Ways of Being an Ethical Traveler
Being an ethical traveler means to lessen your negative impact on issues such as human rights, animal cruelty, the environment, etc., whilst still enjoying a life of travel.
As it turns out, doing the ethical thing usually works out to be cheaper and healthier.
To research ethical companies I used EthicalConsumer.org.
Lot’s of these things apply when not traveling also.
Being an Ethical Traveler
Eat Local Food
This will give money to the local community instead of the corporations. It includes buying your fresh fruit and vegetables from the markets instead of chain supermarkets.
Be a Vegetarian
- Being a vegetarian is healthier, cheaper, and good for not killing animals or raising them in horribly cruel conditions.
- Vegan is even better, but very challenging depending on what country you’re in.
Don’t Eat Fast Food
All fast food is terrible on all levels. It is extremely unhealthy, the chains are run by big corporations (which basically destroy the world), and is (depending on where you are) more expensive to consume.
If you must get your fast food fix then I did a little research for you comparing McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and Subway. They seem to be the major chains which I see in most places in the world.
McDonald’s is the best in terms of animal cruelty. Then it’s Subway, KFC, Dominoes, and finally Burger King who seems to not care at all.
If you take into account all other issues then the list is Dominoes, Subway, Burger King, KFC, Mcdonalds.
None of them use organic ingredients.
If you’re in the UK then Gregs is the best.
Personally, if I’m going eat take-away then I pick Subway. It rates second on both lists and is healthier. My next choice would be either McDonalds or Dominoes.
Before doing this research my favorite was Subway so no change there. My second favorite was Burger King but now I’ll never eat there.
This has mostly to do with which banks you use.
- Research ethical banks in your area and switch to them.
- Use an on-line only bank and/or switch to paperless statements.
- Only invest your money in ethical corporations. This includes your superannuation/pension fund/401K, or whatever you call it in your country.
One compromise I make is to have my everyday banking with Citibank, which is one of the worst corporations in the world. Unfortunately, they are the only bank in Australia which won’t charge me fees when withdrawing cash overseas, which saves me A LOT. To try to offset it I keep my savings in a more ethical bank and only use my Citibank account for everyday transactions. I know its not ideal. When I can afford it I will swap.
- Planes are the worst. Massive pollution and owned by big corporations. Only take them if you have to.
- Public transport is better for the environment than catching a taxi.
- Riding or walking is best for the environment, is healthy activity, and you will see more.
- Don’t buy any conflict items, e.g., diamonds.
- Buy souvenirs from the locals.
- Don’t bargain too hard with the locals. It’s like Arrested Development says in their song “Mr Wendal” – “Two dollars means a snack for us but it means a great deal for you.”
What ways do you have on being an ethical traveler? Share your thoughts in the comments 😀 .