Travelling is fun and awe inspiring! What more, it leaves more impact — social, economical, cultural and environmental — than you think. This year, make it your resolution to become a sustainable traveller and make a difference to the place and community you’re visiting. Here are some tips to get your started:
- Minimize your carbon footprint by traveling light. The heavier the plane, the more fuel it consumes and the more CO2 it emits.
- Walk as much as you can instead of drive. This gives you the chance to explore the hidden nooks and crannies of Sabah, maximizing your experience to the fullest!
- Check out green/eco friendly accommodations such as the Award Winning Gayana Eco Resort and Bunga Raya Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu, as well as the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort in Sandakan.
- Staying longer? Opt to take part in the local homestay programme. Not only will you be able to experience the rich cultural heritage of Sabah more closely, you’ll also be able to save up a lot of money on accommodation. At the same time, you’ll be benefiting the local economy too.
- Carefully pick and choose your souvenirs. Be wary against buying souvenirs made from endangered species, look for souvenir shops, such as Kadaiku, that offers attractive eco friendly souvenirs for you to bring home.
- Practice eco friendliness even in your hotel room. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and soaping in the shower. Unplug your electrical gadgets and turn everything off when you leave your hotel room.
- Take advantage of your vacation in Sabah and enjoy the Sabahan breeze. Switch off the air conditioning when it’s not too hot. Otherwise, turn your air conditioner to the lowest speed and adjust the thermostat to 27-28 degrees.
- Plan enough time during your travels so you can opt to fly as little as possible from one place to another.
- If you’re a big literature fan, save the trees by picking up secondhand books. They’re not only cheaper; sometimes they also carry little souvenirs from the previous owners.
- Skip plastic bags and carry a fabric eco bag instead when you go shopping.
- Support the local economy by buying food produce from local farmers and eating at local food restaurants or kopitiams.
- Choose to use biodegradable toiletries such as the Sabah Handmade Soap, which is available in many souvenir shops. It also doubles as a facial cleanser.
- Recycle as much as possible. Bring lightweight clothes that you can wash and dry quickly. Invest in the multipurpose sarong for everyday wear, which is perfect for the balmy Sabahan climate. You can get sarongs with a various fetching batik designs at the Gaya Street Sunday market.
- Reduce your consumption of meat and seafood —which gives you an excuse to savour Sabah’s fresh delectable fruits and veggies!
- Sign up for nature interpretation programmes such as our Nature Exploration & Jungle Skills tour. Participating in nature interpretation programmes will not only bring you closer to nature, you’ll also contribute to the livelihood of the local villagers.
- Take no personal souvenirs—seashells, plants, etc. even dead ones—and leave nothing but your footprints behind.
- In the wild, refrain from disturbing the wildlife and plants. Admire with your eyes only.
- Invest in a water container to reduce the use of plastic water bottles.
- Don’t feed the animals and fishes in the wild. This will change their natural behavior.
- Make a point to always eat sensibly—waste not, want not.
- Instead of renting a car or motorbike, choose to travel on public transportation or take an Uber/Grab ride to reach your destination.
- Join environmental programmes such as HABITAT replanting in Kinabatangan, the Sponsor a Tree Campaign and mangrove replanting in KK Wetland Centre.
- Shark fins soup may be popular, but they’re also pushing sharks closer to extinction. Be aware of what you eat! Other than sharks, all marine lives in general too are now facing the threat of over-fishing. Choose to be a responsible consumer.
- Say no to exotic delicacies and turtle eggs! Some of these so-called delicacies are endangered species that are hunted illegally. Sadly, due to the lack of awareness, illegal hunting and turtle egg collection are still rampant in Sabah. However, you can make a difference by not buying. Remember, when the buying stops, the selling can too.
You may also like: