zero footprint

Discuss volunteering opportunities or how you can help to ensure that tourism in developing countries remains a positive experience for everyone.

Moderators: jimshu, JaliscoJudy, sinecure, ballu, TravelFun, richardGS

zero footprint

Postby claire » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:49 pm

Kudos to Gap Adventures for their zero-footprint philosophy! Make sure to travel mindfully and keep these basics in mind:
- eat local foods
- use public transit
- opt out of having your towels and bed sheets laundered daily
- reduce, reuse and recycle... even when you're on the road
- take out what you brought in
- educate yourself
User Rank: Weekender
User Rank: Weekender
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:05 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby Elle » Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:21 pm

I agree, education is key!

check out gapadventures code of conduct for travellers - very useful tips on top of what is posted below
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:40 pm
Location: Toronto

protect local enviroment

Postby cantrekker » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:14 am

Educatating yourself before you travel is a must. Many of the countries Gap travel goes to are not as well off as we are. It's important to try and leave the natural history of a region the way you found it as well! Its better to take a photo of the places you go then try and bring nature home with you.

I work for Parks Canada and have seen how people often think they are the only ones to pick the beautiful flower, that it won't hurt the ecosystem. Unfortunately there are usually hundreds of people with the same thought. Last year I even had a person pick a wild flower arrangement in the park, the downside is that they picked a flower that has only been spoted in two areas of our province. The worst part is the center piece of her arrangement was a protected flower that could have a huge fine. She honestly had no idea that flowers were that rare.
Last edited by cantrekker on Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User Rank: Adventurer
User Rank: Adventurer
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Saskatchewan

Protecting Environment

Postby SmartAlec » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:55 pm

It is very important to know what you might be doing may be damaging the environment. ie. ladyslippers as protected flowers as an example are rare in Manitoba but not unheard of. While hiking in Crete we were warned to not pick the wildflowers. There are many herbs there used to a special tea that you can't get anywhere else in the world apparently - wonder what global warming will do to things such as this
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:24 am

Postby tclinton » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:28 pm

Claire thanks for the list but you are missing the most important factor of your "travel footprint" which is your flight(s). Carbon emissions from air travel are huge and make everything else on your list look like peanuts. It is hard to avoid air travel completely but steps can be taken to minimize it (such as rail travel where possible). Offsets can be purchased but should be considered a last resort because they are not as effective as offset "venders" will claim also with offsets you are still emitting the carbon into the atmosphere. Essentially you are buying some guilt relief but not really reducing your footprint. I know it’s not what a traveler wants to here but the best way to minimize your footprint is to not make the trip at all.
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:15 pm

Postby Tall Paul » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:02 pm


Using absolutes, like the word "zero", in conjunction with ecology issues is not helpful. Let us consider using the term "reduced footprint". It provides a much more realistic framework for discussion among us.

User avatar
Tall Paul
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada

Re: zero footprint

Postby kellygreen » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:18 pm

I agree that zero footprint is impossible, we naturally make impacts no matter what we do. I also agree that we should talk about reducing our impact like Tall Paul says, because in that sense there is much we can do. While of course travelling does often rely on flying, as tclinton notes, the many ways we can try to impact local communities positively are abundant. Claire's "small" list can go a long way, especially if combined with efforts like staying with local families, volunteering at local organizations, always supporting local businesses, markets, handicrafts, etc. Maybe it's not about reducing your footprint, but changing the way that footprint makes a mark?
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: zero footprint

Postby jimshu » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:12 am

I've always believed that where footprints mingle, understanding occurs.This type of grassroots travel educates.And that the knowledge traded between both is more valuable than bothering about the carbon emission cost.
Our passion for travel is rivaled only by our commitment to those we serve

User avatar
Posts: 3402
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: zero footprint

Postby bosquevillage » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:24 pm

Traveling slower and deeper will reduce your negative impact.
Stay longer in one place. You not only will get to really be there culturally, but the damage due to you transporting yourself with oil will be reduced.
Try staying is rural areas so you will have less consumer options and get to know the local ecosystem.
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:31 pm
Location: Michoacan, Mexico

Re: zero footprint

Postby georginal » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:28 pm

Camping is the way I donit. You use very little electricity and gas. Also everytime I get on a plane now I the do something to give something back - coservation volunteering for example.
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:26 am
Location: London, UK

Return to Volunteering and Sustainable Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest