Go Green: The Road to Responsible Travel

Man’s behavior towards the planet has always been one of using and abusing, focused on instant pleasures, with little consideration to the consequences of our actions for the future of our only home in the Universe.

Tourists and travelers are no exception, and most popular destinations suffer from our predatory practices, in terms of damaging ecosystems, creating massive amounts of unnecessary refuse, and altering the natural (and healthy) order of things in general.

The initiative to Go Green in terms of travel and tourism is extremely recent. Over the last decade, ecotourism has become more and more popular, and people have started viewing the prospect of a green holiday as something to be desired.

Naturally, if we thought about the fact that we want to find the places we loved to be exactly the same as they were when we return, we would all be choosing green hotels and abiding by the laws of sustainable travel practices in our personal behavior as tourists.

Unfortunately, most of the times, we don’t. and places change; more often than not, for the worse.

Eco paradise Cabo Polonio in Uruguay, 15 years ago (Photo Ricardo Antunez)

Three simple tips to make your holiday Green

1. Stay at a GREEN HOTEL.

So, what is a green hotel?

Environmentally-friendly hotels use recyclable energy source, build facilities designed and oriented in the right directions to conserve heat/cold, they offer bikes for guests and eliminate disposable packaging in dining areas, they reduce water consumption and use water-recycling plants, and they recycle garbage and educate their customers and employees about green travel practices.

Here is a good resource for both travelers and hoteliers on green hotels and responsible travel.

2. Sightseeing with sustainability in mind

Choose excursions that are designed in a way not to alter the natural ecosystems or tamper with the regional wildlife.

Don’t litter and don’t disturb the vegetation of the place.

Don’t take home anything from archeaological/geological sites.

Visit natural parks and reserves, as you will be contributing to their preservation.

Be mindful of local traditions.

3. Plan an Ecotourism Trip

There are many natural reserves and ecotourism spots all over the world. From Alaska to Costa Rica and from the Galapagos islands to the Argentinean Pampa, you can find plenty of spots where you will encounter nature at its wildest most unblemished beauty. Ecotourism resorts are abundant in most of these areas, to ensure that your enjoyment of these fabulous wonders will not harm their natural environment.

4. Eco-friendly transportation

Don’t rent a car when you can take a train/bus. Don’t take a bus, when you can ride a bike or take a walk!

Many places are best experienced by walking/riding a bike; and you will be saving money, getting a deeper enjoyment of the scenery, and cutting down on carbon emissions at the same time.

Go Green for real

Going green and becoming a responsible traveler, committed to sustainability and the preservation of the world’s natural beauty is all about changing your mindset.

There is nothing that is pleasurable and relaxing that you won’t be able to do, if you change your mindset. In fact, green holidays will be more enjoyable holidays for the whole family in the end. You just have to switch your mindset.

If you need inspiration, just look around you. How many places have you seen destroyed by little things like people littering over the years or taking a little stone from here and there, one after the other. How many landscapes have you seen completely altered by the presence of vehicles that shouldn’t have been allowed there in the first place?

Now, it is your turn to contribute, so that that little piece of heaven where you and your family like to vacation will remain just as it is, and you will be able to enjoy it for many, many years to come.

RESOURCES:
Cabo Polonio today. Environmental considerations

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