The Examiner

Responsible Tourism in Bali: Tips for Eco-friendly Travellers

Tourists can help mitigate the environmental impact of their stay and positively contribute to the preservation of Indonesia's natural beauty. Picture Shutterstock
Tourists can help mitigate the environmental impact of their stay and positively contribute to the preservation of Indonesia's natural beauty. Picture Shutterstock

Brought to you by Emmanuel Davis

Eco-tourism is gaining momentum amongst Australians and across the world.

The sustainable travel trend aligns with growing concern about climate change and environmental conservation.

The Indonesian island of Bali faces its own environmental issues such as marine pollution and over-tourism. Eco-tourism presents a potential solution.

Tourists can help mitigate the environmental impact of their stay and positively contribute to the preservation of Indonesia's natural beauty.

The best news is that Bali offers plenty of opportunities for the eco-traveller, a few of which we'll get into in this article.

Your sustainable Indonesian adventure can be your best yet.

Protecting natural habitats with customs declarations

While nothing new, it's worth pointing out the important role that customs declarations have in protecting natural habitats.

As an environmentally responsible traveller, you must follow the rules and regulations in place.

That's because customs declarations are not just about paying duties.

The Indonesia Customs Declaration serves as a frontline defence against ecological threats.

The enforcement of customs regulations, particularly regarding foods, plants, and animal products, helps safeguard Indonesia's biodiversity.

These measures prevent the accidental introduction of invasive species, pests, or diseases that can have devastating effects on local ecosystems.

Take particular care when packing your luggage for Bali and follow the customs regulations to the letter.

Choosing eco-friendly accommodation in Bali

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to eco-accommodation in Bali.

As you'll see, just because you're travelling sustainably it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice luxury. Accommodation ranges from luxurious eco-resorts to quaint, sustainable lodges, all sharing a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Renewable energy, water conservation and support for local communities are common themes.


Eco resorts typically feature environmentally friendly practices like solar power, water recycling, and organic gardens. Enjoy a top-class stay while minimising your environmental impact.

Boutique eco-lodges

These lodges combine sustainability with eco-chic luxury. They often use traditional Balinese architecture and local materials to support green initiatives.

Sustainable villas

Opt for villas with rainwater harvesting, eco-friendly waste management, or locally sourced decor. A great option if you're travelling with your family or in a group.

Eco-friendly hostels

These hostels provide environmentally conscious accommodation at an affordable price. They often also incorporate community-based activities and educational initiatives.

Visiting wildlife sanctuaries in Bali

Plan a trip to a wildlife sanctuary during your stay in Bali for the chance to connect with nature and help conserve local species. Sanctuaries dedicated to the protection of the Bali Starling, a critically endangered bird, or sea turtle rescue centres are all good options.

You may be able to participate in educational tours, see conservation work in action, or get involved in hands-on activities like turtle release programs. An enriching experience you won't want to miss.

Eco-trekking and walking tours

Guided eco-tours are the best way to explore Bali's iconic rice terraces and mountain trails. These tours are specifically designed to have minimal environmental impact, for example by taking smaller groups, less intrusive routes, and eco-friendly transportation.

Some eco-tours are focused on environmental awareness: educating participants about local ecosystems, conservation efforts and cultural heritage. By joining a tour you'll see the best of Bali and also get a better understanding and appreciation of its natural beauty.

Look out for eco-tours that reinvest part of their revenue into conservation projects and contribute directly to the protection of natural habitats and species.

Conserving marine life in Bali

There are plenty of marine conservation activities for you to get involved with in Bali. These activities focus on preserving the island's rich marine ecosystems.

Look out for coral reef restoration projects, where you can help plant coral or learn about reef ecosystems. There are also educational snorkelling and diving tours, where guides teach tourists about marine life and the importance of oceans.

These activities are highly recommended if you're looking for an immersive experience that also raises awareness of marine environments. Know what you can do to make a difference and feel empowered to work towards change!

More tips for enjoying sustainable tourism in Bali

Here are a few extra tips for making your trip to Bali even more sustainable.

Choose eco-friendly transport: walk, use electric scooters or bicycles for short trips within Bali. These options reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

Support local markets: buy your souvenirs and other products from local markets and artisans. By doing so you can support the local economy.

Respect marine and wildlife: when snorkelling, diving, or exploring Bali's natural areas, maintain a safe distance from both marine life and terrestrial wildlife. Avoid touching or disturbing coral reefs, marine creatures, and animals.

Responsible waste management: dispose of your waste properly and make use of recycling facilities. Carry reusable water bottles and shopping bags to reduce plastic waste.

Conserve water and energy: reuse towels, turn off lights and air conditioning when you're not in the room, and opt for hotels that have implemented energy-saving initiatives.

These tips will help you explore Bali while protecting its natural beauty and supporting local communities. You'll soon discover that eco-friendly travel is the best way to discover new destinations.