Imagine yourself waking up in Peru, immediately after opening your eyes you start seeing new things, your ears hear new languages and unique sounds of nature, the feeling is indescribable, especially when tasting the delicious food –that in this country is the main motif of pride of its people, but it has been served on a disposable plate, with plastic cutlery, accompanied by a golden bright Inca Kola in its perfectly clear PET bottle with a straw. A complete downer!
The moment the planet is facing requires us to be fully conscious on a daily base, from dusk to dawn, and especially when we travel, of our footprint, that is no other thing than the repercussion of our actions, direct or indirect because either of them affects our environment.
The latter might sound a little terrifying, but on the contrary, every action is a new possibility to make things right. The way in which modern life has been developing has distanced us from our natural surrounding, and away from the source of everything we take for granted: like the water we drink, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear and the food we eat.
At this moment there are more people living in cities than out in the country and that is not necessarily good. In short, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, and we have acidified the ocean with our daily carbon dioxide production. In few years most (if not all) tropical glaciers will disappear. We have never had a carbon dioxide spike like the one happening now, and we have never had such a rapid and massive extinction like the one we are causing due to our way of living (and consider the fact that in the history of Earth we have been present only for a minuscule span of time)… the list goes on but that is not the purpose of this note.
It is time for being optimistic, for acknowledging that little actions can make a difference. That every trip is an opportunity to take far –or close a message, to learn something new and to meet realities.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
― Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach
Xena Radnor is a US citizen that came to Peru by instinct. In short time and while she was getting further in the country, she was more impacted by seeing how the garbage was –instead of water, the one that overfilled a river in the Iquitos vicinity –a predilect destination among visitors to the Peruvian jungle.
She couldn’t go back to her country before trying to do something about it, so she started to pick up the trash by her own means and soon sparked the interest of the community. In 11 days they filled up 7 thousand trash bags. And there are still many thousands more waiting to be collected.
Start with one thing – find your thing
Peru ratified its commitment with the United Nations of leading the country towards a new development model to mitigate the climate change. Yes, call it as you wish and blame who you want but the planet is experiencing drastic changes and humanity must act. However, even when all the efforts might look insufficient, ineffective or simple political maneuvers –maybe yes, maybe not, the only changes that will really take effect are the ones made by the individuals, and these changes are the ones that have to be supported by governmental enforcement.
When governments invest in renewables they can transform their economies.
Vote for green candidates. Mobilize political will for a meaningful global agreement.
Put a price on carbon
So, there are many big things (and small ones) you can do on a trip and you will see how good it feels.
Your RESPONS’ travel specialist will provide you assistance in these matters, giving you alternatives, tips and suggestions to experience Peru in the most sustainable way possible.
NOW is the time
Use renewable, clean energy.
Go electric – go solar
Reduce air pollution
Victor Zambrano manages a lodge in Tambopata –that is also his house in the middle of the jungle. But that jungle wasn’t there 30 years ago. What you see today is the result of the work of one single man that planted more than 19 thousand trees of 120 species along 34 hectares.
To visit K’erenda Homet is to contribute to the cause, but not just that, as your stay will be simply great by the fact of being surrounded by the Amazon jungle. The name Kerenda comes after Don Víctor’s daughter, clearly a vision to the future.
Let’s plant the seeds for the future
It’s time to lead. Invest in green growth
At Tingana’s forest, in San Martin, you will meet Juan. Without a doubt he will show you the beauty of the wildlife around, after that experience, neither a zoo nor a selfie with captive wild animals will be better. The touristic association that has been formed in this place is the result of a change of consciousness of its own commoners.
Juan remembers: “I was a predator until February 12, 1999. That day I went out to the bush as always, like every day, and I stumbled face to face to a jaguar. Have you ever seen a jaguar? It was the last animal I hunt in my life. That day I changed my way of thinking.”
If we stop buying endangered animal products, sellers will stop supplying them. Ban endangered wildlife products.
In the next 100 years we could lose 50% of all species on Earth
You can follow international celebrities like DiCaprio or Schwarzenegger, or political figures like Al Gore or Ban Ki-moon but there are also local heroes that might need your help. If you want to hear other names you can start with Kerstin Forsberg, a Peruvian researcher and marine life conservationist that promotes ecotourism in Piura facilitated by fishermen; Tatiana Espinoza, who manages a forest concession with aims of protection, research, education and tourism in Tambopata; or the Rimarachín family with Leyla, their most visible member, that not only protect their own property, nested in the cloud forests of Amazonas, but also receive any visitor with arms wide open.
We are all dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
So, what do we do through you -our customers? (as finally are you the ones that take the last decision).
Here are some of our actions:
- We try to sell the least number of domestic flights for short distances when good ground transportation is available.
- We always suggest lodging at homestays, as our main goal is to aid the communal development (Colca, Titicaca, Machu Picchu are just a few among the MANY others) and given the fact we know them well, we will always be able to find an option that fit your requirements.
- When it is about hotels, we always choose the ones with good sustainable practices.
- There are certain popular activities that are NOT responsible that we try to minimize or to completely ban at all. You might have heard about the buggy tours around Huacachina (and the Huacachina destination in general). Or about certain “wildlife sanctuaries” that are certainly not that. Or taking a picture with some kind of wild animal.
These are only some of the actions we take to make a contribution, but we are always thinking about finding new and better ways of making a more significant impact. Moreover, we are always willing to hear from you respect any comments or suggestions.
This reminds us of the excellent tips from the Arctic Tern. A fun note to end this text.
The “have a good trip” expression never made so much sense!
The RESPONS team.