Upcoming Earth Day — Eco Travel
With Earth Day right around the corner on April 22, environmentally-conscious travelers abide by the guiding principle to “Take only photographs and leave only footprints.” Today, it’s easier than ever to combine “going green” with just about any journey, whether it is for business or pleasure.
As interest increases in sustainable tourism, more travel agents are imparting their considerable knowledge to their clients, helping them plan trips to some truly magnificent destinations at home and around the world, without sacrificing their desire to safeguard our planet for generations to come.
Of course, reusing towels at your hotel and taking public transportation whenever possible are two great ways to conserve precious resources. But planning for a green vacation starts even before you leave, by looking for ecologically sustainable products for personal use, such as makeup, insect repellent, and even luggage made from recycled materials.
Eco-conscious travelers can ask their travel agent to book their flights on aircraft that have less of an environmental impact. For example, the Boeing 787 uses less fuel than other similarly sized planes, offers quieter takeoffs and landings that help reduce noise pollution, and is made primarily of carbon-fiber composite material, which generates less waste in the manufacturing process.
Two countries that have been at the forefront of ecotourism are the Central American nation of Costa Rica and the East African country of Tanzania. From horseback riding, bird watching, or hiking in the rain forest, to spotting nesting sea turtles at Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica is one of the most biologically-diverse regions in the world, with its numerous ways to experience its natural beauty. Tanzania’s protected areas are home to abundant wildlife including lions, giraffes, and elephants that can be spotted in places like Serengeti National Park.
Increasingly, hotels and resorts on every continent are striving to be more ecologically sound and energy efficient.
In the Chyulu Hills of Kenya, luxury treetop lodges use environmentally friendly solar energy, water conservation methods, and work in cooperation with the local Maasai people to protect wildlife and offer an unforgettable safari experience.
Torres del Paine National Park, in the Patagonia region of Chile, is a place of soaring mountains, icebergs, and grasslands that shelter rare wildlife. For adventurous travelers, an EcoCamp in the heart of the park provides the region’s first fully-sustainable accommodation in a cozy, geodesic dome.
In Japan, eco lodges, like certain ryokans or inns, work hard to maintain a special atmosphere. Rooms are constructed using traditional materials, meals feature seasonal and regional specialties, and the inns employ staff from the local community. At some inns, guests are encouraged to lend a hand by helping to plant trees and tend to the animals.
Closer to home, it’s easy to be environmentally friendly on a trip to California’s Napa Valley, where you can enjoy fine wine, relax in a spa, and find luxurious hotels that meet the highest standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.
For help planning an ecotourism vacation, contact Travel Leaders COS at 800-273-0793 or info@TravelLeadersCOS.com.