Read these 8 How Green Is It? Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Green Travel tips and hundreds of other topics.
Some countries are moving away from mass tourism to community-based tourism. In the community-based tourism model, local groups first appraise the impact of various types of activity on their lifestyle and environment, then choose what they want to promote and what they want to prohibit. These projects allow visitors to live side by side with locals and experience off-the-beaten path adventures. A simple way to find projects is to type in "Community based projects" in your search and you'll get a list of projects in different countries.
The Gold Standard, an independently audited organization supported by 42 NGO's (including Greenpeace and The David Suzuki Foundation), honors superior offset programs. Their validation process is based on three criteria:
There is still little consensus about what constitutes genuine ecotourism, but there are some rating scales available.
Swim-with-dolphin programs are controversial. Environmental groups agree that captive programs are stressful for dolphins, but they are divided about programs that permit tourists to swim with wild dolphins:
While trekking through wild mountains may be a low-emission adventure, it can have a high impact on human culture. If you're trekking in the
The romanticized view of porters is that they come from tough mountain stock. The reality is that they are often poor farmers from the lower valleys who are not only unaccustomed to the altitude but who are also exploited by tour operators. They are not always provided with adequate equipment, wages, insurance or medical care. Porters are sometimes left behind in blizzards while tourists are carried to safety first.
Should we stop employing trekkers? According to the International Porter Protection Group, this source of income can help porters rise above subsistence farming. A better alternative may be to question your tour provider and to spread the word about the porters' plight in order to ensure that others travel responsibly.
The Ski Area Citizens' Coalition, an alliance of non-profit conservation organizations, provides third-party evaluation of ski hills in the United States. Canadian hills will soon be added. Top marks go to ski hills that limit their environmental impact by limiting their expansion and by helping conserve resources and species.
Information about Canadian and European resorts can be found online. The criteria on this site include climate policy, cleaner fuels, waste reduction and recycling. No grades are assigned, just a simple "yes" or "no" to indicate which of these programs, if any, a resort implements.
The Air Transport Group provides links to the sustainability reports of several major European Airlines, such as KLM and British Airways.You can also access the The International Aviation Organization's Environmental Review, which describes improvements and goals for fuel efficiency, management of noise pollution, and strategies for confronting climate change. This is where you'll find details -everything from the emissions reductions targets set by various governments to the type of paint and recycling strategies currently being used.
Organizations can earn kudos one month, then maintain those standards, improve or slack off the next month. It's up to us as customers to do a little research. A former employee of the cruise ship industry was told that the ship he worked on had an efficient recycling system.. When the cruise line's name was Googled in the "news" section, it was discovered that they had been fined recently for circumnavigating environmental regulations. Do a little research to ensure that the information about your chosen tour or transport provider is not out of date.