Tag Archives: Ethical

Being a Responsible Traveller: Gift Giving Abroad

As part of our commitment to responsible travel we ask that the participants of our adventures do not give gifts to the communities that they visit, or to the individuals they encounter.

We know what you’re thinking…why? What’s wrong with giving a small gift?

The act of gift giving and donating is a tricky one. It’s a universal practice not bounded by barriers of language or culture so we assume it is a great way to show our appreciation or to help someone in need. But even the most well-intended gifts or donations present some complex issues. These include donating to beggars or those living on the street, giving to children and making donations directly to the communities you may visit.

This is because gift-giving can:

  • Entice children and their families to beg when they should be receiving an education or seeking work.
  • Encourage an unreliable dependence on tourism.
  • Create tension if there is an uneven distribution of gifts within a community.
  • May cause cultural misunderstandings that all visitors give gifts.

You might think you are helping someone in need but sadly, these kind of small gifts rarely result in any significant improvement in these people’s lives. We want to make sure we are doing our best to be socially responsible – both as travellers and as global citizens.  

If you are thinking about gift giving on your adventure, consider these things first;

Consider your motives.

For what reason are you giving? Travelling to less-developed countries can be a confronting experience, especially if you haven’t travelled to regions like it before. The short amount of happiness afforded by giving a gift does not erase the potentially harmful consequences.

It’s okay to give to people who provide a service for you.

Tipping is a common practice all over the world and is an appropriate way to show your appreciation and to give back to the local community. For example, this might include gifting your unwanted clothing or trekking equipment to porters and guides. We also suggest combining tips as a group to ensure they are more evenly distributed.

Give donations directly to community leaders.

It’s more appropriate for any goods to be distributed by locals, rather than by tourists. Once again, this helps to make sure they are distributed fairly. This might be the case if local communities request resources such as pens or books for schools.

Make a donation to a reputable NGO or foundation.

The best way to responsibly donate or gift give is via a reputable source who can assist in the sustainable distribution of your donation. They will consider the broader impact of your donation in order to empower local communities in the long-run.

Discuss any concerns with your local guide.

If at any point you have concerns about giving gifts, discuss it with your local guide. They will be able to give you the advice you need to give back to the local community in the most ethical way possible.

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

Sustainable Clothing vs. Fast Fashion: Why You Should Care

Now more than ever, there is a fluorescent light being shed on the fashion industry and its thumbs-down impact it has on our beloved planet and people. While oil still remains the most polluting industry in the world, the fashion industry comes in at a close second. The reason for this comes down to two crippling words: fast fashion.

Sure, the low price points associated with fast fashion can be tempting for any consumer, but the overall price of fast fashion is wreaking havoc on our world, in more ways than one.


According to a recent study conducted by Greenpeace, around 400 billion square meters of textiles are produced every year, of which 60 billion meters are left as waste on the cutting room floor.  80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide, and 3 out of 4 of those pieces will end up in landfill or be incarcerated. Unfortunately, only one quarter will be recycled.

Water Consumption and Pollution

Water scarcity affects more than one billion people on a global scale and every drop of water should be precious. Disturbingly, just one pair of jeans requires 7,000 litres of water to produce, and 2 billion pairs are being manufactured every year.

A whopping 2,700 litres of water is used to make just one t-shirt… that’s the amount of water one average human will consume over 900 days!

And what about water pollution? Beyond a garment’s vibrant print, statement embellishments and glistening finish lies countless toxic chemicals. After agriculture, textile dyeing is the world’s second biggest polluter of clean water. 1.7 million tonnes of mixed chemicals are used in garment production – most notably, dangerous chemicals like PFCs, leaving a detrimental and lasting impact on our environment.

The People

A 2016 Oxfam report revealed more than 60 million people work in the garment industry to churn out cheap, replicated clothing. More than 15 million of those people are based in Asia and over 80% are female, underage and from poorer, rural regions. They work unbearably long hours and earn as little as 39 cents an hour to produce garments sold to fast fashion giants, for mere cents apiece. Their less-than-fair wages do not even cover basic living costs, like food and accommodation.

How You Can Help

The inconvenient truths about fast fashion, our endangered planet and unethical industry practices have finally emerged from under the rug, and are gaining media attention and becoming topics of conversation around the world.

New, informed and sustainable fashion labels are emerging every day and ethical fashion is starting to thrive. Pre-existing brands are joining the sustainable wagon to reduce their carbon footprint and improve social conditions, and more people are donating their clothing.

There are simple steps you can also take to help make a positive change to the fashion industry. If more people boycott fast fashion, there will be less of a market for it.

  • Invest in environmentally friendly materials. Learn more here.
  • Download Good on You – a conscious shopping app providing ratings on fashion brands based on their ethical, environmental and social impact.
  • Support ECA-accredited brands and encourage other brands to get accredited.
  • Shop at op shops and markets – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure after all.
  • Recycle, repurpose and buy garments on buy/swap/sell websites and on Etsy.
  • Learn to DIY or turn your old clothes into something new by altering them.
  • Shop sustainable brands! Well Made Clothes is a great online marketplace for local, sustainable and fair trade brands.

*The facts and statistics in this article were sourced from Greenpeace, Oxfam and Solidarity Center.

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Delicious Cruelty Free Recipes

Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian, or just trying to limit your meat intake, you’re in for a culinary treat because we’ve rounded up some of our favourite recipes that are tasty, easy to make and get the cruelty free tick of V.

But before you prep your utensils, remember that one of the many perks of vegan cooking is experimentation. While these recipes are delicious as they are, they are also great for customising to suit your tastebuds.

Happy cooking!

Pan-Fried Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Ingredients (Serves 2 burgers)
2 x Portobello Mushrooms
2 x Soft and fluffy vegan hamburger buns
1 x Tomato, sliced
1 x Head of butter lettuce
1x Avocado, sliced
¼ Olive oil
Yumi Hummus Topper in Basil Pine Nut
Pinch of salt and pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet or fry pan on medium-high heat for one minute
2. Trim the stalks from the Portobello mushrooms and place them on the pan, gill side up first and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly brown
3. Spread Yumis Hummus Topper on lightly toasted hamburger buns
4. Add Portobello mushrooms, avocado, sliced tomato and lettuce
5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and enjoy!

*Optional: Swap the avocado for your choice of tasty vegan cheese (add combine both!)

Quick and easy to make – and definitely not lacklustre in taste, these mushroom burgers are the perfect fix for the aftermath of a busy and tiresome day. The dense and juicy textures of the Portobello mushrooms are an excellent substitute for meat patties, not to mention they’re a healthy addition to your plate. Serve with a light salad or some homemade sweet potato fries.

Ginger and Garlic Tofu Stir-fry

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 Cup of brown rice/or quinoa
500g Firm organic tofu, cubed
1 x Brown onion, chopped
1 x Red Capsicum, chopped
1 x Head of broccoli
2 x Large carrots, sliced
200g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 x Cups of snap peas
2 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
4 x garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp. water
4 tsp. pure sesame oil
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Salt and pepper
Sesame seeds and coriander to garnish

1. Prepare rice or quinoa according to packet directions
2. Heat 2 tsp. of sesame oil in a pan for one minute, add cubed tofu and panfry until crispy
2. Combine coconut oil, sesame oil, water, fresh ginger and garlic in a bowl and mix well
3. In a separate pan on a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil – add carrots, capsicum, snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms and onions and stir until lightly cooked
4. Add tofu and marinade to vegetables and stir fry for a further 1-3 minutes or until cooked – season with salt and pepper
5. Plate up a serving of rice, add stir-fry and garnish with sesame seeds and coriander

Healthy, filling and delicious, this stir-fry is the ultimate no fuss, quick and easy midweek dinner recipe. With the addition of ginger aka the wonderful spicy root vegetable, your tastebuds will experience a nice little buzz and your metabolism will experience a nice little boost.

Vegie Tofu Skewers

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 x cup of button mushrooms, halved
1 x red capsicum, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces
1 x zucchini, trimmed and cut into 2sm pieces
1 x 400g firm tofu, chopped into 2cm pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 x Pack of bamboo skewers

1. Combine spices with a pinch of salt in a bowl.
2. Preheat grill to medium heat
3. Coat vegetables and tofu with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and mixed spices in a large bowl
4. Once coated, thread onto skewers evenly
5. Cook skewers on the grill for 2-5 minutes each side or until tofu is crispy and vegetables are cooked through. Lightly season with salt and pepper

Perfect for any occasion, these crowd-pleasers are quick and easy to prepare and guarantee minimal mess (and effort!). Serve them as an entrée, at a BBQ or as a main with some steamed rice.

Serve up swiftly; they’re normally the first item on the menu to go!

Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients (Serves 2)
4 x Ripe Bananas, sliced
3 x Tablespoons of smooth peanut butter

1. Slice bananas into 2cm discs and place them on a tray. Freeze them for 1-2 hours
2. Once nicely frozen, place bananas in a food processor (or a blender will do!) and puree until mixture is smooth and lump-free. Add the peanut butter to mixture and stir well
3. Scoop and serve immediately or pop the ice cream back in the freezer for a further 1-2 hours for a harder consistency

Because who doesn’t love ice cream? This recipe is tried and true and only requires two ingredients! Plus, it’s a great way to use up those overly ripe bananas chilling in your fruit bowl.

Organic Bliss Balls

Ingredients (Makes 10-12 balls)
14 x organic dates
1 x cup of organic almond meal
1/2 cup of shredded coconut, plus extra for presentation
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
1/3 cup of organic cacao powder
1 ½ tablespoons of organic chia seeds

1. Place dates in a generous sized bowl and cover them with water. Let the dates stand for one hour, then drain and remove the seeds.
2. Add dates, almond meal, coconut oil, cacao powder, chia seeds and shredded coconut to a food processor, and blend until nicely combined.
3. Transfer bliss ball mixture to a bowl and leave to stand for 30 minutes while chia seeds soften.
4. Place extra shredded coconut in a bowl. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into round balls and then roll them lightly in the shredded coconut until coated.
5. DIG IN!

*Optional: You can also freeze your bliss balls for longer storage and enjoy them either frozen or at room temperature.

The perfect afternoon treat, and a deliciously healthy alternative to that pack of Oreos you’ve been devouring during the 3pm snack attack. The best part? They’re super easy to make (and digest) and require zero cooking! So if you’re a busy bee with little-to-no spare time on your hands, this recipe is probably going to become your best friend.

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Beautiful, Sustainable Mother’s Day Gifts

Ah, Mother’s Day. What a lovely chance to show your mum how much you appreciate her. And while you can surely send a bouquet with a card, we’ve got a few ideas below for something a little more sustainable, and, we think, exciting. Read on!

Dumbo Feather's Mother's Day Box

Dumbo Feather are one of our fellow BCorps producing a great quarterly magazine and an online community highlighting inspiring human stories. They’ve done us all a favour by packaging up some of their favourite BCorp certified gifts into this lovely Mother’s Day box.

A reusable coffee cup

Mum loves a good cuppa does she? A reusable coffee cup could be the perfect gift. There are now many companies selling beautiful, customisable cups to choose from. We love our B Corp friends KeepCup who have a special edition keep cup + Kester Black* nail polish set (pictured). You could also check out, Joco or frank green.

*Kester Black are an Aussie BCorp making high quality, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free cosmetics. They’re great!

thankyou's Mother's Day pack

Thankyou. – The Melbourne-based company funding water and sanitation products through their product sales – have a beautiful selection of gift sets to pamper your number one lady. Plus shipping is free!

Send a succulent or a herb pot

If you want something that lasts a bit longer, you can send succulents or even a pot of herbs which are beautiful and useful! Growing Gifts have a great range of both and delivery Australia-wide.  Left it a bit late? Little Succers deliver Sydney wide same-day for orders placed before 11AM.

Your time!

The most sustainable gift of all will require no raw materials, no production, no shipping, and no packaging. Give your time! If you live near enough to your mother to meet up with her, why not take her for a walk and pack a picnic, catch a movie together, attend a class or workshop, teach her your favourite craft or have her teach you hers?

If your mum lives far away, why not handmake a card to send her? You could write all the things she’s taught you and that you appreciate about her, or give her a heartfelt call and do the same. Remember, it’s about showing your mother how much she means to you, which has no price tag.


4 Ethical ways to see animals when travelling

There are plenty of no-go’s when it comes to animal tourism, like elephant riding or tiger selfies. These practices have been condemned by animal welfare groups and the general population, due to the cruel nature of animals kept in captivity. While tourism can have a negative impact on animals, at Inspired Adventures, we believe in respecting the welfare of all animals. We seek to ensure any encounter with wildlife on our adventures upholds the values in our Animal Protection Policy.

We’ve created this list of four ways to see animals in the wild without causing them harm, so that you can still show your love and respect for animals while travelling.

1. Whale and dolphin watching

These popular tours can bring you up close and personal with two of the ocean’s most majestic and intriguing animals. The key to a great whale or dolphin watching experience is finding a responsible tour operator. An ethical tour operator will always favour education over sensation, and will share their knowledge with you, giving you a detailed talk before and during the experience. These highly intelligent animals will also be watching you at the same time, which is why it’s important to keep a distance away so as not to encroach on their territory.


2. Big Five Safaris

Safaris are a great way to see animals in the wild while supporting the local communities, who often run them. Some safaris will join with conservation charities to educate their workers as well as the tourists who choose to come along. By choosing a safari with ethical credentials you can support animal welfare projects designed to aid the conservation of some of the endangered animals.

3. Orangutan watching in Gunung Leuser National Park

Gunung Leuser National Park is home some of Asia’s most impressive mammals, including the orangutan, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros and vast birdlife. It is known for its fascinating orangutan tour. While sightings are not guaranteed, the feeding platform gives you a good chance to see these inquisitive primates up close.

4. Penguin watching

On Victoria’s Phillip Island, you can see the world’s smallest penguins in their natural habitats from the viewing stands and boardwalks, as they emerge from the water into their homes in the sand dunes. If you live in Sydney, Manly is one of the best places for penguin watching. Between July and February, the Fairy Penguins come to nest by the Manly Wharf. The penguin population in Manly is smaller than the one on Phillip Island, so it’s not always possible to see them in their natural habitat. If you do see a little penguin, avoid flash photography as it disorientates them.

If you’re still unsure about seeing animals while travelling, ask yourself:

  • Does the animal have food and water?
  • Does the animal have shelter?
  • Is the animal in pain or distress?
  • Is the animal behaving naturally?
  • Is the animal living in its natural habitat?

You can read more about how to see animals while travelling, or even join an animal-friendly Inspired Adventure to help support your favourite animal charity.


How To Have an Eggcellent and Ethical Easter

Everyone’s favourite holiday is fast approaching, and while Easter is a time to spend with family, it’s also a pretty indulgent excuse to eat a lot of chocolate! We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but the majority of those shiny sweets may be impacting a lot more than your blood sugar levels.

So before the hunt begins, we’ve rounded up a few helpful tips you can pass onto the Easter Bunny this year.

Hand out (or hide) fair trade eggs

Shopping during Easter is an especially tempting time. Supermarket aisles are filled with brightly wrapped chocolate eggs, bunnies and hampers – all just waiting to be gobbled up. But sadly, a dark side lies beneath the animated shelves. According to the Food Empowerment Project, around 70% of cocoa beans come from West Africa, where children, many between the ages of 12-16 – and some as young as 5 years, old are taken from their families to work as labourers in cocoa harvesting.

This is unjust and we can help make a difference by purchasing  chocolate that is free from the use of forced child and trafficked labour. It can be tricky to navigate the various labels and certifications, but we’ve found the Found Empowerment Project chocolate list to be comprehensive.

Opt for palm oil free Easter eggs

It’s always a good idea that the Easter Bunny is mindful of what ingredients are being used in their delicious handpicked treats. Unfortunately, a lot of hot cross buns and chocolate eggs sold across Australia contain palm oil (some traceable and some not). Palm oil growth is sadly one of the main causes of deforestation, negatively impacting the habitats of endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran and Bornean orangutan, Bornean pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and the Malayan sun bear.

To help save these endangered species and preserve their natural habits, try to source your eggs (and food) from manufacturers who are palm oil free.

Try dairy-free chocolate and baked goods

Did you know that going dairy-free is not only beneficial to your own health, it is also beneficial to the environment? The dairy industry puts great strain on our beloved earth, as it is both land and water intensive, producing a huge amount of waste product such as methane and excrement.

Also, unbeknownst to many dairy consumers, approximately 700,000 dairy calves, also known as ‘bobby calves’, are slaughtered every year in Australia. They are purposely born so that their mothers keep producing milk. Sadly, it is standard industry practice for these calves to be taken from their grieving mothers and slaughtered before they reach a week old.

Going dairy-free means you are giving these beautiful animals a better quality of life and reducing your carbon footprint.

Make your own ethical Easter basket

This is a great chance for you to not only show off your creative flair but also kick start your sustainable, ethical Easter tradition!

You can use a traditional wicker basket or a DIY Easter box. Fill it with a handpicked selection of ethically sourced Easter eggs, bunnies and bilbies. If your basket is for kids, why not add some plush organic toys and decorative straw. For adults, turn it into a pamper hamper by adding certified organic candles and body care products.

Our office Easter Bunny will sourcing delicious eggs from the following producers and suppliers:

With a holiday vibe on the mind, why not check out the upcoming challenges on our 2018 calendar and find your next adventure!