5W encourages its members to travel responsibly, sensibly and safely. As our world changes and we realise the impact of travel, how can we balance our desire to travel while still taking care of our one and only planet?
Here are a few suggestions on how to minimise your footprint, avoid over-tourism, and make a positive difference to the people and places you visit, whether staying with a 5W hostess or in booked accommodation.
- You can choose to help offset your carbon footprint by donating to an environmental organisation which plants trees locally or internationally.
- If staying in booked accommodation, support businesses with environmental or sustainability policies.
- Buy souvenirs made by local artists or approved as Fair Trade. Avoid buying souvenirs made on the other side of the planet.
- Respect local people, places and environments. Support small local businesses in the communities you visit. It is their neighbourhood bearing the impact of tourism.
- Pack light – the more weight in your luggage, the more carbon emissions you are producing.
- Pack your own refillable water bottle to cut down on plastic waste. Take a water filter or refill from filtered water supplies where necessary.
- Treat your accommodation as you would your home and turn off lights, heating, air conditioning and TV to save energy. Save water where possible and use towels until they need washing. Ask about your host’s community recycling practices and follow them.
- Take a light re-usable shopping bag to reduce plastic waste.
- Consider buying gifts from charity shops to support local good causes.
- Eat locally grown foods where possible.
- Choose a train or bus over plane travel when you have that choice.
- Explore car sharing and carpooling options.
Enjoy our world!