There’s a big difference between exploring a place and exploiting it. That’s why Geckos travelers always tread lightly, no matter how wild, weird or wonderful the path.
We do this by employing local guides and staying in locally owned places, meaning the money we spend and skills we employ stay in the communities we visit. We also offset the main carbon emissions created by your trip by investing in carbon credits from environmental projects that have an added community benefit.
Basically, we see sustainable travel as traveling with a conscience. Or as someone really wise probably said: ‘he who runneth wild, acteth not like a jerk’.
Simple ways you can help
- Eat local food and buy local goods – locally produced food and goods reduce the environmental footprint consumed through production and transport, plus there’s a fair chance it is going to taste better than something that has come from the other side of the globe.
- Say no to plastic – when exploring those local markets take your own bag and say no thanks to plastic.
- Water bottles – Bring your own bottle and refill where possible. For every 1 litre of water sold, 3 litres of water is used. Gecko’s is working with TAP to try and reduce the harmful impact of disposable plastic water bottles on our environment. If you want to go that extra mile bring a water purifying device such as a Steri-PEN. By not having to purchase water 5 times a day, you can spend the money on more important things (like fried silk worms).
- Recycling – Its simple reduce, reuse, recycle and use the appropriate waste disposal.
Top tips for travelling:
- A couple of words and phrases in the local language could be the only thing separating you and that amazing story. You don't need to be fluent, just a couple of the key things.
- Dress respectfully and be aware of local standards, particularly at religious sites.
- It's not often someone puts a camera in your face on your way to work - always ask before taking photos of people.
- Smile, it makes everything better.
Small change for big change
When you book an adventure on our website, you now have the option to donate 1% of your trip cost to our not-for-profit partners at The Intrepid Foundation. That 1% may be small change to us, but it can mean some pretty big change to others around the world. So why not consider giving back next time you run wild?
The Intrepid Foundation
Responsible travel is a big reason we do the things we do. It’s why, way back in 2002, we set up The Intrepid Foundation, Geckos not-for-profit organisation. Its purpose was pretty simple: to empower travellers to make a difference and to help communities in the places we visit. Since it began, we’ve raised over AUD$5m for 53 grassroots projects in 25 countries around the world, covering 100% of the administrative costs and doubling your donation, dollar for dollar*. Adventure may be what we do; this is the why.
*Up to $1,000 per donor and a total of AUD$400,000 per financial year, excluding emergency appeals.
Some of the projects Geckos and our travellers support:
Pollinate Energy is improving the lives of India’s urban poor by giving them access to sustainable products that make their lives better. They find local people who are passionate about helping slum communities in their area – their Pollinators – and train them to provide affordable clean energy products like solar lights and chargers to those who need them most.
Kusimayo, a Quechua phrase meaning ‘happy river’, improves the living conditions of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in one of Peru’s poorest regions: the high plains of Puno. They provide nutritious breakfasts, educational tools, materials for local pre-schools and old age homes and distribute warm clothing for families in need. Kusimayo also helps local farmers improve the volume and quality of food they produce to help feed their own families and generate sustainable sources of income.
With over 20 years’ experience working in Tanzania, Education East Africa and it’s Tanzanian branch, Village Education Project Kilimanjaro, provide training to primary school teachers in English and Mathematics through their Whole School Development Programme (WSDP). A single well-trained teacher can help lift hundreds of children out of poverty and it is for this reason that the WSDP is its largest focus. Village Education Project Kilimanjaro create and deliver training, books and materials for teachers and pupils. This work is transforming primary education in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. The Intrepid Foundation has recently funded the development of specialised teachers’ books in Mathematics to be printed in Swahili.