|PlanetEco Green Travel & Ecotourism|
Green Travel And Tourism
All About Green Travel
What exactly is meant by a phrase like Green Travel? Green Travel can mean anything from environmentally responsible motor cars to eco-friendly transportation fuels, to responsible eco-tourism options, sustainable travel or stays in hotels and facilities that are environmentally conscious.
Read on to find some great options on the Internet where you, the environmentally-responsible traveler, can enhance your knowledge and continue to seek the smartest, most planet-conscious choices available when you travel.
Why Green Travel Matters
Tourism, in contemporary times, is a tremendously growth-oriented industry, and is among the world's largest, with spending figures estimated at over five hundred billion per year in recent years. Because of the overwhelming size of the industry globally, millions of people are employed within its ranks, and are therefore of great concern when it comes to responsible, eco-conscious decisions.
Such lofty statistics all begin with local, individual choices - where people spend their money when they travel, during their travel and the message that their actions send out to global populations. The impact of global travel, when geared toward the positive, can be terrific - including when tourism's dollars go to the enhancement of local populations, or when travelers return home with a fresh take on other cultures, communities and environments, for instance.
How Tourism and Travel Become "Sustainable Tourism and Travel"
WTTC Associations such as the World Travel and Tourism Council in London, England, offer world travelers a wealth of information on sustainable and green tourism. The mission statement of the organization speaks to their goals: "Raising awareness of the importance of Travel & Tourism, promoting synergies between the public and private sector, generating profit as well as protecting natural, social and cultural environment [these] are the fundamental components of [their] mission, as outlined in the Blueprint for New Tourism."
Whenever you travel, do what you can to extend the extra effort to ask questions about the businesses that service your trip: from hotels to tours to restaurants and more. Find out what you can about the impact of their businesses on the environment, in terms of both the physical and cultural aspects. No set of universal standards or guidelines currently exists to ensure that those in the travel and tourism industry world-wide operate according to environmentally conscious principles.
So What Is Ecotourism and Can It Help?
With a greater emphasis placed on the environment in general, travel and tourism has also felt the weight of the green revolution. The travel and tourism industry has sprung up in places where the natural environment remains in tact and available for one to experience first-hand. At its best, ecotourism is essentially nature travel - tourism of and cultivation of appreciation for the unadulterated vistas and landscapes of the planet.
Resources Available for Green Travel
The International Ecotourism Society (ecotourism.org)
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) offers that through "Uniting communities, conservation and sustainable travel," they directly "promote responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."
Debuting in 1994, PlanetA is a pioneering website that provides tips for travelers and locals who share a vision of eco-friendly, people-friendly and place-friendly travel. They take a dynamic wiki view of the Web and appreciate their viewers' helpful editorial suggestions and offer a yearly World Travel Directory.
Sustainable Travel International (sustainabletravelinternational.org)
The organization Sustainable Travel International has the following for its mission statement: "Promoting responsible travel and ecotourism, supporting sustainable development, and helping travelers and travel providers protect the cultures and environments they visit."
Google Green Travel Search (services.google.com/earth/green/)
At Summer of Green, Google's now legendary map service is powered to help Green travelers find what they need to in the way of environmentally conscious global travel, through the work of Earth Day Network. Find tips on traveling green this summer with keyword searches like "environmentally friendly hotel" rather than just "hotel."
The Rainforest Alliance says, "With more than 800 million people traveling each year, tourism is a growing source of revenue for people living in areas that are especially rich in plants and animals - and threatened with destruction. While tourism can lead to problems such as waste, habitat destruction and the displacement of local people and wildlife, it also has the potential to provide incentives for conservation." Find out more through the tourism arm of their website.
Green Travel is Another Way to Go Green
Many people have heard the terms "green travel" and "eco-tourism". These terms conjure images of someone napping in a tree house in a jungle located at the far reaches of the Earth and or floating down the Amazon River in a canoe. And while these are certainly green alternatives, this is only one type of eco-friendly travel. The good news is that you won't have to sacrifice the comforts to which you've grown accustom, nor will you have to venture to a location in the middle of nowhere. You can even 'go green' when traveling to big cities or well populated beaches. All you really need in order to preserve the planet is a desire to protect and preserve the planet around you, no matter where you travel.
"Green travel" is a catch phrase that has become common as of late; this phrase has lots of company with other terms like eco-tourism, responsible travel, and sustainable tourism. We hear these terms more and more as the concern over our planet's state continues to grow. There are a variety of shades of divergence amongst each of these terms, but the value of defending the natural and civilizing environment of each place you visit remains as the heart of the matter. This means we must strive to conserve plant and wildlife, as well as other resources while respecting all the local cultures and traditions.
Almost a billion tourists cross the globe annually. For this reason, it's become more imperative than ever before for travelers to reduce their singular impact on natural and cultural resources. The probable harmful affects of tourism will affect both the local and global environment. It's a well known fact that oceanfront hotels heavily contribute to beach erosion to the erosion of beaches in Hawaii and the growing number of tourists is severely threatening the delicate ecosystem in the Galapagos Islands, and on top of everything else, we're catalyzing global warming with our plane rides and our car trips in a massive way!
Your first step should be to try and find a green hotel. You will find lots of online sources to help you along the way. When using Web sites, keep in mind that each site has its own rating criteria. Therefore, you will need to do your homework in order to make sure that your hotel of choice meets the standards you're seeking.
Consider asking the following questions before booking a hotel:
Is the lodging facility locally owned? If it isn't locally owned, is the staff local? It's a good idea to stay at a hotel that is run by local citizens.
Does the hotel offer a recycling program? Do they offer bins for potential recyclables? Does the hotel encourage guests to reuse towels and linens?
Does the hotel employ techniques to reduce consumption? For example, do they use low flow toilets, low flow showers, solar power, and energy saving light bulbs?
Be sure to ask lots of questions, and remember, finding a green hotel is only one step in the process. Do your homework and go green today!
Sara Nightingale maintains a blog offering tips on easy ways to green. To learn more on how to live a green lifestyle visit http://gogreenlifestyle.net
Ecotourism & Eco Travel
Ecology News and Magazines
Education & Earth Friendly Stuff
Political / Activism Sites
Environmental Web Sites
Copyright © 2010 IslandWeb Ventures All Rights Reserved