So: many of you are travelling home or to a holiday destination, local or international. You’re driving or flying kilometres across the country, across continents or oceans… using fossil fuel. By touchdown, your carbon footprint is heavy. That’s okay (there aren’t practical alternatives – yet). We’re a globalised world, we’re a curious species and want to see new places and meet new people, or just go home to rest. But, we think it’s worth taking the time and making the effort to travel thoughtfully and responsibly. In a nutshell, this requires a little thought about the effect you’ll have on the places you visit: be socially and culturally aware of your surroundings. Not only will it lighten your footprint, but your experiences will take you to places you may not have considered before. Here are some tools and tips for responsible tourism in South Africa.

Tools

Sassi APP

The easy-to-use WWF SASSI app allows you to check the sustainability of your seafood choice in real time. Before you place your order, check the fish sustainability status on the app. Don’t buy a red-listed fish. A green-listed one is good. Avoid orange-listed ones.

WWF Champion Wine Farm Guide

Using this app, wine lovers, locals and tourists can explore wine farms committed to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.

Fair Trade Tourism

Check the website for certified members who have gone through extensive sustainability training and have been independently audited against Fair Trade Tourism’s rigorous criteria. Places listed are hotels, resorts and other accommodation venues. The criteria focuses on environmental practice, community resources, cultural heritage, business practices and human resources. You’ll find luxury destinations and fun, hostels like Once in Cape Town.

Love to Stay

One of our favourite sites, this has “a conscious focus on beautiful places and sacred spaces, our principals are those of nature conservation; green environmental initiatives and the upliftment and fair treatment of local folk; as such we aim to actively promote establishments with aligning practices.”

Inside Guide to Eco-Cabins

This is a great list of eco destination compiled by Inside Guide. They say (and we agree), “While the thought of an off-the-grid getaway might be unsettling (even scary) for some, those who’ve done it will attest to the utter exhilaration of being immersed in nature, unplugging from the noise of the city, and getting back to basics. There’s nothing like a generous helping of Mother Nature and a few deep breaths of fresh, country air to set you on the right track”.

Tips

Be Water-wise 

Even though Cape Town is out of drought danger, South Africa is a water scarce country. Be mindful of this. Read Cape Town Tourism’s tips here.

Do a beach Clean up

Check The Beach Co-op, the Two Oceans Aquarium or do your own.

Shop 

Responsible travel involves responsible shopping for those take-home pieces of artistry, be it clothing, design items or curios. When you shop support local creatives and makers who use sustainable materials and pay fair wages. Visit studios, travel to local markets, leave your comfort zone… Book a sustainable shop tour here.

Have a great holiday. Travel safe!

From the Twyg team.