What is conscious travel?
Whatever buzz terminology used “conscious travel’, “responsible travel”, “eco-travel” or “environmentally conscious travel”, it comes down to one thing. An awareness of the world we live in and how our actions affect the people and the environment around us.
How can we be responsible for our actions and hold companies accountable to be more proactive in how they produce goods and services. Our buying decisions shape how companies do business and return create the world around us.
I LOVE talking about this topic because it’s so empowering…
I feel omnipotent (Yep, God-like) knowing that I get to choose what companies get my business and I love supporting people and companies that are not only about profits but integrate a mindful approach in their business model.
The collective advantage is that we have the power to shape companies. Yes, you are only one person, but when enough people join forces and boycott companies like McDonald’s who produce pink slim as an ammonia-treated filler of ground-up animal fat and body parts to bulk up their “meat” products, WE (ordinary people like you and me) stopped the practice. In the infamous words of Chris Farley, “That was Awesome!”
But in all seriousness, I’ve boycotted all crap fast food chains because it’s just pure poison, but sometimes it’s not always obvious who the good guys are any longer so diving deeper is needed. Want a fun book to slap you around a bit and share some great health tips? Check out this great book Skinny Bitch: Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who want to stop eating crap as well as other books in my “Mindful E-book” shop page,
Now before you go and roll your eyes and say, “I’m just one person and besides that McDonald’s example you just gave me, can I really make much of a difference? If you are thinking, “Oh Ghesh, it doesn’t really matter what I eat or buy on the planet there are too many people in the world and I’m just one being.” Well, you are flat out wrong! Forgive me for my sassy tone, but take a look at Blake Mycoskie the founder of TOMS shoes he started a program in 2006 after seeing so many children in Argentina without shoes and decided to produce shoes with a brilliant concept. For every pair of shoes sold, he gave one pair away. To date, he has given away 86 million pairs of shoes! That’s a whole lot of zapatos!
I love investigating companies to see if their principles are founded in some good for my body and if they are striving to minimize their carbon print by not finding the cheapest provider. The times are changing. If you have a choice of knowing that what you are buying is better for you and doesn’t have cancer-causing ingredients and the people who harvested or made the product are receiving decent livable wages I’d say that’s a win-win baby.
This blog was created in an effort to find as many ways to talk about my three favorite topics: health, travel and conscious consumerism, so collectively we can support businesses that will ensure our planet is around for hundreds of years to come. After all, we are the custodians of mother earth, its animals and each other…so why shouldn’t we start working together to show we care about each other and planet Earth.
The beauty of this approach is that as a consumer we are the ones to benefit equally because when we find a product produced with integrity and good wholesome ingredients our bodies thrive. So let’s
pack your bags and dash off for a day trip,
weekend getaway or
much-needed longer vacation
cuz Girl I’m all about the travel!
Now there is nothing worse than someone who crams down your throat their ideals in a pushy judgmental way…so rest assured that is NOT going to happen here. I am no saint so lets just set the record straight, but I am trying to adopt more ways how to be conscious and take responsibility for my actions.
So, what if a few of these ideas I’m sharing can be tucked away in the back of your noggin too. “Your noggin” is colloquial for your head”. That way as you are going about your day you too can make a few easy modifications that help our planet and hopefully tell a friend, who tells a friend, who tells a friend and so on and so on…HA! You get my point!
Let me share a sad truth to help reiterate my point on my most recent travels to the Phillippines. Did you know that as of April 28th, 2018, Boracay, Phillippines was recently shut down for six months to tourists after the President deemed the island a cesspool of toxic waste with too much raw sewage being dumped into the beaches? That means about 2 million tourists over the next year will have to look elsewhere to get their tropical fix as I had to when I was island hopping in the Philippines. News like this shows the importance of how critical it is that we are paying attention we look at travel and what our impact has on a country and its inhabitants.
A conversation around conscious travel and a little effort on all our parts ensures an authentic and genuine travel experience. So basically, it’s an examination of our buying power and actions without just blindly doing what’s convenient or refusing to look past a cheap price tag.
As a former Environmental lawyer, it was always my dream to carry the torch for mother nature and protect her. This blog is a continuation of that dream but with a twist. Health and travel executed in a conscious manner. My aim is to share easy to adopt ways so you too can see the world with me and create a better planet for us all.
For instance, while in Chaing Mai, Thailand I was interested in finding a way to see the majestic elephants but only if I wasn’t going to witness circus animals who were living in barns and trained to do tricks. I had heard some of the elephant “sanctuaries” boast elephant riding and believed animals should certainly be wild and free so although riding an elephant could potentially be “fun” it enslaves the animal in a sad existence of having to do tricks for selfies and is stressful existence whereby the animals start to exhibit abnormal and nervous behavior. thanks to thoughtful bloggers like Planet D
So after having done some research, Why we should not ride elephants any longer by the Intrepid Traveler and other resources (see below), I was thrilled that these practices are in large part being phased out and I opted for a different kind of experience. I found The Elephant Nature Park, an elephant sanctuary, that allowed me to volunteer my time to feed, walk, and bathe elephants that were rescued from an arduous life in the logging industry. So my US $182 admittance fee, I became even more educated about the impact of the logging industry and what it has done to these wild and free animals and I was able to spend the day in the presence of 5-ton majestic animals.
Heading to Chaing Mai, Thailand? Check out Planet D, another fellow bloggers post who nicely highlights a discussion of how to choose the right elephant sanctuary.
Are you open to learning other ways to see the planet in a conscious way?
Conscious Travel Tips:
- Turn off your computer when you’re not using it instead of just putting it to sleep.
- Turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room.
- Wear more (or less) clothes and to avoid or minimize AC or cranking up the heat when possible.
- Unplug electronics…Electricity is being used regardless if your electronics or household goods are turned on or not..so keep them unplugged.
- Bring a re-usable cloth bag to the market. A trillion plastic bags are produced a year. Just say no to single-use plastic bags!
- Buy minimally packaged goods (put your fruit in a re-usable produce mesh bag and avoid the single-use plastic bags) and use cloth bags at the checkout.
- Buy organic whenever possible. Chemicals pollute our water supply.
- Buy local whenever possible. There really is no need to import water from Fiji is there?
- Hang your hotel towel back up and reuse it for a week…save water, electricity from having to unnecessarily have it go to the laundry.
- Consider hand washing and air drying some of your clothes. I generally do this with all my workout gear because dry time is just 1-2 days at most.
- If your hotel is providing free water bottles…don’t drink from any single use containers otherwise you are contributing to a serious problem. Instead, ask for a pitcher of water and encourage your hotel to eliminate water bottles and provide water filling stations
I personally strive to never buy single-use water bottles. How do I do that? Well, it’s easy I carry with me a Seripen which allows me to purify unsafe tap water eliminating bacteria so it becomes safe to drink in less than 1 minute. There is nothing more critical to traveling than safe drinking water…Seripen’s UV technology asserts to purify 99.99% bacteria and protozoa from your water and I can attest to its effectiveness. Over the years I have learned my lesson not to ever take chances, even when I brush my teeth with tap water I use my Seripen or I also use the Grayl water bottle which has a built-in filter to keep out bacteria and makes tap, stream or any water drinkable.
Avoiding plastic water bottles is just one of the ways you can help the environment, Check out all my other links to conscious travel products.
Thank YOU for caring enough to read this and being open to trying to incorporate some of these ideas.
Additional Reading & Resources:
Eco-Friendly Living: For a Better Tomorrow by Dr. Reshma Prashant Ghoderao ( $2.99 on my “Mindful E-books” Shop page).
https://theplanetd.com/elephant-sanctuary-chiang-mai/ A guide to safe drinking water in the world
No More Pink Slime at Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Burger King by Sara Novak
Why you shouldn’t ride elephants in Thailand by Expert Vagabond
The elephant sanctuary I visited in Chaing Mai, Thailand: Elephant Nature Park.