It seems like every day brings a new warning that we’re flirting with disaster, courting the demise of our planet with our bad boy/bad girl ways. As IgoUgo members traipse across the globe and back, it’s comforting to know that some cover their tracks and leave places better off than they found them. We’re celebrating Earth Day with a toast to our eco-travelers. Cheers!
Ecolodges, accommodations committed to making a positive impact on their surroundings, are popular havens for preservation-minded members. On the Egypt leg of his around-the-world trip, HobWahid stayed at a luxurious ecolodge in Siwa—it was the most he’s ever paid for a hotel room, but he has no regrets. Both Jose Kevo and pepperpot have checked into Maho Bay’s eco-friendly tent cottages on St. John in the Caribbean. Incidentally, it turns out that the eye-catching title of Kevo’s journal Keeping the Island Virgin at Maho Bay refers to preserving St. John’s natural beauty.
In another showing on the provocatively titled journal spectrum, In and Around Hohoe is pluralofcow’s account of her earth-friendly Ghana itinerary, including her visit to a monkey sanctuary. Traveling naturalist Philly_Girl also crafted an ecologically sound trip, booking small, unobtrusive boats for her Galapagos tour. After seeing the islands’ fragile ecosystem firsthand, she asks future visitors to likewise: “Do your best to leave no trace.”
Some IgoUgoers do better than leave no trace—they leave their mark through volunteerism. Londoner Golem chose Madagascar as the site of his conservation vacation. Though his intention was to study the endangered fossa, he also helped to rebuild a dilapidated schoolhouse before his trip was over. Across the ocean, COwanderer used her time in Costa Rica as an opportunity to bag sea turtle eggs and trek them to a hatchery for protection from poachers (don’t worry; it was part of an organized volunteer effort, not turtle vigilantism). And the dosgringos duo took their professional landscaping skills to a hurricane-ravaged part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
These globe-conscious trekkers represent just a small portion of those who deserve a hand for helping; where earth-friendly travel is concerned, it’s clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. IgoUgo parent company Travelocity is taking a different kind of action with their Travel for Good program, which offers travel grants for committed volunteers, resources for community-service-oriented travel planning, and the chance to contribute to The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program to offset carbon emissions when booking Travelocity vacation packages.
Still other members of the IgoUgo family undertake a save-the-earth mission by educating others. Environmentally conscious blog globalwarming awareness2007, spawned by two members of the lastminute.com team for a search engine optimization competition, highlights topical news in the fight to stop global warming. True to their purpose, they plan to donate any winnings to an environmental charity. After all, we all want to keep the earth around for long enough to see a whole lot more of it—and maybe even leave it a little better than we found it.