Eco-tourism four - Environment
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Date: 12 October, 2002
Photo: Andre Shine
destinations, such as the Himalayas, are degrading from the impact of visitor
waste and numbers.'
In number four
of her six-part surefish.co.uk series on eco-tourism, Andre Shine urges responsible
travellers to take care what they use and what they leave behind.
Most of us travel as uninvited guests into host communities. Granted we pay for
the goods and services we consume, but what footprints do we leave behind in our
wake? And how have we affected the experience of the next traveller who follows
in our footsteps?
Back in the early 1990s I descended into the fish River Canyon, Namibia, with
a small hiking party. The scene at the foot of the canyon was one of a pristine
wilderness. I felt like a true pioneer, not a sign or any scent of the hikers
that had trodden, perhaps just hours, ahead of me.
this experience is now all too uncommon. Some destinations, such as the Himalayas,
are degrading from the impact of visitor waste and numbers. So what can other
destinations learn from the codes set up by operators who regulate access to the
fish River Canyon?
you carry, including toiletries and foodstuffs, should not be deposited until
you reach a location where waste is properly managed - irrespective of whether
the contents have been consumed.
Use biodegradable substances only in water sources such as rivers.
Don't take a loo stop near water sources. And if you need to use toilet-roll burn
it - cautiously. It will not decompose in cold temperatures.
Stick to recognised paths. Even though they may look challenging and appear harmless,
alternative routes may cause irreversible soil erosion and damage to the environment
buying bottled water. Depositing plastic empties just adds to the non-biodegradable
waste problem. Use a water bottle - either filtered or with purifying tablets.
We take our water for granted. But for many people of the developing world water
conservation is part of every day life. And seasonal rainfall is celebrated.
are a few ideas of how we can reduce the amount of water we use when travelling.
are many travel gadget high street and mail order suppliers that sell one-size
fits all plugs.
a weekly cleaning service instead of a daily one. Also limit your own personal
laundry - if possible wait until you get home.
the shade: Seek
respite from heat beneath a tree or parasol, rather than relying on iced cold
drinks to keep your temperature down,
Don't leave taps running unnecessarily.
Avoid playing golf
in areas where course irrigation of the course means depleting local water supplies,
and causes local community shortages.
article is part of a series - use these links to view the other eco-tourism articles