Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Eco-tourism - Being Green on Vacation
With the recent launch of Green Checking and all of the "green" efforts NFCU has been promoting, I wanted to share some tips I found about eco-tourism. Since most families travel in the summer, now is a good time to start practicing your eco-friendly traveling rules.
I have to admit, when I stay in a hotel, I'm probably not as "green" as I am at home. I make an effort to turn off the lights when we leave, but I'm guilty of taking a longer than usual shower. However, I don't ask for the sheets to be changed every night, and I do try and use the towel a few times before throwing it on the floor so they know to replace it. I've noticed that most hotels leave a note with directions on what to do if you need your sheets and towels changed and how to leave them if you will use them again. If they're making an effort, then I want to at least do my part as well.
Here's a few tips I found on eco-tourism:
Is eco-tourism more difficult compared to other forms of tourism? Eco-tourism is an ATTITUDE we bring to tourism. Follow these simple steps and you can help your wallet, conscience and the environment.
1. Opt for direct flights to your destination. This saves time and you will feel less tired!
2. Once there, prefer shared transportation. This may include shared private car hire, taxis, local buses, metro. This is a sure strategy to save a good 20-30% on your everyday travel budget. It can take longer to get to places, but it is this laid back attitude that actually saves.
3. Hotel stays tend to trigger the spender attitude in people. Treat your hotel a bit like your home. Turn off air conditioning when leaving, do you need all those lights on a sunny day? Just because we pay for all-inclusive rooms, does not mean all-abusive attitude. How about all those free brochures? Return them to their original place, don't discard them.
4. You will be shopping for souvenirs, food, and all that is offered for the tourist market. Think practical. Do you really need so many plastic bags? Bring along a few sturdy canvas or plastic bags from your local supermarket. You will be helping the planet, local shopkeepers, and camouflaging your recently acquired treasures in an ordinary grocery bag. The two handles means you can share the lifting or delegate it to your children.
5. Make it a point to visit regions, attractions or activities dedicated to preserving the nature and local indigenous populations. Pick up after yourselves and teach children to respect the home of others. Trash can have an impact on local populations. I recommend watching the famous film: 'And the Gods went crazy'...
Eco-tourism can be summed in three words: Share and Care!