Vacationers often see only the best a destination has to offer. Gazing from the balcony of a beachfront hotel at impeccably white sandy beaches, a visitor might easily forget that everything they experience requires a lot of effort. Even the beaches need a little TLC in order to maintain their natural splendor. From a desire to offset the ways tourism impacts the environment came the idea for ecotourism.
What Is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is the act of supporting conservation efforts by reducing visitor impact to exotic environments. An aspiring ecotourist will keep transportation at a minimum to reduce the use of fossil fuels by using public transportation, bicycling or simply walking. Other habits like recycling and reducing the use of resources like water can lower the impact of your visits. Also, practice reusing materials like towels and bottles when possible.
It’s important for the travel industry to reduce their impact and actively support conservation as well. One form of eco-conscious travel is staying with “green” hotels or eco-lodges. Eco-lodges are often isolated in exotic areas while green hotels are typically positioned closer to the city like a normal hotel. Although they are slightly different, each will reduce your impact on the environment. Some facilities take advantage of renewable energy resources like solar or hydroelectric power. Most green temporary living quarters source food locally while a few are known for sourcing and filtering water from rain.
This is simply the foundation of limiting your impact on the environment, as a tourist, but each small effort can make a huge difference. Everyone working together to sustain and improve these habitats will ensure their natural beauty lives on forever.
The Annual Aruba Reef Cleanup Project
Started in 1994 by Castro Perez and Byron Boekhoudt, The Annual Aruba Reef Cleanup Project originated from a love for Aruba as well as the island’s beaches and marine life. The aim was to bring awareness to Aruba’s reef systems and all the creatures who call them home. This initiative is open to anyone looking to join 800 annual participants, from all over the world, cleaning Aruba’s beaches and snorkel and diving sites.
How to Get Involved
The Annual Aruba Reef Cleanup Project generally happens in late September, with different days going toward the cleaning of different popular destinations on the island’s coast. People of all abilities are welcome to join for beach or underwater cleanup. Helping out while enjoying snorkeling and swimming in the Caribbean sun sounds like the ideal vacation.