"The Greatest Threat to our Planet is the belief that someone else will save it"
“Travel Responsibly” the word might sound complex but it is just about following some basic things which we are told since childhood. Its about taking responsibility of our actions and their consequences. We all know what the world is going through – Pandemic, climate change, Global Warming, Seas of plastics and what not. What we can do is contribute the best we can by acting Responsibly.
We recommend these simple and doable tips to people accompanying us on treks so they become responsible trekkers, not only with us but also when they trek in future.
1. Avoid use of Single Use Plastic
Single use plastics are mostly used for packaging and are meant to be disposed right after use. Now the problem is plastics don’d decompose, they just break further to micro plastics. If you dwell deeper into the subject they are creating a havoc on our planet. Choose your side whether you want to contribute towards betterment of nature or making things worse for it. We can start simple, do easy things first which can make a huge difference in the longer run. Every year 3.56 Crore Domestic and 1.5 lakh foreign tourist visit Uttarakhand, and we are talking about just 1 state. There are 28 states and 8 union territories in India. France which is the most visited country of the world attracts 8.9 Crore tourist every year. Now I am talking about only one country there are 195 countries in the world.
Just think of the magnitude of change we can bring if every one of us starts behaving responsibly.
2. Don't Litter
We have observed that when we Indians look at a beautiful landscape we say ” “Ye toh bilkul Foreign Jaisa hai?” Why is that. Sad to say but other countries know well how to keep their streets clean. Indians might be good at keeping their homes clean but they just don’t care what goes out on the street. It is one of our short comings and we should accept it and work towards improving it.
3. Don't Use Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are made of polyesters and polypropylene. You will find numerous products labelled Biodegradable. They are biodegradable but they do not decompose completely. The consequence of this is the release of millions of microfibers to the environment.
You can use Tissue paper as it decomposes completely and much more easily.
4. Don't Wash or Pee near a water Stream
In villages these water streams are the primary source of drinking water. If you are throwing your waste near the water streams you are polluting it for the locals. Even you will be drinking the same water while you are returning to the base village. So make sure you don’t pollute it.
5. Don't Play Music while Trekking
These days you may find many trekkers with large bluetooth speakers playing loud music while trekking. We recommend not to play any kind of music, the reason being simple, trekking is very different from leisure travel. Few reasons not to do this are:
1. You might be disturbing the other trek lovers who love trekking in peace and listen to the music nature makes – the sound of rivers, trees and birds.
2. Many of the trekkers are bird watchers and love sighting of animals during a trek. If you are playing music birds and animals will surely go away
3. Trekking gives you a very different experience. It gives you a chance to come close to nature and listen to the music it makes. Even if you are a beginner you must try to dissolve yourself in the process. After all that is the reason you came for the trek. Music you can hear at your home, your city and any other place. It is said when in Rome do as the Romans do. If you are coming for a trek do it the trekkers way. Respect other trekkers and enjoy the experience.
If you are a hard core music lover you can carry your earphones but don’t use them while trekking because it adds safety concerns. You can listen to music in your ear phones once you are in your camp site.
We too are music lovers but while trekking its better to respect the basics.
6. Respect the local community, their culture and way of living
You may find differences in language, culture, and food. Just try to dissolve in. Greet locals with a smile. Don’t misbehave with anyone. Try buying local artefacts or souveniers.
7. If you make a bonfire, make sure to put it off completely
Though bonfire is banned in most of the treks by the government. Still, if you are are on some trek where bonfire is allowed, please put it off completely before you go to sleep. The hot ashes can cause forest fires, even your own life might be in danger.
There was a recent accident that happened in Sankri Village in Uttarakhand where a group of tourist from Delhi smoked up and didn’t put off the cigarette. That house was completely burned down because it was a complete wooden structure.