Posted by Rebecca.Dillard on February 17, 2009
I'm planning a trip soon but want to make sure I go on a trip that is not harmful to the environment...any suggestions?
Reply by koshkha on February 17, 2009
A tent in your backyard maybe. Only kidding.
Reply by koshkha on February 18, 2009
Hey, I'm really sorry - I hope my flippant comment didn't squash other people from making proper suggestions.
I guess that if you really want to be green though, it makes sense to not go too far from home or to carbon-offset your flights or take buses and trains rather than driving yourself.
I went to an eco-resort in Peru, tucked away in the rainforest not too far from Puerto Maldonado. It was one of the most 'ethical' places I've been and also one of the most boring.
Good luck and I hope you get some really good ideas.
Reply by barbara on February 18, 2009
Actually koshkha has an excellent point. It's very difficult to be "green" and fly... say... from Washington DC to Denver.
With that said, there are companies that are more considerate about the environment than others, thus you can make educated choices about which travel providers you use if that's really important to you.
For instance, we stayed in the Costa Rican rain forest with a white water rafting company some years ago. Unlike some other companies in the area, the health of the flora and fauna in the campgrounds where we stayed were taken into consideration during the construction process. Materials were natural. Destruction was kept to a minimum. Electricity was non-existent. I guess you could call it an "eco-resort" as well, but we were never bored. We hiked in the daytime and read books on hammocks and talked over dinner at night. It was fabulous, actually.
Another "green" thing you can do is piggy-back a vacation on a trip you're already making for work. This is a favourite strategy of ours. It saves us money as well. Even when I only had to drive my husband to the airport in London, I'd take advantage of the tank of gas I had already spent by parking my car, catching the tube into the city, and then hoofing it to whatever museum I wanted to see.
In fact, in my opinion, big cities are great places to be "green" because you can hop on buses or trains that are running anyway. NYC, for instance, has an easy-to-navigate grid system if you're walking and an efficient subway if you're not. Whatever you do, as long as you're not driving, you're not burning extra fuel.
Well, I think the simplest things make the most impact. For example, use the towels in your hotel bathroom more than once and tell the maids not to strip your sheets if you're there for multiple days. You can do this wherever you are staying, and it saves a ton of water collectively....
Reply by actonsteve on February 18, 2009
Let the train take the strain....more more ecofriendly...
Reply by BawBaw on February 18, 2009
It's a bit of a hit to the budget during difficult economic times, but you can also purchase carbon-footprint credits from some airlines to offset your impact on the environment. British Airways offers this with each purchase. I've had a sense that in the future, such offsets may not be voluntary.
Reply by Rebecca.Dillard on February 26, 2009
These are great suggestions! Thanks so much - That is interesting about the carbon-footprint credits!
Although i know that staying close to home is the best way to minimize my impact - I need to go take a trip elsewhere - it seems that Peru and Costa Rica have some great places from the reviews above and also from my outside research! I was looking on this travel site called ekoVenture - www.ekoventure.com - and found some great eco-trips! I was able to research the trip and the destinations the trip takes you - then I was able to book directly online! Talk about easy!
Thanks for everyone's advice -and if you have any more tips please let me know!
Reply by oldscratch on April 07, 2009
Also, our sister company Travelocity has a Green Travel Directory you might want to check out that lists eco-friendly hotels by region.
Reply by Rebecca.Dillard on May 01, 2009
Thanks for the tip, oldscratch.
Reply by tanseg on June 06, 2009
Another site you could check out would be Off The Radar (www.travelofftheradar.com), they feature local tour operators around the world (that also focus on environmentally sensitive travel and some even have volunteer opportunities). But all of them guarantee a personal experience. Pretty legit :)
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