Sustainability is a big topic lately in which I’m more and more interested in but also I feel is getting more and more important for most travellers.
Through the magical app that is Instagram, I discovered Kate from Travel For Difference, who regularly shares amazing tips and educate people on how to be a little bit more sustainable in our everyday lives as well as when travelling. I actually discovered so many things myself which I didn’t think could be more sustainable!
I asked her a few questions to discover more about her as well as her passion to make a difference!
Hello, can you introduce yourself and what you are working on with your blog?
Well, I'm Kate!
I'm from Melbourne, Australia and I have been blogging for about 2 years now. I'm currently focusing a lot on sustainable and ethical travel and writing inspiring, thought provoking pieces!
I am also a firm believer in peaceful activism, so that's what a lot of my content is based around.
How did you get into travelling responsibly, ethically and sustainably?
I went on my first big trip in 2014, which was to Europe with my partner. But at that point eco-travel was not something that I really cared about.
I have travelled pretty frequently ever since then, but I only started to care about sustainability in 2016 after visiting Alaska... For the first time, I was confronted with the clear signs of climate change and from that point on, something inside me switched!
It took me a long time to realise it, but I'd say that the last 18 months is when my passion for sustainability really bloomed!
What are the causes that you care most about?
To be honest, I care about everything (haha) - I'm a pretty deep thinker and I'm constantly looking to learn about issues and how my personal actions can help to resolve them.
But environmental destruction is definitely what pulls on my heart strings the most! Seeing extreme plastic pollution in India and the effects of climate change in Alaska are the two things that forced me to change to begin with, so naturally, they are the issues that I always try my hardest to avoid.
How can travellers start to travel more ethically?
Research, research, research, research! It really is key.
The most important thing is to try your best to give back to the local communities, travel with intention, avoid unethical practices and be respectful to different cultures.
Just make sure that you always take the time to learn about how your actions can avoid doing more harm than good.
Beyond travel, what little every day actions do you value to be more sustainable?
Without a doubt, reducing your meat/dairy consumption is the easiest way to be more sustainable. But I understand that this sort of lifestyle change isn't for everyone...
For me, I just try to be a conscious consumer! I am currently aiming towards a very sustainable lifestyle (zero waste, plastic free, palm oil free, cruelty free etc). But I think the very first step is to just be more aware of your purchases and your actions.
There is a sustainable alternative to pretty much everything these days, it's just up to us to find them!
Lots of people would like to be more sustainable but don't know where to start or feel like they can't make a big change, what would you say to them?
Progress over perfection!
Don't ever expect yourself to be perfect at the click of your fingers... Sustainability is loooooooong process. I used to think that our individual impacts would make no difference in the grand scheme of things, but that's so far from true!
As they say "small acts when combined by millions of people, really can change the world"
Just try your best and don’t beat yourself up!
There is a lot of change and questions at the moment with animals and tourism, what advice would you give to people to avoid making common mistakes and not participating into animal cruelty while travelling?
This is such a good question!
I think the easiest way to avoid participating in unethical animal tourism, is to simply avoid any "tourist attraction" that has animals involved. If a company is using animals to make money from travellers, it was generally created with bad intentions.
That's not to say that there are some amazing wildlife rescue organisations that use tourism to fund their work, but it's important to do your research first! Green washing is a real thing, and sometimes "sanctuaries" aren't always kind.
In the end, the easiest and most simple way to avoid any destruction is to see animals in the wild! Go and see them in their natural habitat instead of taking the easy route at these attractions. And trust me, it's 100X most fulfilling too!
What was your favourite encounter with animals during your travels and why?
There have been SO many!
Experiencing wildlife is the base of many of my trips as I'm a big fan of wildlife photography. My trip to the Amazon Rainforest and seeing wild Orangutans in Borneo were both incredible, but Kenya is definitely the winner for me!
I travelled there during the great wildebeest migration and it was so amazing; seeing such a huge amount of different species in one place was simply beyond belief!
What is your next adventure?
I am heading to Tasmania in October, which is a part of Australia that I am yet to explore - so that is very exciting!
But after that, I'm not entirely sure where my next adventure will be! I am hoping to visit Samoa, Tonga, Lord Howe Island and the Cook Islands in the near future, but I'm just going wherever the wind takes me!