This month’s blog post, we have guest writer Courtney from Little Brave Travels, a blogger and travel enthusiast born in South Africa and currently living in Italy. Her array of natural toned images shares the thrill of travels and beauty of this precious planet. While developing an environmental awareness at home is important, we should also be thinking about waste and the planet when we travel. Welcome Courtney to the trading post,
Leave no Trace: Travel with The Environment in Mind
Written by Courtney from Little Brave Travels
I grew up traveling, quite literally, traveling in a car and sleeping in a tent. My family traveled almost the entire way around the wilderness that is Southern Africa, with two small children in tow. My brother and I learnt what plants to eat, how to track animals and how to survive in the actual wild, if we ever had to. That's exactly what it was; the wild. We would travel for weeks without seeing another human for the entire time.
One of the lessons that my parents taught us was to leave no trace. The area we slept in should be left looking exactly how it did when we got there. If there were no dustbins around, which there usually weren't. We kept our rubbish with us until we got home. Not only for future visitors, but also because we stayed in someone else's home. This space does not belong to us. It belongs to the animals who belong there, and will stay there long after we have left. We used very little "single-use" plastic. We washed our plastic plates to use them again, and reused our water bottles.
Then I moved to Europe, but my traveling ways never left me. One thing about Europe is that they take their recycling VERY seriously. Here in Italy we have a dustbin for each, glass, paper, plastic, food and then "non- recyclable". It took me a while to get used to not just mindlessly throwing things into a single dustbin, now I feel guilty if I do. I love the fact that I can do my bit, albeit small, to recycle.
Like I said, traveling is in my blood, and just because I live a different life here than I do in Southern Africa doesn't mean I've stopped exploring. My husband and I do many hikes during the year, every spring we do one long hike (20km or more). We both have a great passion for the outdoors and want to do as much as we can to keep it the way it was when we first got there. So here's what we do:
Traveling from city to city is basically the same deal. We bring our water bottles and we don't really buy anything. Including souvenirs, the only thing we do take is pictures. (We don't want to contribute to the ridiculous use of plastic and cheap labor for something that will end up being thrown away.) When we do feel the need to shop it will be from a local shop. There are just two things that we have to do differently;
Overall Europe is pretty clued up when it comes to it's recycling. We try do our best to contribute to it in the smallest and biggest ways possible.
I've traveled pretty much my whole life, and definitely don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I love the wonder of getting to experience a new place, learning to live a little in someone else's home. Learning to recycling is just a chance to make sure that other people have a chance to see what I have seen. To experience what I have experienced. To make sure that the incredible Natural world is just as beautiful as when the first people saw it.
No matter where you are, where you are going make sure that you leave it clean for the next people. Coming from South Africa and the literal untouched wild, I want it to stay that way as long as possible. If that means something as simple as not using straws, do it! You'll be thankful when you get to experience a clean destination.
Re-Trade is doing some great things when it comes to changing their world. I'm blessed to have been able to contribute to such an incredible cause. Thank you for making the difference that you do!
Find out more about Courtney’s journey, Little Brave Travels on www.littlebravetravels.com