For most of the last century, Western vacationers have used travel as a way to escape the routine.
They’ve often traveled to lower-income countries with warmer climates where local individuals provide hospitality in exchange for precious tourism dollars.
Unfortunately, this kind of travel often creates an uneven relationship and can damage the environment.
Eco-tourism is a modern movement that aims to bring tourism into a healthier, more ecologically and economically sound balance.
How Does Eco-Tourism Help Local Environments?
Ecological tourism involves travelers enjoying a place for its natural beauty rather than the products or services they can obtain from locals.
To truly qualify, a trip must meet several criteria:
- Preserving awareness of local customs and cultures
- Promoting green, low-impact facilities and technology
- Benefiting both local industries and peoples
- Funding conservation and environmental preservation
One of the most significant benefits involves the environment directly.
When you travel consciously, you don’t leave behind trash or scraps.
You won’t fund excessive building projects, and you won’t inadvertently harm local wildlife.
In short, your trip won’t ruin the place you’re visiting for people or wildlife.
What Are the Types of Eco-Tourism?
The International Ecological Tourism Society and similar organizations have created many types of experiences:
- Agro-tourism: Tourism that increases awareness about the development of sustainable supply chains for local food sources
- Community development: Brief volunteer stints to minimize pollution and energy consumption
- Eco-tours: Outdoor adventure activities that raise awareness about wildlife conservation concerns
- Eco lodging: Travel that emphasizes sustainable, low-impact, renewable energy lodging
Of course, it is possible to keep your trip sustainable and culturally aware in more than one way.
Most travelers are trapped in outdated, exploitive travel.
The more good you can do, the more you can offset the less-than-healthy behavior of others.
Why Should You Consider an Eco-Tourism Vacation?
Have you ever left a traditional vacation wishing you could have done more for the communities you visited?
Eco-tours are different.
When you genuinely feel that you’ve left a place better than you found it, you can feel proud.
You can look back on your experiences knowing you learned about a new culture, served as a positive cultural ambassador, and contributed vital conservation money to an important environmental cause.
Powering Your Green Footprint Back Home
Consider installing a solar array if you want to help the planet when you’re back home.
A solar system can power your entire home or back up your existing energy grid, giving you peace of mind and helping to reduce global carbon emissions.
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