Everyone has had the tropical island fantasy at least once – who wouldn’t rather be sat on a secluded white-sand beach, with the sun shining down on you than in an office on a grey Monday morning? The good news is that this fantasy is attainable! Across the globe there are hundreds of stunning remote islands to be visited. However, tourism can put a strain on these naturally beautiful havens, and in order to maintain them here are a few things you can do when you visit;
Leave No Trace
‘Leave No Trace’ is based on seven principles, designed to promote conservation of the outdoors. The basic idea is to leave things as you found them when you arrived; avoid site alterations (digging holes, snapping branches off of trees etc), don’t leave behind litter, stick to trails where possible to avoid damaging the natural environment and respect the area’s wildlife – these are a few of the main points of the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethos, and is a great starting point for being as environmentally friendly as possible while on a remote island.
Leave the Animals Alone
While this may seem obvious, there has been an increase in recent years of tourists disrespecting animals and local wildlife – like the story of the tourists who took a baby dolphin out of the water for selfies. This is not okay! Some places have an abundance of much friendlier wildlife than we’re accustomed to, but the best rule is to leave them alone entirely, as even something as innocent as feeding the animals can be incredibly damaging to their natural routine.
“Know Before You Go” is another of the principles of the ‘Leave No Trace’ mindset, and it’s an important one. In most tourist destinations, there are animal attractions of some kind, and unfortunately many of these (including self-proclaimed sanctuaries) are less than ethical. It’s important to do your research before deciding to visit any of these places to check whether they’re truly animal friendly and ensure you’re only supporting ethical practices.
The #2MinuteBeachClean originated in the United Kingdom back in 2013/14 – the idea is that whenever you go to the beach – wherever you are – before you leave, you spend two minutes doing a quick litter pick of the beach, take whatever you find and dispose of it appropriately. It’s a simple initiative which can really make a difference to the lives of the animals who inhabit the beach and the ocean, and will also help maintain the environment for the future.
Got any other ways to be eco-friendly on a remote island? Share them with us in the comments section!