Ethical mistakes i’ve made when travelling (so you don’t have to) save electricity pictures


Nowadays, the ethics of how we travel is a big focal point. From using bamboo straws and reusable water bottles to avoiding elephant rides and photo opportunities with drugged tiger cubs, there’s a conscious effort to be the most responsible travellers we can be. gaston y daniela But what if you’ve already committed an ethical travel mistake in the past? How are you supposed to feel then?

I remember being shocked to learn about the extent of England’s historically atrocious behaviour in India from a young, passionate tour guide on a roof in Rajasthan – because we were never taught about the topic in school. I remember an ex-boyfriend being incredulous that I barely knew anything about the Palestinian conflict while he’d been attending protests and marches for years.

But it’s not just me. I also remember meeting an American girl in Nepal who only realised the US army had actually been fighting and killing people in Afghanistan when she saw footage appear on the international news in another country. She’d only ever seen a positive spin on the war via her local news channels at home, and needed her traveller friends (who weren’t American) to verify this information for her before she could believe it.

Yet when the animals have no way of escaping, it turns from harassment to exploitation. I’m talking about cramped cages in unsanitary zoos; ad-hoc photo opportunities with shady guys holding monkeys and snakes in Morocco; the chance to stroke a drugged tiger cub; even willingly being submerged underwater in a cage to face-off with a shark.

Elephants are only ridden at Chitwan as a way to try and see Indian rhinos and Bengal tigers – both species are highly endangered and reside in Chitwan’s buffer zone. Still, I was a little concerned that so many people were being asked to board a single elephant: groups of four, five, and even six slotting their legs around the wooden frames while ropes pulled and strained under the elephant’s haunches and underneath their tails.

As our line of elephants lumbered off into the forest, I felt the combined weight of my friends and I, our precarious seat slipping from side to side on this creature’s back. list of electricity usage by appliances For much of the excursion I was preoccupied by what I was actually participating in – and later, while walking around the Chitwan site, I saw a young elephant with its leg chained to a wooden post and felt like I’d done something very ethically wrong. Why riding elephants is unethical

We watched a dolphin show – the first I’d ever seen – where a group of these beautiful creatures held flags in their mouths, balanced their trainers on their noses and literally jumped through hoops. I kept telling myself that the two male trainers seemed to really love the animals, but the little voice in my head kept questioning how I could honestly make that judgement.

When it came time for us to get in the water I pushed my misgivings aside again, telling the little voice to shut up – and as we were shown how to clap with the dolphins, to accept kisses on our cheeks and to even hold their fins as we were swept through the water by their surprisingly strong bodies, I knew this was something I should never have done. Why swimming with dolphins is unethical

Dolphins are captured illegally, ripped away from their mothers and often killed before even arriving at a marine park or aquarium because they’re not deemed ‘pretty’ enough for public viewing. gas variables pogil worksheet answers Once captured, they’re confined in cramped enclosures, forced to learn tricks and many die prematurely as a result of their mistreatment. The ethical way to see dolphins? Take a responsible dolphin-watching excursion on either sea or land, instead of in captivity – and keep your distance.

Quite apart from questioning how much ‘good’ a western tourist can ever actually achieve in a short period of time with little of the requisite skill-sets, there’s also the question of what actual damage they’re causing. Voluntourists could be arriving into a community that’s unprepared for/unenthused by their presence; taking jobs which local skilled workers could do better at (and be paid for); or perpetuating the idea that these projects couldn’t operate without foreign help.

So why was this an unethical experience? On the surface, it didn’t seem problematic. What alerted me was an unfortunate incident with one of the kids, who ended up stealing money from both me and another volunteer on multiple occasions. electricity usage in the us After he was caught in the act Kamala sent him back to his abusive father in the Kathmandu Valley, telling us that she couldn’t afford for him to negatively influence the other children in her care.

Although many volunteer companies are more scrupulous about these kinds of projects, there are still plenty out there who don’t seem concerned with the welfare of their kids. electricity wiki The ethical way to volunteer with local children? Don’t be their emotional support system! Help out at a community project or after-school club, or work as a teacher (if you have sufficient training).

A few months after my trip I was in Italy at a friend’s house. We sat at her kitchen table over two plates of pasta and a bottle of wine, and I talked about my recent travels. I had so much positivity about the Philippines – “It’s so lovely! Everyone smiles there!” – only to hear my friend respond with, “Isn’t that where tons of massacres happen?”

Before flying to the Philippines – in fact, before I even accepted the press trip – I should have done enough research to be fully aware of the country’s political landscape. I should have known where my money was going, and I should have questioned whether my choice to travel with the tourism board meant I was effectively supporting the government’s actions. The ethical way to travel politically? Educate yourself before you travel, and stand by your views & beliefs.

‘Poverty tourism’ or ‘slum tourism’ is designed to show visitors around an impoverished neighbourhood or community so they can see the ‘non-touristy’ side of that city or country. The benefits to this type of tourism? To show the positives of places otherwise reputed for their crime, poverty or general danger – but also, presumably, to make money.

I felt supremely uncomfortable, like we as tourists were being invited to treat these women as zoo animals. Our tour guide for the day had told us only the briefest information about the Karen tribe so I had no awareness of whether they actually wanted to be living here. electricity billy elliot chords As a result, it felt like complete exploitation, and after throwing all my spare change into the donation box I couldn’t leave fast enough. Why it’s unethical to visit a local tribe’s village

Many of the Karen tribe have fled from their native Burma to settle in Thailand and their refugee status means they can’t find local work, so setting up tourist villages is potentially a good way to earn money. Unfortunately, the traditional metal rings the women wear around their necks are a surefire way to maintain isolation from the Thai people – and as long as tourists keep paying to see them, girls as young as five or six years old will still be cajoled into wearing these neck rings throughout their lives. The ethical way to see how people from different cultures live? Volunteer at a homestay and work alongside them instead of simply ‘observing’.

As expected, I really enjoyed my visit and never felt unsafe (thanks to Marcela, a young Brazilian girl who showed us around the favela all afternoon and took us back to her house for dinner). When I left Rocinha it was with the knowledge that this favela is home to a strong, supportive community. But I did wonder whether my visit could be construed as ‘slum tourism’. gas utility boston Did the inhabitants of Rocinha see visiting tourists as intrusive and voyeuristic? Why visiting poor neighbourhoods can be unethical

We all know how bad travelling can be for the environment. Any form of transportation that burns fossil fuels is contributing to climate change; single-use plastic bags and straws lead to billions of tonnes of landfill; and there’s no way that thousands of tourist feet stomping around any famous natural site isn’t contributing to its destruction.

When I visited Australia in 2017 I was so excited to scuba dive for the first time – and amongst stunning marine life at the Great Barrier Reef, no less! Yet what I actually saw was sobering. Instead of the shoals of colourful fish I’d expected, all I could see was a few fish darting around the endless amounts of bleached white coral – and after speaking to local divers, it seems like this is becoming a much more common sight.

Well, one of the best outcomes from tourism is knowledge. Most people who see the bleached coral leave with a personal interest in the reef’s preservation, and help to spread awareness back home. There’s also the undeniable profit which tourism brings in: without it, places like the Great Barrier Reef are vulnerable to exploitation from gas mining and local land-based industry.