Eco friendly vacations are an idea that is becoming a trend based on eco conscious and ethical lifestyle choices.
Wow that sounds like a pretty serious statement to contemplate when all you were doing was planning a much needed relaxing holiday!
But the truth is that some vacations can have a tremendously negative impact on both the earth and the people and cultures living on it . And many times this impact is hidden from us.
You can still have a fun and relaxing time in a fabulous destination!
Just be sure to do a bit of research before you book your trip.
If you are considering eco friendly vacations you can do alot of research on the internet to find out more about specific locations and thier policies.
Some things to look for include:
Most hotels these days have an option for you to re-use towels rather than have the hotel washing them daily.
This definitely makes sense, and saves water but frankly I have sometimes wondered if this is often just a money saving strategy for the hotel disguised as an eco friendly statement.
There are some hotels with this type of towel policy that also dump their raw sewage into the ocean!
Look beyond slick marketing!
A more comprehensive resort water conservation policy would in addition to "the towel statement" cover such things as responsible sewage treatment, use of low flush toilets, low water washing machines, low flow shower heads, rainwater collection, respect for flood plains, ground water etc.
Hotels and resorts generate a great deal of solid waste and garbage!
Recycling such things as newspapers, beverage cans, glass containers and bottles, cardboard, and other waste materials is a a basic expectation of an eco friendly hotel or resort.
Special blue boxes in hotel rooms and lobbies encourage guests to join in on the recycling effort.
A truly eco conscious resort will blend in with, respect and nourish the local environment it exists in.
Of course just the act of building a hotel or resort is disruptive to the natural ecosystem, but there are many ways to minimize this impact.
From building methods and materials, to access methods, to visual integration there are many ways to honor and protect the environment as part of the process of planning and creating a resort.
A resort that truly promotes green travel will be proud of their design, construction, and operating methods and will be keen to show them off!
Educating guests through written information, educational tours, videos, displays and other media is another sign of eco friendly vacations!
So many vacation destinations have a dirty secret hidden behind their glorious glittering elaborate facades.
Although tourism is promoted as being the lifeblood industry to many small third world nations, it is often actually one of the most destructive forces upon the both environment and local people of these countries.
Poor working conditions, pitiful wages and lack of respect for human rights issues tarnish the tourism industry.
Be sure the resort you are considering staying at respects their employees and local people and their culture.
Consider local travel
Traveling close to home burns much less fuel in getting there and in this way is much kinder to the environment.
We tend to dismiss locations close to usI
Look with a different set of eyes and you may find some gems!
Pretend you have a guest visiting you from out of town. Research places close to your home that you might want to show them. These could become excellent holiday options for you!Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
I have to admit that some of my favorite vacation destinations are located far away from my home in hot sunny places - the kind with the palm trees instead of acres of cold and snow.
If I was perfect I suppose I would not ever fly by jet again.
I have got to say I am not there yet. I try to find ways to negate the impact of this in other ways - reducing my carbon footprint by recycling, planting trees, home energy conservation, organic living, choosing eco friendly vacations, etc.
Yes I admit this doens't totally get me off the hook but it is a start!Hike, Bike and Sail
Hiking, bicycling, and sailing are all exciting eco friendly vacations that use very little fossil fuels.
They also get you outside enjoying nature and keeping fit!
Visit An Organic Farm or Ranch!
Another fun idea is to visit an organic farm. Some organic farms have bed and breakfast programs where you can stay and even join in on farming or ranching activities.
Have you been to a eco resort you would recomment?
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