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Bonaire Travel::: Sustainable Tourism

If you enjoyed the pristine environment and friendly people of Bonaire hopefully that's how you'd like to keep it. Bonaire is a small island so the impact of the large number of tourists obviously has an affect on the milieu and local culture. Every action has a reaction so by heightening your awareness and acting responsibly it's possible to leave a positive imprint both environmentally and socially. That way our children and children's children can enjoy the same delights (or better)!

Bonaire Resources Likes:

ConchAdopt A Conch - help protect the Queen Conch by adopting and naming one of our tagged conches in Lac Bay, Bonaire.

Here are some recommendations for what you can do to help:

Volunteer:

Help: Consider volunteering some time on your trip. Spending even one day volunteering can make a difference.

STINAPA: Volunteer or partake in projects related to nature.
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire: Require extra hands for counts and tagging.
Jong Bonaire: Youth center for helping locals.
Animal Shelter: Help the orphaned animals on Bonaire.
boncommerce@telbonet.an E-mail the Chamber of Commerce for list of foundations available.








Travel:


Reduce carbon: Look for travel companies, car rentals and airlines that participate in green programs. Often they will take measures to offset their carbon footprint.

Downsize: Consider renting a bike or scooter instead of a car, especially if you aren't going to be shore diving the whole trip.

Stay:

Stay local: Choose locally owned or 'eco' lodges, hotels and B & Bs.

Change sheets less:
Use your hotel’s program to reuse sheets and towels. If they don’t have one, let house-keeping know that you do not need to replace your sheets and towels each day.

Switch off: Turn off the lights, electronics, heat, or air conditioning in your room while you are away. Use a fan instead of air conditioning if possible.

Save water: Turn off water when brushing your teeth and take shorter showers.

Shopping and Eating:

Venezuelan MarketFruit and veg: The majority of food on Bonaire is shipped in from the USA or Europe so try buying from local suppliers. The closest fruit and vegetables for sale would be from Venezuela which are available in local grocery stores and the Venezuelan market on the seafront downtown.

Monthly market: Marshe Di Rincon is a market held in Rincon, taking place every first Saturday of the month between 8am and 4pm. The market, which is held on Rincon’s main street, offers a variety of local food, drinks, a lot of friendly people, culture and much more.

Eat local: Eat in restaurants to save on packaging. Especially local places such as Rose Inn in Rincon or Miky’s Snack out by Lac Bai, two of Bonaire’s oldest eateries. Local goat stew is a non imported dish.

Drink local:
If you want local alcohol try Cadushy Liqueur. Who said sustainability wasn't fun?

Local arts and crafts: Buy your arts and crafts from locals if possible. Be sure to check because souvenirs are often made in the East but look locally crafted.

Be wary: Never purchase crafts, clothing, furniture or other products that are derived from members of protected or endangered animal species.

Waste:

Bring a bag: Bring bags with you whenever you buy anything. Everything goes to the rubbish dump so remember everything you throw away stays on the island.

Bring water bottles: Bring reusable water bottles (Bonaire's water is very pure) and minimise purchase of bottled drinks.

Bring rechargable batteries: Recycling does not exist yet in Bonaire. Pack rechargeable batteries, a battery charger (and plug adapter if necessary). Batteries are incredibly toxic. Rechargeables are best but if this is not possible, bring any used batteries back home with you for proper disposal.

Avoid packaging: Limit product packaging and bring re-usable containers for things like toiletries rather than one-time use travel size containers, which just add to waste.

Nature:

Do not disturb: When you visit a park or a place of nature do not disturb the plants or wildlife.

Don't feed: Resist the urge to feed wild animals as it can have a negative impact on their natural eco-system.

Stay on track: Straying from the trail while hiking can cause erosion and other environmentally harmful impacts.

Scuba Diving/Snorkelling:

Don't take: Do not take anything from the sea or beach e.g taking shells is against local and international laws.

Leave the sea creatures alone: Respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass animals.

Be careful with equipment: Be especially careful not to break corals with your equipment.

Support conservation: Pay the appropriate nature fee to STINAPA (required by law). This allows you into Bonaire Marine National Park and Washington Slagbaai National Park.

People:

Bonaire CarnivalBe aware: Take the time to learn what behaviour is acceptable and what isn't e.g casual dress is fine downtown but just beachwear is not.

Be respectful with camera's:
Always ask permission to take photos of people and respect their wishes if they refuse.

Learn: Take the time to learn about Bonaire. Learning about the customs and a few words in Papamiento can go a long way and is appreciated.

 


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