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How to be a responsible traveller

15 Aug 2017

There’s no other way around it: we all need to bring our contribution to a greener planet. As citizens, we usually take a couple of steps to be more environmental friendly in our daily lives but can overlook the importance of it when we are travelling.

Whether you are travelling to Mauritius or from it, here are simple steps on how to leave a lower footprint in your destination and make the most of your stay.

Plan

When we travel, we often want to focus on the enjoyable part while leaving the organising and paperwork to a tour planner or travel agency. Before committing to one, do some research to ensure that they operate with respect to the environment and the cultural specificities of the country you’re planning to visit. With that in mind, talk to your agent or operator about arranging hotels that make efforts to be greener or/and activities that are not environmentally harmful.

If possible, also try to choose a non-stop flight even if it takes a little bit of research beforehand. That habit will greatly decrease your carbon footprint every time you travel, as you would be consuming less fuel.

Pack light

Light packing is a proven time-saver and if that isn’t enough motivation, know that it can also make you a greener traveller. Bringing less weight in the plane, even if it means only forgoing an extra pair of shoes, also equals to lesser carbon emissions However, the point is to not only pack light but also pack smart. Check if your shampoo or tanning oil bottle is degradable and manufactured responsibly. Having less stuff also pushes you to turn to local products for daily consumption, which brings us to our next point.

Buy local

Buying local is not only a way for you to be a more responsible traveller but a way of immersing yourself into the daily lives of the locals. Taking a trip to a Mauritian market place will undoubtedly give you an immediate glimpse of the scents, sounds and colours of this beautiful country. On top of that, buying fresh and seasonal produce instead of supermarket products will not only greatly lower your carbon footprint but also contribute to the wellbeing of local and organic production. Keep in mind that you should re-use or recycle everything any non-biodegradable consumables while abroad.

Choose soft mobility

Soft mobility refers to any means of moving around that doesn’t involve engines and carbon emissions. Therefore, privilege walking or cycling over renting a car. If you need to go long distances, choose the lesser polluting way: public transportation. The ones you’ll find in Mauritius are certainly known for their folklore so you will never have a boring ride.

Plus, you’ll find that cycling or walking through natural parks and coastal roads is a much more pleasant experience than taking the car.

 

 

Be ethical and culturally sensitive

Being responsible while travelling will not only decrease your negative environmental impact but will also help you enjoy your destination more. By going the most ethical route, you will find yourself further immersed in the culture of a country.

That is certainly true for Mauritius. Being close to the people, eating how they eat, travelling how they travel, experiencing the music, the language and sharing some laughs, is the best way understand the intricacies of this rich culture.

If you want to leave something behind, let it be something constructive. For example, do not hesitate to contribute to any cause you’ve come across while travelling that has impacted you (animal welfare, poverty alleviation, marine conservation …).

You would have thus left a footprint, but a positive one.