Environmentally-friendly Trekking: From Words to Actions
At Choose a Challenge, environmentally friendly policies as well as responsible tourism form an integral part of how we operate. Our challenges take you to some of the world’s most cherished places, and so we understand how important it is to preserve them as much as possible for future generations. Part of this is ensuring that our participants travel responsibly, and so we have put together some achievable ways of making sure that your travels are as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some ways in which you can bridge the gap between wanting to help protect the environment and actually doing so.
Firstly, respect the local environment. You can do this by staying on trails and public footpaths, which means you are less likely to trample over protected or endangered plants. You can also do this by not removing plants and by not disturbing or feeding any wild animals you may see. Fundamentally, do not litter. Our policy at Choose a Challenge is to carry out all non-biodegradable rubbish. However, biodegradable rubbish should be left in the appropriate containers or bags at each of the camps. You shouldn’t be leaving apple cores or banana skins behind on the ground either, as this may be harmful to wildlife. The key question to ask yourself is: would this item be here if I wasn't?
Secondly, when it comes to detergents and showering, you should bring eco-friendly traveller’s shampoo and soap, and use these sparingly. Although biodegradable soaps are preferred over regular soaps, you should still try and use them at least 200ft away from any water sources because it cannot be broken down properly unless it's in soil.
Also, whilst trekking there will not be toilets between camps so you should bring some toilet tissue, but due to the altitude even this tissue paper can take a substantial amount of time to biodegrade. So again, please use as little as possible.
Another way to make your travels eco-friendly is by packing lightly for your flight. Not only is this better for you because it’s less to carry, but it also reduces the carbon emissions produced by the plane which will be taking you to your challenge’s destination. Only pack essentials!
Lastly, be careful when deciding what to bring back as a souvenir. Try and buy locally-made crafts that support local skills and avoid buying items that exploit or threaten endangered wildlife species (e.g. ivory). Not only is this morally wrong, but it may also be illegal.
So whilst we prepare you for your challenge, we’d like to stress the importance of leaving each destination as you found it, supporting the local economy by purchasing locally-made crafts, and treating local people, environments and wildlife with the utmost respect.
Have fun on your trek!