Responsible Travel, is about making meaningful travel choices. Where your journeys are unforgettable, while at the same time ensuring maximum gains for the culture, environment, and economy of places you visit.
Before booking your travel, hotel, homestay, or guesthouse in Spiti (or anywhere else), ask in what ways they contribute to the local economy or area and how they minimise their impact, especially on the environment. The best way to make businesses care is to demand it as their potential customers. Most responsible travel organisations will have detailed descriptions of their activities on their website, or as narrative on their social media handles.
Once you’ve narrowed your place of stay or choise of travel operator, prepare for your travels with the help of a few essential guidelines:
Learn about your destination’s culture and practices. Go with an open mind and be respectful and sensitive to diverse traditions.
Respect the sanctity of holy and historical sites.
What you wear has an impact – environmentally and culturally – dress ethically and appropriately.
Be sensitive to the local culture and refrain from loud behaviour and physical intimacy in public places.
Kindly seek permission before photographing people. In Spiti and most mountain states, photography inside monasteries is strictly prohibited.
Refrain from doling out gifts to children on the streets, as it creates a habit of begging in them.
Ensure that you do not deplete the destinations visited by you of their cultural and natural heritage. In Spiti, please refrain from picking/buying fossils and other ancient/cultural artefacts.
Packing your bag for the journey is an easy task, spend an extra ounce of effort on ensuring that it is filled with stuff that does not harm the environment of the placeyou are visiting. Carry as little plastic wrappers as possible.
Use renewable energy for your needs as much as possible (i.e – solar powered chargers as opposed to batteries). Promote people and places that userenewable energy such as solar lights, solar cookers, etc. This will encourage locals to use more renewable energy products.
Support the local economy, buy local, as much as possible. Buy locally-made goods and dine at local establishments. Stay at homestays, use local taxis, local tour operators and local guides.
Carry a reusable water bottle for your travels and refill it with filtered water. Buy 1 good bottle and refrain from buying numerous plastic mineral water bottles.
Try to minimize your carbon footprint by opting for environment-friendly options wherever available.
In Spiti, water is a scarce resource so please use it frugally
Carry a garbage bag with you in your car or in your bag. Collect your non- biodegrable waste in that and please do not litter the mountain sides. Do not leave behind any non-biodegradable waste, especially toxic wastesuch as batteries.
Do not pluck any medicinal plants, flowers and do not disturb the wildlife
While camping ensure that you use existing campsites and leave it better than you found it.
Keep all pollutants away from rivers, streams and other water bodies.
We’re local and passionate about all things Spiti! At the centre of all our programs is the preservation of Spitian culture and empowerment of the local communities. Some of the ways in which we do this are:
Unique cultural experiences
Creating markets for indigenous crops, herbs, and dairy products
Training sessions for youth/adults on being guides and naturalists
Special programs linked directly to local livelihoods and the conservation of wildlife
Special programs linked directly to conserving age-old Spitian traditions – medicine, art, dance, song
Climate positive trips & programs
Ecosphere’s programs are climate positive. This means that all the carbon you emit on your trip to Spiti + more is offset by our award-winning solar projects. This makes your trip carbon negative or in other words climate positive.
Reducing plastic waste
We ensure you do not need to buy bottled water while in Spiti. Ecosphere provides reusable bottles to fulfil drinking water requirements on your journey. We also have installed several water refill points at key tourist destinations in Spiti Valley
Water refill points:
Kaza – Taste of Spiti, Sol Cafe
Kee – Kee Monastery
Komic – Spiti Organic Kitchen
Dhankar – Dhankar Monastery
Most family-run homestays across Spiti
Ecosphere initiated the #ilovespiti campaign – a volunteer-run initiative that aims to reduce plastic waste in the Valley through awareness sessions, collection of bottles, recycling and upcycling. Learn more
Enterprises with a cause
Ecosphere runs a Café, Restaurant & Guesthouse in Kaza that help fund our various development projects and conservation initiatives in Spiti. These spaces promote and provide insights into traditional cuisine and ingredients. Learn more
Your travel with us makes a difference
What you pay goes back directly to support Ecosphere community projects that focus on conservation, livelihoods, and sustainable development contextual to Spiti’s ecosystem and culture. Learn more
Awards and Recognitions
Ecosphere has been widely recognized and awarded as a leader in responsible travel. Learn more
Ecosphere’s unique travel programs showcase the beauty of Spiti while leaving no trace. Designed not only to leave an everlasting impression on travelers, our programs contribute towards positive impact for the environment and communities in Spiti. Learn more