An Earth Day Gift for You – 5 Tips for Responsible Travel
- Wednesday, 22 April 2015 07:13
- Mandy Haakenson
It’s been many years since the terms ecotourism and sustainable travel first developed. Since then, the complex relationship between travel and responsibility to our planet, has grown in importance. Some even declare it an oxymoron to put the two together – opposites, like oil and water. Well, pardon us if we disagree.
Not only are there ways that tourism can benefit everyone, but the concept of responsible travel is becoming more mainstream.
The economic and social benefits of tourism are more obvious, particularly in developing countries, because (if done correctly) tourism can create jobs and increase the country’s revenue. It can also improve infrastructure and cultural understanding between guest and host. The environmental benefits are sometimes less obvious. However, tourism has helped promote awareness and conservation of natural resources and wildlife.
We thought that Earth Day would be a good opportunity to provide you with a list of a few things that you can do on your next trip, to be a more responsible traveler. This is not a comprehensive list. Travelers can do various little things to tread lightly and create a positive impact on the destinations they visit.
- Support local economies by buying local handicrafts and food that has not been imported.
- Travel by public transportation within the destination, or better yet, walk or bike.
- Respect the culture and engage with the local people.
- Use natural resources sparingly.
- Don’t buy bottled water – bring your own canteen instead.
*Bonus tip! Contact us to help you select sustainable hotels and local guides for a memorable (and responsible) holiday!
We would love to hear what responsible efforts (big or small) have you made while traveling.
Travel Tips to make the Most out of Your Trip
- Thursday, 28 August 2014 09:12
- Irene Edwards
You are perhaps thinking about visiting Costa Rica. Or maybe you’re headed to the country with the happiest people on earth soon! Your smile will fit right in.
While on your trip, your focus is on relaxing, having fun and soaking in your surroundings – a vacation. But we’ve found out that using some of our most important green travel practices below sets the stage for the kind of experience that changes you a little bit – the kind you remember and talk about for a long time afterward:
- Converse with the locals! Use HOLA, POR FAVOR and GRACIAS with at least one non English speaking Tico (Costa Rican).
- Capture the moment! Take a picture of your most adventurous moment in CR and consider sharing it with us (por favor??), so you can inspire other travelers!
- Sample the exotic! Try a cajeta, pejivaye, or – one of Irene’s favorite tropical fruits – mamones, especially if you have never had one before.
- Think green! Be ready to spread the word with family and friends about the “greenest” experience of your trip, and help to make the world a better place.
- Fill up! Don’t forget to take your GreenSpot water bottles with you so you can refill instead of landfill.
- Perhaps most important of all – Respect traditional culture. Everybody is working very hard to make your trip an unforgettable experience. You are in a different country with different priorities and ideas about values, time, and even daily life. So patience, an open mind and flexibility all let you learn something new about yourself and others.
Yaxhá or Tikal. Which one would you choose?
- Tuesday, 01 May 2012 09:45
Our travels in Guatemala wrapped up with a visit to the magnificent Yaxhá archeological site. Many of you may have been to Tikal, or heard stories. As amazing as our visit to Tikal was, we found what we think is an even better site to learn about the Maya. Why? One of the main attractions for us was to see some parts of the temples and edifications still buried under ground and covered by plants. The guide explained to us that it takes a lot of money and time for the archeologists and volunteers to keep excavating the site, so Yaxhá hasn’t been totally uncovered yet, and I think this gives your time there a more unique and authentic feeling Add to that the fact it doesn’t get as many visitors as Tikal, so spider monkeys, huge varieties of tropical birds and other wildlife are all around you while exploring the grounds.
Green Spot of The Day – South Korea
- Sunday, 11 March 2012 15:28
Did you know that Korea is positioned to be on the front line of the movement promoting fermented foods throughout the world? Popular Korean dishes such as Kimchi, soybean paste, soy sauce, Korean chili paste, salted seafood and traditional rice liquors are some of the forerunners of fermented foods.
Back in July, 2011 when we had the pleasure to visit, we had the opportunity to visit historic temples, green tea plantations, interact with the locals, even to play hula hula in an organic farm, and to visit the beautifulJeju Island, but kimchi seemed to be the most popular topic while on the trip! You know how in most countries, w
hen you have your group picture taken you say “cheese”? In Korea, we were saying “kimchi”. We learned that its preparation process requires a lot of work from the women, who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, cutting cabbages in quarters, preparing the sauce (which is the main ingredient), soaking it in salt for hours, rinsing, filling and giving it the final touches. It sounds like a lot of work to me, but the result is delish.
This week, owner and founder at GreenSpot.travel, Richard Edwards, is back in Seoul where he will be speaking at the 2nd Annual Conference of Partners of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism. Topics like “Linking Tourism and Conservation” and “Tourism & Poverty Alleviation” will be presented and discussed.
Hopefully, Richard is savoring some kimchi and SK flavors.
Our Favorite Hotel of the Week
- Wednesday, 31 August 2011 17:24
“Serenity and peace combined with stunning natural beauty” are the words that have been used to describe the setting of this eco resort.
Spot: Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Location: Granada Isletas, Nicaragua
The Good Stuff: Set on a private tropical island with only 9 two-story casitas, Jicaro Ecolodge is an upscale nature resort. An ideal setting for a variety of travelers who want to experience adventures, romance, and rejuvenation.
What We Love: A secluded island getaway, Jicaro is the perfect upscale alternative to hotels and resorts in downtown Granada.
Green Cred: Water is heated with solar panels; focus on reduce, recycle, reuse; all staff are from the local area and food and other products such as food and furnishings are sourced locally as well. Use of organic and biodegradable soaps, cleaning detergents and spa products; Chlorine free systems to clean water in the pool, Energy efficient lighting and illumination throughout the island.