Is Your Travel Souvenir Harmful or Is It Ok to Take Home?
Ecotourism

Is Your Travel Souvenir Harmful
or Is It Ok to Take Home?

Have you ever bought a travel souvenir? Think about it, you spend so much time planning and enjoying a trip, you’ll want to find ways to remember it. Many people take photos to commemorate the adventure but that’s not the only way to look back on a vacation. There are so many travel keepsake ideas you can find at destinations around the world that will allow you to look back on the fun experience. But not every vacation souvenir should be brought home. Each travel souvenir should be carefully thought about to decide if your purchase will be harmless or harmful to the environment and the economy. 

Certain travel keepsake ideas are actually harmful. When you consider how some materials or items are collected and then the money they receive when sold, they can sometimes promote further negative activities and more damaging behaviours. You might have noticed a travel souvenir made from animal products, or a vacation souvenir that was taken from a particular landscape. They might seem like simple keepsakes, but they could be hiding a dark background. 

Below are some examples of items you shouldn’t purchase when looking for a travel souvenir:



Ivory products


Nobody needs ivory other than the animals that naturally grow them. Elephants and rhinos are brutally poached just so that people can make profit by selling their ivory. This has caused these animals to become endangered and in the case of one rhino species – extinct.

Untreated wood

If your travel souvenir is made of wood that hasn’t been treated, you could be carrying some harmful bacteria or plant life to another country that harms the local flora and fauna. The wood should be sanitized in order to guarantee your vacation souvenir doesn’t bring any damage home.

Shells and coral

Many of the coral reefs around the world are located in environmentally protected areas so when you take pieces of them as a vacation souvenir, you’re taking things away from a living ecosystem. By removing these items from a reef you are causing a ripple effect of damage since everything relies on each other to thrive.


Plant life

Similar to untreated wood, when you remove plants from one ecosystem for a travel souvenir you risk not only damaging the place it came from, but also contaminating the next destination with any microorganisms that could be lurking inside. 

Animal products

Things like turtle shells or certain leathers may not have been treated correctly and would have caused harm or even death to the animals they came from. This means they should seriously be considered if they’re worth being used as your vacation souvenir.

This is by no means an extensive list but these are certainly some of the most common travel keepsake ideas that you may come across through your adventures. By purchasing these types of products you are contributing to harmful behaviours and practices that just encourage mistreatment of the environment. You can make a conscious stand by avoiding these types of purchases when looking for your own travel souvenir. Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

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