4- Water is such a lacking resource in many parts of our planet: don’t waste it, always close the faucets. When you get out your hotel room, make sure you have switched off all of the lights and the air-conditioning.
5- Protect the fauna: don’t buy items or accessories manufactured with leathers, furs and animals’ parts. Don’t eat meat of endangered animals, even if it’s considered a local delicacy.
6- Respect the customs and local traditions: for example, in a conservative country dress adequately and if necessary cover your head. Recently in Morocco I found out that Berber women really appreciated me covering my head, and were more willing to talk to me. In the poorest countries, moreover, avoid showing off your wealth (avoid wearing watches, jewelry and designer bags).
7- Now more than ever ‘volontourism’ has become fashionable, especially among young travellers. To leave and help a far away community is a beautiful idea, but unfortunately there are companies profiting of this kind of tourism and of travellers with a big heart.
It’s not uncommon for associations to ask volunteers thousands of dollars to participate in a program, and where does this money go? Not always to local communities.
Then, how do I choose the right program? Check out the Ethical Volunteering Guide to help you choose the right program and website, and ask questions to the associations! If they are a serious company, they won’t have any problem giving you all kind of informations.