Eco tourism often brings to mind images of exotic tropical locations, but the reality is that destinations, accommodations and tour packages exist on every continent, for a variety of budgets and levels of comfort.
Sustainable travel does not have to mean backpacking through the jungle in South America. Every traveler can take steps to make his or her vacation more environmentally friendly.
Here are a few tips on environmentally responsible travel.
- When planning your trip, search for destinations, tours and/or accommodations that are environmentally responsible. Consult websites, guidebooks, and ask questions before booking. Consider purchasing Carbon Credits to offset your travels.
- Choose locally owned lodges, hotels and B & Bs. Use local buses, car-rental agencies and airlines. Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets and attend local events. That way money spent in the community stays in the community.
- Use public transportation, walk or bicycle as much as possible.
- Encourage local conservation efforts.
- Do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals such as ivory, tortoise shell, animal skins and feathers. Read Know Before You Go, the US Customs list of products which cannot be imported.
- Always follow designated trails. Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitats.
Our own Meg Schoene has been to, and recommends, Maho Bay in St. John’s in the US Virgin Islands. Just check out this link for more information. www.maho.org/maho.cfm
I know Meg knows a good beach when she sees one as she has been doing a fantastic job organizing a monthly clean-up of the northern-most end of Seabrook Beach for almost one year now. Just last Sunday she, along with about 15 other volunteers, including 11 from Phillips Exeter Academy, collected 131 pounds of trash in less than one hour. Special thanks to David Weber and Laurie Loosigian for rallying the PEA troops each month. Come out and join us next month on January 11th. It’s beautiful at the beach in the winter.
If your finances don’t allow for any exotic travel, consider a “Stay – Cation.” There’s loads of fun to be had in these parts in the winter. Need a good place to cross country or downhill ski, snowshoe, or ice skate? Just ask a member of the Green Sanctuary Committee and we’ll get you all the info you need.