One of the first environmental issues travelers think of these days is the impact of the flight.
In South Africa you can offset carbon emissions while uplifting communities at the same time, through Food and Trees for Africa. After calculating your carbon footprint via their calculator, your donation will help plant fruit and indigenous trees in schools, clinics and the backyards of impoverished areas.
Another South African responsible tourism initiative allows you to check whether the seafood item you're eyeing on the menu is endangered or not.
The South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) gives you the simple option of texting your choice to a mobile number. Within minutes, you'll have your reply. The fish may be labeled ‘green' (feel free to order), ‘orange' (in trouble, but legal to eat) or ‘red' (kindly desist).
Becoming a responsible tourist can also be a matter of choosing the right accommodation. And there are plenty of choices, as you'll find wherever you find the RT icon on this website.
Just by staying at these destinations, you can ensure minimal impact on the environment, maximum positive social spinoff, and a feel-good factor all round.
South Africa's environmental tourism initiatives have great social resonance. "Tourism is the world's largest industry. But if it isn't fair, it won't be sustainable," explains Jennifer Seif, national coordinator of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA).
"The people whose culture, land and labour are used for tourism should get their fair share of the rewards. Their knowledge, heritage and natural resources make their destination unique. Fair Trade in Tourism SA humanises responsible tourism in South Africa. A holiday in this country becomes richer, more real, more local."
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 12 342 2945 or
Tel: +27 (0) 12 342 3642
Fax: +27 (0) 12 342 2946
Heritage Environmental Management Company
Tel: +27 (0) 12 665 1028
Fax: +27 (0) 86 610 7120
Green Leaf Eco-Standard
Tel: +27 (0) 41 581 2666
Fax: +27 (0) 86 623 3808