Responsible travel through adventure
Responsible travel through adventure: the Large Minority way.
For us, it was never going to be enough to just travel the world accumulating good times and drinking mimosas (although that’s a pretty good place to start). We wanted our adventures to be more meaningful than that. To give a bit back and actually make the world a better place, especially for the local communities that live in it. Basically, we wanted responsible travel to be part of our DNA – responsible travel through adventure: the Large Minority way.
Here’s how travelling with us is good for the planet, not just your Instagram feed.
We encourage all our travelers to fundraise for their adventure challenges – to organize a mini-campaign before their trip and encourage friends, family and local businesses to get on board and chip-in a bit of cash. Thanks to online crowdfunding sites like Just Giving or Go Fundme, all you need is a few words and pics to get your message out there. And if you want to pester people on social media too, or put up flyers in your neighborhood, or host charity events and parties, so much the better. We really push our travelers to make fundraising part of their trip (we even reward the team that makes the most cash). Over the years teams have raised over USD50,000 for various charities around the world. It’s that little extra effort that makes a big difference.
2. Charitable donations
Sustainable travel means being aware of how your adventures impact local communities. Travel, when it’s done right, shouldn’t harm the places it visits, in fact the opposite is true: it’s uniquely placed to help places that need employment, commerce, industry to help kick-start local lives. We do this partly by simply visiting some out-of-the-way communities, ones that would otherwise not have access to valuable tourism income, but also by donating 10% of every challenge sold to our Meaningful Travel initiatives on the ground. We eat in local restaurants, stay in local hotels or with local families, and rely on local help wherever we can. It’s all part of being a responsible traveler.
3. Working with local communities
Since 2009, we’ve raised over USD72,000 for local community groups in both Sri Lanka and Cambodia, and we’ve got plans to expand out our operations to Peru and The Philippines too. These can be local schools, environmental initiatives or even skills-based training programs. They’re run by locals for locals, so you know none of your money is being squandered on middle-men or overseas organisations – as much of it as possible is going straight to the people that need it most. As a Large Minority traveler, you’ll get a chance to visit some of these organisations on our Lanka Challenge and Cambo Challenge. Just another way we’re injecting local travel into every trip we run.
4. Carbon offsetting
Even though our charity events in The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Cambodia take place on the back of little tuk tuks, we still factor in the carbon generated from 10-days of road tripping. All our adventures are carbon off-set by investing in various reforestation projects in the countries we visit. Some of these take place at local schools, where we organize tree-planting days and other green initiatives. Responsible travel through adventure is all about awareness, and in 2016 it’s no longer acceptable to be unaware of our impact on climate change and the environment. The good news for Large Minority travelers is that you can rest easy knowing we’ve done the hard work to make our trips sustainable (you just focus on having an excellent time).
5. Little changes
Every traveler has the ability to become more sustainable, more responsible, and it starts with a few small personal decisions. In countries like Cambodia or The Philippines, where nearly everything comes wrapped in a plastic bag, it’s as simple as packing a cloth one before your trip, and using it wherever you can. Same goes for water bottles. Invest in a good-quality canteen that you can take on all your travels – you’ll cut down on plastic bottle use dramatically. The last one is even more fundamental: only travel with companies that have solid environmental and sustainable travel policies. These days, the industry is getting much better, but it still pays to dig a little deeper and do your research. Ignore the guys who don’t think it’s their responsibility: eventually they’ll be forced to change their ways and become more responsible through adventure.