Great Destinations For An Eco-Friendly Vacation
People choose their travel destinations for a variety of reasons ― costs, itinerary options, proximity to loved ones, social media influence and more. But an increasingly popular factor is sustainability.
“I believe that not only is green travel becoming more common, but it’s also becoming the overwhelming preference as people are recognizing and standing up to the environmental challenges that impact our lives and economy,” Jack Coble, vice president of design and environmental stewardship at Urban Villages, told HuffPost.
Wherever in the world you are or want to go these days, you’ll likely be able to find a destination that emphasizes sustainability, whether through hyper-local dining and shopping options, accommodations and transportation with a smaller environmental footprint, or activities that focus on conservation.
“Look for experiences that support environmental literacy and remediation as your activities,” advised Eloisa Lewis, the founder of New Climate Culture.
She offered a list of options, including mushroom foraging, native edible plant identification, farm sanctuaries, beekeeping, pottery classes, having fresh air picnics with sustainable ingredients, touring an animal rescue facility, planting native wildflowers, natural dye workshops and visits to regenerative wineries.
“I would say that green travel really hinges on the idea that you are honoring the locations you are visiting with your presence, taking the responsibility to be an ally to their beauty and health while also exchanging benefits and culture together,” Lewis said.
As you choose a destination, make sure to do your research to weed out vendors with a one-dimensional, buzzword-focused approach to sustainability. “Greenwashing” is a real issue across all industries, including travel.
“Instead, look for hotels that talk about how they’re directly reducing their carbon emissions and how they’re making a positive impact on their surrounding ecosystems and communities,” Coble said. “Given their commitment to their local environments, these companies will often provide a more authentic experience as well.”
Of course, sticking closer to home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint by cutting out the need for air travel, so it’s best to avoid or limit flying when planning a vacation. Visiting a destination during off-season dates can also help ease the burden on the local environment.
Fortunately, there are excellent options all around the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring natural landscapes, learning about sustainability, or supporting conservation efforts, these green travel destinations offer something for everyone.
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