Erin Alexis is a footwear designer and painter who founded ‘The Home Team Project’- a series of free creative workshops held in Grenada and Carriacou.
Robinson Davies is a content creator at Mutha – the home of conscious living that champions positive stories on individuals and businesses making a conscious effort to look after this planet.
Dr. Naomi Leite is a lecturer of Social Anthropology at SOAS with an expertise in the anthropology of tourism. Her book “The Ethnography of Tourism” will be releasing early 2019.
What is sustainable travel?
Travelling sustainably asks us to broaden our mental and cultural horizons, whilst doing as little damage to the natural and social landscape as possible.
It is built on three interlinked pillars; the economy, environment and social. At Trippin we focus on addressing 3 issues within the latter:
1. Inauthentic Representation of Destinations
Traditional media and guidebooks often misportray local cultures, communities and identities. They tend to highlight the most lucrative and bait tourist hot spots often created through a Western lens.
Here at Trippin, we collaborate with local thought leaders and creatives across all borders and genres to create guidebooks with authentic narratives.
2. Over Saturation of Tourist Hotspots
Venice is one of the many cities that suffers from this. It has a population of only 55k yet has 30m+ visitors running through its doors annually. Such wild living standards for locals has led to tensions between themselves and tourists, compromising the very cultural exchange we should all travel for.
We aim to shine a light on lesser known destinations toff the beaten track to disperse travellers and preserve local culture.
We’re conscious that dispersing travellers is not the silver bullet. The popularity of lesser known destinations will eventually rise and run the risk of becoming oversaturated too. We need to find long term solutions for these issues.
It all starts with changing our mindset. Becoming conscious of the impact our actions have as a traveller. We all need to adopt this understanding and attitude, whether home or away.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed its the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
How can we become better travellers?
Local supply chains > local businesses.
Sometimes we misconstrue small businesses as inherently good. A seemingly great small-scale business can turn out to be massively exploitative of its workers or use child labour.
Supporting local supply chains however has major impact as they reduce intermediaries between producer and consumer. By doing so, we get access to cheaper goods, farmers are able to increase their margins and the food supply chain reduces its carbon footprint.
Research your voluntary project.
A lot of people make the assumption that volunteering is the best way to help. But, it’s not in many cases. Always consider alternatives, for example donating funds and supplies so that local people can get trained.
If you do want to volunteer then make sure you do your research – really think about what it is you’re doing and who benefits most. Alternatively, work with a reputable social-justice-oriented volunteer organisation that has done the necessary preliminary research and understands the local scene.
Try to limit the impact you have on the environment by looking for lower carbon emission flights.
Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic are committed to actively engage in and support sustainable environmental policies, as well as continue to reduce emissions from aviation.
If booking an Airbnb, make sure you’re only staying in apartments that are actually lived in.
It’s become common for people to buy property in popular tourist destinations and rent them out on Airbnb. This can have a serious negative impact as it raises property prices and drives out locals.
Hotels can be a more sustainable route of temporary accommodation because they provide locals with secure opportunities for employment. Unlike Airbnb who aren’t able to support this cause.
The same rules apply when you’re travelling and when you’re at home.
Respect, help and talk to people. Embrace your surroundings. Spend your money in ethical and sustainable businesses. Travel should be an extension of our everyday life. There is no need to change when we’re in a different geographical location.
Some projects to get involved in...
1) ‘The Home Team Project’ is run by our panelist Erin Corrian-Alexis. By providing skills like photography and product customisation, participants are able to develop their creativity and dictate narratives often skewed by foreign photographers. Message Erin on the gram to be a part of her team next Summer.
2) Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroots movement tackling plastic pollution by hosting beach and river cleans all around the UK. Check out when your next local beach clean is to get closer to a plastic free community.
3) Omprakash is an organisation that recognises that good intentions are not enough. Their EdGE programme offer great voluntary and internship opportunities abroad providing pre-departure and post-trip classes to maximise your learning.
4) VSO international offer varying voluntary programmes for 18-35 yr olds with formal training given: before, during and after your visit. These are 10-12 weeks long – perfect for your Summer break or if you have spare time to do some good.
5) The Great Green Wall is an initiative that aims to grow an 8000km new world wonder across the entire width of Africa to transform the lives of millions living on the frontline of climate change. Halfway through its 20 year project, by planting a forest from West to East, it will act as a means of regrowing crops that many will rely on to create business.
Special thanks to…
Erin, Naomi and Rob for being incredible panelists. Agnes for helping with the recap. Robyn for the photos. Old Blue Last for the beer. Jessie, Sophie and the whole team from The Hoxton for being an amazing partner on this.