Being a responsible traveller
Travel is a simple luxury of life – a single decision that will ripple out to provide valuable lessons, unforgettable experiences and meaningful encounters that will forever change your outlook on life. With this in mind, it is easy for us to overlook how travel affects the world around us, but we want to inspire travellers to focus more on ensuring that their trip is as eco-friendly as possible. How much will your trip harm the place – or even the community – you visit? Are you making eco-conscious decisions as you travel, or does an unfamiliar environment have you considering only the short-term?
With the world increasingly focusing on preserving the environment and moving towards more sustainable ways of living, we want to join this global movement and, as a leader in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, play our part in preserving this idyllic travel destination by educating ourselves and those who explore the island with us. As part of our varied sustainability initiatives, we have put together a list of tips to help our travellers make more eco-conscious choices before, during and even after their holiday.
Responsible Travel Tips
- Say no to plastic bags: don’t forget to take your own cloth bags when heading out for some shopping. Kenya banned plastic bags last year and now has cleaner streets and clearer waterways. We hope Sri Lanka follows suit in the near future.
- Be a wise shopper: make sure you are not condoning the destruction of vital natural resources and/or local wildlife. Steer clear of purchasing hard wood products likely to have been made in an unsustainable manner, shells from beach hawkers or historic artefacts.
- Conserve water: take more showers and less baths, or shorten your shower time. Request for towels to be folded rather than washed.
- Use electricity with care: switch off the lights, fan and a/c unit when you leave your bedroom. In general, limit the use of air-conditioning by letting the room cool down and then switching to the ceiling fan.
- Go paperless: rather than having a printed itinerary for your holiday, choose to have an e-version which can be accessed via your tablet and mobile phone.
- Offset your carbon emissions: check with your airline if there is an option to offset the carbon emissions of your flight. This option is available with many airlines now and is a great early commitment to an eco-friendly holiday.
- Careful where you tread: visiting rich ecosystems like Knuckles Mountain Range calls for vigilance and care in order to protect these precious habitats. Climbing Adam’s Peak will take you through the habitat of several endemic amphibians threatened by pollution, so be very aware of your surroundings as you hike.
- Learn about the local lifestyle: research Sri Lanka’s traditions and customs prior to beginning your holiday. Why not try to learn a few essential phrases in Sinhala and Tamil as well? This is respectful and will be much appreciated by the people you meet during your trip.
- Ask before clicking: photographs of locals are best taken once you have asked their permission – it shows respect for the local culture and is strongly recommended wherever possible.
- Carry your own straw: many places in Sri Lanka still only offer plastic straws, so we recommend taking your own reusable straw. It is worth noting though that several hotels and restaurants are phasing out plastic straws completely and working towards more sustainable options.
- Take your refillable water bottle: this means you avoid having to buy plastic water bottles and simultaneously encourage others around you to make the same sustainable choice.