Be a responsible traveller: Harry the Hominid
It is becoming more and more important for us all to consider the impact we have on the environment when we travel or go on holiday.
By being aware of this impact, we can decide what to do to reduce the effect we have on the planet when we are away from home, says Harry Hominid, Maropeng - the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind’s spokeshominid.
“Remember that when we travel away from home we produce carbon dioxide emissions, and when we are away we use water and energy at our destination, and also produce waste while we are there.”
Harry suggests that you choose hotel accommodation that practices care for the environment when you are travelling.
“Why not come and visit us at Maropeng, our hotel is Fair Trade Certified and follows sustainable practices wherever possible,” he adds.
Harry also offers the following tips towards being a responsible tourist or traveler:
- Avoid using an air-conditioner as much as possible and use a fan instead. If you simply have to use the air-conditioner, switch it off when you leave your hotel room.
- Use a shower instead of a bath and avoid turning on or leaving on hot water heaters
- Take all rubbish with you and don't litter
- South Africa has great drinking water but, if you are going to buy bottled water, only buy only large bottles and use it all up before buying another
- Try to visit at least one local attraction, the farther away the better - they depend on your support. When shopping, try to buy only from small local shops to spread money in the local area and, try eating out in small local restaurants so your tourist money goes to local restaurant owners
- Never ever feed wild animals and birds. They may lose their fear of humans and be killed later by poachers
- Avoid using car transport where possible, walk or use a bicycle instead. If you have to use one then share one with the locals.
- Show respect toward local culture and sacred sites.