What People Think About Eco Adventure and Green Vacations
We hear a lot nowadays about eco travel, green vacations, eco adventures and the like. What exactly do these terms mean? While people think about eco tourism in a number of different ways, this usually refer to travel that’s done in a manner that’s environmentally responsible.
People who take eco tours are committed to leaving as light an environmental footprint as possible when they travel. In some cases, green vacations might mean actively participating in an activity that helps the environment.
Types of Green Vacations
The idea of a green vacation is somewhat contradictory, as almost any type of travel involves using resources. People usually either drive or fly (or take some other form of motorized transportation) to their vacation destination. In theory, the most radical types of eco vacations would be taken solely on foot or perhaps using a bicycle.
Yet in the real world it’s accepted that most of us must drive and fly to get places. There are still many choices that can make our vacations more “green” and environmentally responsible.
What are some of the values that are promoted in green travel?
Respect for local populations and cultures. This means not disrupting or exploiting the people who live in the area you’re visiting.
Minimal impact on the environment. This includes treading lightly on the land or water, recycling, and not engaging in activities or behavior that have a negative impact on the land.
Supporting the local economy. This means patronizing local businesses rather than multinational corporations when you travel.
Simplicity most eco travel puts an emphasis on enjoying simple pleasures rather than spending a great deal of money on luxuries.
Popular Destinations For Eco Adventures
While it’s possible to practice green travel almost anywhere in the world, when people think of this type of travel they usually have certain types of destinations in mind. These are usually well-preserved places where the main attractions are wildlife, natural beauty and local cultures.
There are certain places in particular that are known to attract green travelers. Some examples of these are:
Costa Rica – This Central American country is bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. This is one of the world’s most protected countries, with almost a quarter of it being declared national parks and other protected areas. Costa Rica contains a wide diversity of wildlife as well as flora and fauna. There are also plans to make this the first carbon neutral nation by the year 2021. You can find many eco adventures and tours in Costa Rica.
Galapagos – These are islands located off the coast of South America. It contains some of the rarest and most exotic species of reptiles, sea creatures and birds. It is most famous for its penguins, sea lions and giant tortoises. Charles Darwin studied the animals in the Galapagos as he was developing his theory of evolution. The Galapagos Islands are extremely well protected, so any trip to this unique destination can be considered an eco tour.
* Photo New Zealand
New Zealand – This island nation is located in the Southwestern Pacific and is close to its larger neighbor, Australia (which also provides some great opportunities for green travel). Compared to many countries, New Zealand does a lot to protect its natural area and to minimize the impact of civilization on the land. Aside from visiting for the natural beauty and wildlife, many eco tourists are also interested in learning more about the many working farms that this nation contains.
Portland, Oregon – Although most eco destinations are rural areas, Portland is one city that is known for its green sensibility. For one thing, it has one of the best public transportation systems of any American city. Aside from this, bicycle riding is encouraged and widely practiced by locals and visitors alike. Portland also has a large number of buildings and businesses that are green certified.
This is, of course, just a small sampling of green destinations. It is possible to have eco adventures almost anywhere in the world if you travel with the right mindset. Certain places, however, are already set up to accommodate green travelers. The number of such places has been increasing in recent years. In the near future, green vacations and eco adventures may become the norm.
What is Ecotourism?
The word “ecotourism” was not formally used until 1990 when The International Ecotourism Society defined it as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” and defined several principles that encapsulate the practice such as minimizing one’s impact and respecting human culture. With the rapid degradation of many of the most wild and pristine ecosystems in the world, people are scrambling to witness them before they are wiped off the map and the practice of ecotourism has helped bring income to many areas in developing countries that use that money to further conserve their wild and unique nature for future generations.
- 20 Outdoor Adventures Around San Diego: From Point Loma to Mission Valley (sandiegohotelscircle.wordpress.com)
- What is Ecotourism? (ecotourism.org)
- Exploring the World, the Green Way (zerve.com)