Ecotourism is travel that takes the environment into consideration, reducing total amount of waste, energy and resources consumed when traveling. But where are can you find Eco-Tourism options and trips? What do you need to take into consideration? And why do you need to take an ecotourism trip over something else? EnviroCitizen.org will attempt to answer these and many other questions below so that you can decide for yourself if ecotourism is the right choice for your next vacation.
Let’s begin by addressing one of the most important questions: How does ecotourism differ from traditional travel? Ecotourism minimizes environmental impact traveling has on the environment and if you do it right, hopefully it gives back to the environment instead! Traditional travel consumes a huge amount of natural resources and generates a great deal of waste. The difference between the two is night and day.
You have decided that you appreciate the benefits and characteristics of ecotourism, but you don’t know where to go from here. Make it simple, go to a green resort! Green resorts offer Ecotourism packages. The locations of green resorts and carefully chosen, placing them in such a way that they are in the middle of nature without disturbing it. Construction of the green resort is always done using renewable energies and renewable materials. Even the local culture and foods are taken into consideration during planning and development. As green resorts grow in popularity, many non-green resorts are trying to use the term “green resort” for marketing purposes.
To avoid staying at a pseudo-green resort, research the following list of important topics as you cull through different resort options :
- Construction – First, consider the construction. Was the hotel designed in an open manner? This will allow for great air and light flow naturally, which will reduce energy consumption. Also, check to make sure the rooms are energy efficient !
- Eco-Recognition – Is the resort recognized for its standards? Does it abide by ISO14001? Has the resort receive any awards for eco-recognition ?
- Future Green Technology – Does the resort promote advances in green technology? Does the green resort use the newest energy-saving technology ?
- Guest Participation – Are the guests aware of and involved in the resort-wide environmental efforts and activities ?
- Native Environment – How does the green resort promote and protect the local culture? Is the local environment, including the fauna and flora, taken into account in the daily activities of the resort ?
- Renewable Resources – What kind of renewable resources are used by the green resort? Does it utilize solar, hydro and/or wind power ?
- Safety and Quality – Are quality control systems in place? How effective is the maintenance department? Are the water lines monitored and flushed ?
- Staff Training – Does the green resort have a strong company culture including the education and implementation of green practices? How is the staff involved ?
- Transportation – Does the resort support local and energy-free transportation? Do they use alternative fuel sources such as biofuels or electrical powered vehicles ?
- Waste Reduction – Does the hotel track their waste reduction? Are there low-flow toilets, showers and faucets? Are biodegradable products used? Is the biodegradable waste recycled ?
EnviroCitizen.org is a big fan of green resorts for many reasons and knows you will be as well once you give them a try!