It’s easy being green

Stunning sunset over one of the Red Sea's beach camps. Thanks to Mark Tisdale for the photograph

Stunning sunset over one of the Red Sea's beach camps. Thanks to Mark Tisdale for the photograph

Find more beautiful travel and art shots (including Egypt) at http://www.marktisdalephotography.com/

After the Revolution that changed the thoughts of many in Egypt, eco-conscious travel seems more of a possibility than ever before. While Egypt has its share of luxury eco-lodges, such as Siwa’s Adrere Armellal or Dakhla Oasis’ Al Tarfa Lodge, travelling green can be more of a mindset than budget.

Al Tarfa Desert Lodge

The luxurious Al Tarfa Desert Lodge

Immersing yourself in local culture is one of the cornerstones of sustainable travel.

Inside a Bedouin tent

Tourists enjoy legendary hospitality inside a Bedouin tent

At its core, travelling green lies in having a minimum negative impact on the environment you visit and preferably leaving behind a positive one. Here’s a few simple tips:

Choose a locally owned hotel
In Egypt, for example, as elsewhere, much of the money spent in the big international hotels vanishes out of Egypt. Until the Revolution many of the workers in big hotels were foreign residents. Staying in locally owned hotels with local staff helps support the local people.

Save energy
Leave as many of your tech toys at home as you can. If you’re staying at a hotel, unplug the appliances you’re not using.

Save water
Water is a critical commodity in Egypt, which is primarily a desert country. Take shorter showers and reuse your bath towels if possible.

A girl poses on her donkey at Saqqara

A girl fetching water poses on her donkey at Saqqara

Explore, don’t exploit
Set aside your usual lifestyle to learn about the host culture. Try local food, buy locally made handicrafts and take part in the local customs.

Women weave stunning tapestries at Wissa Wassef

Village women weave stunning tapestries at Wissa Wassef

Respect your hosts
Seek permission before photographing people. Try to learn a few words of the local dialect. Dress appropriately for local custom and conditions. If invited to a local home, follow their example: if they take off their shoes before entering a house, do the same, for example.

Inside a colourful Nubian house, Aswan

Inside a colourful Nubian house, Aswan

Save the environment
At camp sites and in all areas leave nothing behind you and, preferably leave the site cleaner than when you found it. Especially be careful of the plastics you use and how you dispose of them, including bags and water bottles; in fact, the less of them you can use the better.

Plastic rubbish at Hurghada

Hopefully plastic rubbish like this is a sight of the past in Hurghada after a plastic bag ban brought in in 2009


More information at:

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/fairtradecenter.htm
http://projectaware.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/plastic-bag-ban/

Thanks to Egypt Today for info.

Beautiful Taziry Ecolodge at Siwa

Beautiful Taziry Ecolodge at Siwa

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