20 December 2008

Eco-conscious Traveling

written by Shay Bertling

I’ve been dreaming about travel since the first time I saw a picture of Greece, particularly a small town built into the craggy hills of the island, adorned with bright blue doors. 

But all that jet-setting isn’t very green, and I’d hate to promote tourism in places that are heavily impacted, environmentally, by careless tourists. 

Here are 10 tips for eco-conscious travels:

1. Choose locally owned tour operators who hire local workers

2. Make an effort to understand local politics and history

3. Learn basic phrases of the language to help cultural conservation

4. Bring refillable water bottles

5. Be respectful of the price for local handicrafts when bartering

6. Bring your batteries, plastic bottles and other recyclables home with you

7. Walk or take public transportation whenever possible

8. Frequent local restaurants and businesses, eschew the franchises!

9. Research ecotourism certifications for outfitters and lodging

10. Engage in carbon offsetting options for travel.

When appreciating local scenery and environments, be very aware of how you may be impacting the area, and treat it as if you were a guest (which you are!).


  1. another tip I heard for green traveling is to bring a bottle of biodegradable sunscreen lotion for the beach. Regular sunscreens are responsible for coal bleaching.

  2. that's very interesting, i didn't know that, you must mean coral bleaching?

  3. yes. I meant coral bleaching. My bad for leaving the letter 'r' out.

    Also, I was told not to even use biodegradable soaps in the lake when taking a bath and it is better to take a bath/shower on the land before or after going for a swim. Thus, this makes me wonder about the sun screen lotions even with the biodegradable ones.