Always Think Local
Of every US$100 travelers spend on a holiday in a developing country, only approximately US$5 stays in the country's economy. This 'leakage' may be as high as 80% in the Caribbean, where money spent by tourists often leaves the countries via tour operators, airlines, hotels, and imported food and drink. Whenever possible, use local tour operators, stay in locally run hotels, and buy locally produced goods.
The largest chunk of a hotel's energy use - 42% - is for heating water, and the majority goes towards, laundry. If every room had a sign guests could leave out to alert housekeeping that the sheets or towels did not need to be changed, it is estimated that hotels would reduce their energy use by at least 5%. If the hotel you are staying in does not have a 'no change' policy, try writing your own 'no change' note.
Take Only Photographs, Leave Only Footprints
As a tourist, you are directly responsible for the environment in the places that you visit. So, if you notice environmental damage, be sure to report it to local tour operators. Ethical tourism organizations publish their own Travelers' Codes of Conduct. Familiarize yourself with them, and try to follow them wherever you go.
Minimize Your Environmental Impact
When you are abroad, give extra thought to what happens to your waste. Try to take biodegradable products and a water filter bottle with you when you go out. Some places may have limited water, fuel and electricity resources, so be sensitive and restrict your use. Protect the local wildlife and habitats by respecting local rules and codes of conduct, such as keeping to footpaths, not touching coral, and not buying products made from endangered species. By following these simple rules, you can reduce your ecological footprint and your negative impact on the areas you visit.