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Focus: Doing your bit on holiday: 10 easy tips

5 - Choose your souvenirs with a conscience

Doing your bit on holiday: 10 easy tips © Copyright

It's oh so tempting to bring back souvenirs from your time abroad without even asking yourself where they come from or how they were made. We all know that souvenirs made from ivory can make for beautiful decorative gifts. Luckily though, for many years now there has no longer been a debate about the horrors created amongst the elephant and rhino populations of Africa and Asia due to their hunting and killing. Other species are still in danger however, particularly those hunted for their leather to create clothing and accessories. Stopping, thinking and asking some questions about souvenirs before you buy can help you avoid the pitfalls so easily fallen into. On the beach and in the sea, we now know the importance of coral and just how fragile it can be. Even shells, especially beautiful ones, can become endangered due to their overselling. On the water's edge, shells, overtime, get crushed and crumble so as to reflect the sun's rays and sparkle. One such place is the island of Chrysi opposite Ierapetra to the south of Crete. Collecting shells and sand from the beach can hinder nature's work and stop it from remaining intact. Of course picking up a few shells seems like nothing, but with mass tourism on the rise, this could mean severe consequences for the ecosystems of the places we visit on holiday.

What to do with waste? Buy local