As we mentioned in the “About Us” page, our main responsibilities are to our clients and to the environment. There is much talk these days of “responsible tourism” but what exactly does that mean? Probably different things to different people. For example is it “responsible” to fly to the four corners of the earth to go on a bike ride? Well, at Go Active Tours we try to address some of those paradoxes. We believe it is down to individual conscience. If you feel you want to reduce your carbon footprint or your impact on local resources we can make suggestions as to how you can do this.
Of course walking, trekking and hiking are probably the most eco-friendly methods of getting from place-to-place. Next comes cycling. We certainly encourage all these methods on our trips. When we do use vehicles we try to keep usage and fuel consumption to a minimum. Many tours include boat trips and some public transport rather than private vehicle hire.
Air travel is always a conundrum but airlines are gradually developing ways of improving fuel consumption but there is no getting away from the fact that air travel is a big polluter of our planet. Planting trees to offset the carbon footprint is one way of trying to offset the impact.
When travelling alone or in groups we ask that you respect the environment by disposing of waste thoughtfully and carefully. Filling a water bottle regularly is better than purchasing a fresh bottle every time. In some countries water is a valuable commodity, so please don’t waste it and follow any local directives. Sometimes water can be used for more than one function.
Buying local fruit and snacks (provided they are from a reputable source and prepared properly) is better than carrying packaged foods. This also helps to support the local economy and is of course much more fun!
Another option is to travel light and purchase some items of clothing and toiletries locally upon arrival, and we encourage our customers to do so. This can not only help to reduce travel costs and impact but helps local traders and communities. It gives a feeling of sharing and belonging and can provide practical and lasting souvenirs!
As part of our company strategy we make a donation from the money you pay us to support local projects and charities. This is done through Ian’s own charity “The Forrester Foundation”. This has helped protect the Cape Leopard from trapping and shooting. It has helped supply warm clothing to babies and children in African Townships and in Eastern Europe. It is currently helping support the Human-Elephant Conflict programme in Sri Lanka. Our tour organisers and team leaders often work in conjunction with local groups and charitable organisations and if you would like to know more or perhaps become involved do please enquire. We also offer several volunteer programmes and if you feel you would like to participate then once again, do please ask us.
We are not perfect and we certainly aren’t fanatics. However, wherever and whenever possible we try to give back to the local community and environment as well as take.