ecotourism blog

(Photo Credit: Boudewijnberends, Flickr)

Summer is finally here! We may be busy working for #RealReform and #MindtheStore at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, but we always make time to have a nice vacation. Did you know that the United States is one of the most sleep-deprived nations in the world? It’s true. Although we earn fewer vacation days than people in other countries, we still have about 2 days a year that go unused.

So how about using those 2 days to do something fun… a vacation!

Have you planned your summer vacation yet? Traveling within budget and trying to be green is tough. The World Travel and Tourism Council recently reported that 1.8 billion people will be traveling in 2030! Ecotourism is on the rise, and 1.8 billion people traveling will make a big impact. Let’s hope more travelers will look at ecotourism as an option.

Without further ado, here is what you need to know before you plan your next vacation.

What is Ecotourism?

The practice of touring natural habitats in a manner meant to minimize ecological impact.

Merriam-Webster

Stats
  • 90% of travelers in the U.S. would be willing to pick “a ‘green’ and environmentally conscious hotel provided that the price and amenities provided were at par with their counterparts.” (TravelZoo)
  • 96% of Condé Nast Traveler readers think hotels and resorts should be responsible for protecting the environment they operate in. (Responsible Travel.org)
  • 90% of British tourists and two-thirds of U.S. and Australian tourists consider active protection of the environment, including support of local communities, to be part of a hotel’s responsibility. (Responsible Travel.org)
What can you do?
  1. Bike while on vacation: Chances are you’ll be staying in a hotel close to the action. If this is the case. leave your van, Winnebago, bus, or car parked during your trip.
  2. Nonstop Flights: Yes, they can be pricey—but they are more convenient. The Travel Channel notes that the majority of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing.
  3. Don’t forget Organic! Who else forgets about buying organic when they are on the road? I know I do. Organic stores aren’t located everywhere, but take a look online before you arrive.
14293963401_81887c2686_kWhere can you go?

1. Travel to a Working Farm

There are a few working farms (an actual farm that produces goods for sale- not a farm you’d have to work on)in the U.S. that function as inns:

FarmstayUSA.com

 

2. Visit a Green City

Check out these lists of the best Green Cities:

BBC

Babble

EcoWatch

Travel and Leisure.com

Huffington Post

Mother Nature Network

TimeOut

 

Clearly, the criteria vary when it comes to judging the “green-ness” of a place. Here are some of my personal recommendations:

  • If you are going to Europe and are looking for a Green City: visit Copenhagen. The city is very walkable and most people bike as their primary mode of transportation.
  • Looking to stay in the States for your vacation? EcoWatch would recommend that you to visit Madison, WI.
  • Las Vegas! I know, I know. When you think “green travel,” Las Vegas probably does not spring to mind. However, a few Vegas hotels have adopted some environmentally friendly practices.
So, where will your family go this summer?

Thinking about skipping a vacation this year? Read this blog from Buzzfeed! If I can’t convince you to take a trip, this blog can (hopefully!).