14 December 2010 by Julienne du Toit

Green, Carbon-Neutral, Socially Sussed

You’re eco-conscious, carbon footprint-aware and keen on community upliftment. Here are 7 easy ways to apply those excellent principles to a South African trip.

1.  Choose your accommodation from Fair Trade in Tourism SA or Green Globe destinations. Also check who has done well in the latest Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards, held annually.

2.  Before choosing your seafood dish check how far up on the sustainability scale the fishery is by texting the name of the fish to a number on the SASSI (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) website. You’ll find, to your surprise, that crayfish are preferable (ecologically) to prawns.

3.  Help make your holiday carbon-neutral by planting trees, preferably in South Africa, in townships and poor communities where their shade and fruit make a real difference. Calculate your impact and how many ‘penance’ trees you should plant through Food and Trees for Africa.

4.  Where possible, travel on mass transport. Johannesburg has just inaugurated the Gautrain. There are also cross-country buses (including the backpacker-dedicated Baz Bus), and there are trains.

5.  Try a few community homestays instead of just hotels or fancy guesthouses. Just Google South African homestays, or ask at the tourism info desks of the towns you’re visiting.

6.  Be careful what you pick as souvenirs. Avoid shells, anything made with ivory or rare wood. Rather choose hand-crafted things like embroidery, wirecraft, woven or beaded objects. Better still, buy it from the person who made it.

7.  Use the SOS principle: Switch Off Something - in other words, don’t go out and leave lights blazing in your room.

Whether you like Travel with a Purpose, or straight up and down bucket and spade travel, these simple steps can make a positive difference.

comments powered by Disqus