Updated: Dec 19, 2021
If you, like us, are on the team that cares about the impacts you generate for the environment, society, and the economy, this post was made for you.
Perhaps, you have never stopped to think about the impacts that the products and services you consume can be good or bad. This is because the production of a product or the provision of a service may or may not contribute to a fairer and more sustainable world for today and future generations.
For you to see how a few small changes and questions make a difference in our consumption, the UIKA team brought 5 tips on how to take a vacation and still contribute to the world we dream of.
1. Be open and respectful of other cultures
Go with an open mind and in active listening mode. These are the only ways you can learn something new in another culture. It's not all about what you think or believe. Deconstruct yourself! Decolonize yourself! But, respect your time and your limits, breaking preconceptions is not always easy when they happen.
Here are some tips for you to avoid making a faux pas:
- When you refer to some historical event of the black population in Brazil, do not use the term "slaves", the correct term is "enslaved", even because being a slave was an imposed condition, not a decision;
- Change the term "Indian" to "Indigenous" and if you know the ethnicity of the people, use it. Thus, you will not treat different cultures, histories, beliefs, and peoples as one;
- When referring to the period of Portuguese and Spanish navigations in Brazil, forget the term "discovered", Brazil was actually invaded, as there were already different native peoples inhabiting the territory;
- The term "tribe" no longer fits today, because it refers to primitive peoples or people who would be delayed in a supposed evolutionary line. It is correct to use the term "village" or "community" and if you know, mention the name of the ethnic group as well.
We promise that we will prepare a special post to deal with more of these terms and expressions that no longer fit these days.
2. Support local businesses
Choosing local business services and products directly contributes to the development of fairer trade and an improvement in the destination's infrastructure, by allowing money to flow in the region. Look at this example, when you buy flour, jambu cachaça, peppers, and tucupi at the fair in the city center or even in your neighborhood, you are helping this company to become more profitable. With a more profitable fair, entrepreneurs can hire more employees and consequently generate jobs for the local economy. This generates a circular economy, as local purchase becomes a direct investment in the region.
3. Choose responsible hosting
Personally, we are fans of hosting where the owners and the workforce are local and this in itself can be an amazing experience, do you know why? You know you can stay in a super cool hotel, with access to all the services that a hotel can offer, whether with that fluffy hotel bed and room service arriving at your door. Who never dreamed of this?
But, there are other accommodation possibilities that delight you with other aspects, such as being able to stay in the home of an indigenous or riverside family and experience the daily lives of these people up close, whether it's making lunch, taking care of the children, having moments of leisure and being able to talk directly with them about their stories, culture or even what it is like to have the largest forest in the world in their backyard.
Community accommodation, bed and breakfast services, or other types of accommodation around the world can also generate a positive impact during your trip, thinking of solutions that minimize the impact on the environment, whether by correctly disposing of solid waste and effluents, worrying about how to reduce energy consumption, wastewater or even the reduction of carbon production in activities carried out by the accommodation and also its neutralization. Not to mention the preparation of meals with seasonal products, which can even be produced by small local farmers. There is no lack of options for your hosting in a destination to be more responsible and you know it now.
4. Choose shareable, collective or lower carbon footprint modes of transport
The key to being more conscious when defining the means of transport that you should use during your trip is that you should opt for the less polluting alternatives. We help you understand.
When it comes to flights, opt, if you can, for direct flights, this reduces your carbon footprint and also the amount of water vapor and nitrous oxide that are released during fuel combustion at high altitudes in the atmosphere, where the impact is even greater. to chemical reactions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is estimated that the impact of aviation on climate change is two to four times greater than the effect of simply its CO2 emissions.
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint on flights is to carry light luggage, as the heavier the plane, the more fuel you will need. You might also consider overpaying to offset some of your emissions. The extra money for airlines is used on projects that absorb emissions from the atmosphere, such as planting trees.
There is still another super interesting tip, which even for us is unusual, the choice of your seat directly influences the number of gas emissions. Can you imagine why? According to a 2013 World Bank study by Heinrich Bofinger and Jon Strand, if you fly in business class or first class, you are responsible for at least three times more greenhouse gas emissions than you would "emitting " if traveling in economy class. In the economy section, there are more seats, so more passengers can be transported on the same fuel.
Okay, but what about other means of transport? Opt for shareable and collective options like van, subway, bus, and racing services in apps like Uber, Buser, 99, and Lady Driver, for example. Ahh, and talking about the Amazon, where most of our transportation takes place by waterways, you can opt for pleasure boats, small charter boats shared with other groups or travelers, and also express boats (boats for a greater capacity of passengers, with a super-powerful engine and much more comfortable). The boats are even an excellent tip for you to replace flights between Manaus, Santarém, Belém, Parintins and São Gabriel da Cachoeira.
5. For more authentic experiences
What do you mean by authentic experiences? Come here, we'll explain it to you. That business of making round-trip tours, with little depth, little shared knowledge, and little attention to valuing history, culture, gastronomy, and the local resident, is already very outdated, do you know why? Because in the past, it was believed that just looking at places and having a photographic record of it was enough. Of course, some travelers have always looked for itineraries outside of mass tourism and that allow them to experience the local lifestyle and culture. But now, that appeal is a little different.
Today, there is a concern with the impacts generated on the environment, culture, the local economy and the people who live in the region and that is why "experiences" arise, which aim to connect the traveler with what is authentic in the destination, already implementing actions that maximize the positive impact and minimize the negative.
This is where UIKA works. On this bridge between all these local actors and travelers. Developing and co-creating experience tourism and responsible tourism with traditional populations and creative economy entrepreneurs in the Amazon in favor of the forest is worth more standing.
The idea of writing this post, with more sustainable alternatives for those who are going to travel, came from a well-known phrase by Mahatma Gandhi, who already said, "be the change you want to see in the world" and the UIKA team asks you, why that it's not the change we want for the world during our travels too, isn't it?