Pick up your orange peels, don't pluck the plants and remember that the picturesque village you are passing through is somebody's home, a new set of travel guidelines admonishes.

The "Responsible Travellers Guidelines" were written by Travers Cox, managing director of the Explore Worldwide travel agency, who has been running tours to far-flung destinations for 20 years.In that time, Cox has seen many once remote and pristine locales overrun and polluted by thousands of happy-go-lucky tourists.

"I've never understood why people can carry a full can of Coke up a hill but can't carry an empty one down," Cox said in a telephone interview.

Tourism has ruined many coastlines as hotels have sprung up to cater to vacationers. Beaches have been polluted, sand dunes built over and habitats destroyed by developers.

Even the most remote areas are not immune. Antarctica is now facing an increase in tourism, the effects of which remain to be seen.

But Cox believes most people want to leave the places they love as lovely as they find them and his two-page guide is designed to minimize the impact of tourism.

If it is necessary to wash in streams or rivers, use only biodegradable or eco-friendly soaps and remember that your bath water may be somebody's drinking water further downstream, the guidelines say.

Concerning all forms of litter, from orange peels to potato chip packs, the rule is "if you carry it in, carry it out" to the nearest garbage bin.