You’ve likely heard the phrase “eco-tourism,” maybe mentioned by your hip friend from yoga, or from your boss after she returned from her latest crave-worthy vacation. But do you know what it actually means? It sounds appealing: A relaxing, adventurous trip that’s earth friendly and ripe with bragability? What’s not to love! Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for what to look for when planning your indulgent, yet “green” eco-friendly vacation away from it all.
1. Include your travel as part of the eco-experience.
It probably comes as no surprise that most forms of long-distance transportation are not particularly good for the earth. Planes, trains, and automobiles all use fossil fuels that contribute to pollution and the decline of our environment. If you want to go somewhere far away, you don’t have much of a choice but to fly. But you can look for earth-friendly ways to transfer from the airport to your final destination, like a light rail or a shared shuttle to your beautiful beach hotel.
2. Look for resorts that give back to their local community.
Sure, most resorts bring hotel staffing jobs to a locality. But it’s important to look for other ways the resorts support their local community, like linking guests to tour groups, and restaurants and shopping that are run by true locals. Does the hotel have responsible water and waste recycling practices, or do they offer local, fairly-traded food options like sustainably-caught fish down the beach from your hotel? A responsible hotel will be happy to tell you about their practices, and if eco-tourism is truly in their mission, most places will list information about it on their website.
3. Find entertainment options that do no harm.
Going golfing? Pick a destination that isn’t under a drought. Maintaining a golf course in a desert location is most definitely not eco-friendly. Want to go boating? Look for options that don’t mess with the watery habitat. Speedboats and jet skis, for instance, have a bad reputation for messing with wildlife and/or water quality. How about a very fun and earth-friendly kayak trip instead?
Doesn’t it feel good to seek fun and adventure knowing you’re doing your part to be a good citizen of the world? Visit Beach.com for more bright ideas.