With one billion international tourists now travelling the world each year, it’s becoming increasingly important to think about the enormous impact that results from such a large number of adventurous folk traversing the planet. And while you probably always plan to be a regular part of the travelling masses, you can actually do so with little negative impact on the societies and environments that you visit. With 20,000 social enterprises operating within Australia, equating for an estimated 2-3% of overall GDP, there are so many ethical businesses operating within our community already, it’s merely a matter of including them in your itinerary.
Here are a number of organisations in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast that will ensure that your travels are as enriching for the community as they are for your own intrepid life:
Socially responsible Sydney
Supporting and discovering diverse areas in a community is a great way to learn about local cultures, foods, and meet an interesting variety of people (and that’s why we travel, right?!). So why not discover Sydney’s multicultural heart while exploring world cuisines as varied as Arabic, Laos, South American or Fijian-Indian by jumping on a gastronomic adventure with Taste Tours.
If you’re feeling peckish, but would prefer to stay closer to the city, head to Sydney’s bohemian inner west suburb of Newtown and chow down at Lentil As Anything restaurant, which is run by volunteers as well as the long-term unemployed and marginalised people – it’s also based on trust so you pay for your meal what you think it’s worth.
While in the neighbourhood, head to The Social Outfit who provide education, training and employment opportunities for refugee and new migrant communities and sell clothes designed by prominent Australian fashion labels.
Then when visiting nearby Redfern, drop into the Martian Embassy for some hilarious gifts like a Flying Saucer Repair Kit or Emergency Space Food. All proceeds go to the Sydney Story Factory, a creative writing centre for disadvantaged young people.
If farmer’s markets are your thing, when visiting the popular SMH Grower’s Market or Eveleigh Farmer’s Market, be sure to pick up a loaf or two from The Bread and Butter Project, whose entire profits go towards baker training and employment pathways for communities in need.
Or at Surry Hills Markets, be sure to pop to the Devonshire Tea Community Café, where you’ll be helping fund the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre. Contributing to the above initiatives will help you sleep well at night, as will staying at the Y Hotel Hyde Park Sydney, which helps to fund crucial programs for Australian women and girls.