel "green" does not only do good to the environment or to the communities we visit. It also enhances our travel experience. It allows us to be one with the places and the people, their fragile nature and their unique cultures.