Responsible Travel is Easy! SF Consultant Sam Shows Us How
Yes, you can see the world and save it at the same time! Samie Crofts from Student Flights Pacific Fair is as passionate about booking amazing holidays as she is about preserving the environment and travelling responsibly – near or far. Here she shares her top tips and insights on responsible travel.
Why are you so passionate about preserving the world we live in?
I've been interested in protecting the environment for a few years now, but the turning point for me was actually watching the "War on Waste" on the ABC in 2017. Since then, I've actively been reducing the amount of waste I produce as well as encouraging my friends and family to act in more environmentally friendly ways – both at home and on the road.
What steps do you take to ensure you’re always travelling mindfully/responsibly?
When I'm travelling I opt to travel via train or bus where possible, as these methods have less of an impact on the environment compared to flying. They also allow you to see more of the country that you're in and it can be a great way to save money.
One of the best ways to really experience a country’s culture is through food, so I also recommend eating local to support the local community and opting to dine in where possible to reduce the use of plastic cutlery and single use packaging.
Why is it important for others to do the same?
I believe that every little bit counts and it all adds up in the end. If we all make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce, one day we'll see a big improvement!
What are you most passionate about?
My main passion is to preserve the natural beauty that we see all over the world so that travellers many years from now will still be able to see and experience all that our beautiful world has to offer.
I also believe it is super important to support the local community in the places we visit, so that their culture and traditions can live on and the locals can make a living by providing travellers with an authentic, ethically sound experience.
What advice can you share with travellers, so they don’t harm the places they visit?
I always advise my customers to be respectful of the places they visit and of the cultures they encounter. I also like to remind them to just think about the impact they are having on the places they visit, and encourage them to take reusable goods such as refillable water bottles. This not only helps to save the environment but can also help to save money as well!
Also, if you're travelling between a bunch of hostels/hotels or cities, it’s a good idea to take the bar of hand soap with you instead of opening a new one every time you check in to a new place. This is a super easy way to reduce your impact on the planet.
What are your top tips?
My top tips for reducing waste while travelling are:
1. Pack your own reusable water bottles everywhere you go.
2. Keep taking those Keep Cups - for all my coffee drinkers out there.
3. Take a reusable metal straw or opt for no straw at all.
4. Use Tupperware instead of zip lock bags (and check out the handy collapsible containers!)
Any stories to share from the road?
While I was travelling through Peru, I noticed there was a lot of waste lining the streets in some of the smaller villages. I was told this is because these remote communities didn’t know how to process the waste they'd accumulated. It wasn't that long ago that these communities were solely living off the land, so the locals were unaware of the impact that plastic and other packaging had on the environment.
This experience really highlighted the importance of taking your waste with you when you visit places that are off the beaten track, as you definitely don't want to contribute to the piles of waste along the streets.
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How to be a Mindful Traveller
Mindful travel is the only way forward. The world is an incredible place full of amazing adventures, unforgettable encounters and memories to last a lifetime. With a little thought and planning, we can all put our best foot forward and aim to leave a minimal footprint on the places we visit.