Eco-Tourism And Sustainable Tourism May Be A Hot Topic In The Travel Industry At The Moment. Still, It Has Always Been An Integral Part Of Our Philosophy And Part Of Our Mission Statement.
The following are a few simple tips that require minimal effort during your holiday but will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
Reusing Towels And Saving Electricity In Your Guest House
It is seen worldwide in small and large hotels, businesses trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and the Maldives is no different. Re-use your towels in your guest bedroom rather than having them refreshed each day. Turn off your air conditioning when you leave your room. Make sure all the lights are switched off. All small actions will provide long term positive results to the environment for you and future generations.
Plastic In The Ocean
The Maldives, like many countries, has experienced a real challenge in recent years with plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags washing up on the beaches. Local Island residents are making huge efforts to work together with many islands organising regular beach clean-ups. Education and awareness regarding littering and how to reduce the use of plastic in daily life has also started to be introduced, led by NGOs and dive centres in particular. But as a tourist, you can also help. Bring a re-useable bottle with you and re-fill your water bottles where possible. Take your own bags with you when shopping and refuse plastic bags every time you leave a shop. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home, and consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can.
For more details on local initiatives, check out http://www.savethebeachmaldives.org.
By staying in local island guesthouses, you are contributing to the local economy and increasing local employment. Local island guest houses in the Maldives are usually run by local island families, where everyone is instrumental in the guest house's day-to-day running. As a guest, you benefit from meeting these local families and learning about their cultures and traditions; take it from us. Nothing beats Maldivian hospitality.
Buying local and eating locally means contributing to the local economy, just like when you stay in the guesthouses. Buying locally-made souvenirs and eating local produce means that local farmers and small businesses benefit. Don’t be afraid to ask where produce or souvenirs have originated as there, unfortunately, is still a lot of imported souvenirs on offer.
Leave No Traces Of Your Visit Behind
Many people say, ‘I am just one person. How can I make a difference to the environment on my own?’But all you need to do is take responsibility for yourself and the people you are travelling with. Don’t leave litter on the beaches or around the islands. Don’t throw garbage overboard when on the boats travelling around the islands. Lead by example and pick up rubbish and dispose of it in the nearest waste receptacle. Every small effort like this will have a positive effect on the future of our environment.
Leave The Ocean As You Found It
As tempting as it is to take a piece of beautiful coral home or chase after the sea turtles, mantas or whale sharks and touch them – you are destroying the oceans natural habitat by doing these things. Maldives, turtles and Whale sharks are endangered species and need protection. Feel free to view the beautiful underwater world of the Maldives but leave it where it is. The ocean life is wild, and we want it to remain that way. The Maldives is one of the many countries affected by coral bleaching due to rising temperatures in the sea and global warming. Campaigns run by Save the Beach and local island guesthouses like Eco Dive Club in Maafushi are working hard to rebuild these areas by planting coral nurseries and researching the effects of global warming.
More details on initiatives are here https://www.eco-diveclub.com/copy-of-courses
Respect Local Culture And Dress Codes
The Maldives is an Islamic country, and tourists should respect cultural differences, not try to change them; we are, after all, only guests in someone’s home. Dress respectably away from beaches and ask permission (and ladies cover your head) to visit religious places. Note local dress codes and follow them. There is so much culture in the Maldives, and the local island people love to share their traditions and culture with tourists, so ask, learn and enjoy.
Want to help more?
Volunteer/Beach Clean Up
Many local islands are running initiatives like volunteer beach clean-ups regularly. Ask your Secret Paradise guide or guesthouse owner if one is scheduled during your stay, it’s a great way to meet the local community, and you are contributing to environmental cleanups.
Remember, together we can make a difference