ECOTOURISM: THE BEST SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS AND TRAVEL COMPANIES
Are you an avid traveler looking for your next adventure? We’re all for travel, but mass tourism can take a huge toll on the environment and local communities.
Tourism contributes about 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with transportation accounting for 90 percent of this. Luckily, there’s a new approach to tourism that focuses on environmental impact, sustainability, and conservation: Ecotourism!
Ecotourists visit natural exotic landscapes and give back to local communities. We’ll show just how easy it is to be a responsible traveler. All it takes is a little more conscious thought!
Read on to learn about:
Which environmentally-focused countries to visit
Sustainable cultural tour and adventure companies
So, you’re looking for somewhere new to explore. Why not support a country that puts effort into biodiversity conservation and local communities? We picked a few of our favorite destinations among the top environmentally-conscious countries around the globe, ranked by the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) in 2018. Check them out!
Nearly 30% of the country has been designated as a national park or reserve; almost 95% of their energy needs come from local renewable resources, and the government has pledged to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021.The Costa Rican government has chosen to protect the environment over major financial gain- through incentivizing eco-friendly options, planting millions of trees, and providing wildlife refuges and tons of ecotourism options.
Check out the Certified B Corp Costa Rican tour company Bodhi Surf Camp for a sustainable adventure!
This southern African nation is known for its diverse wildlife, incredible natural landscapes, and support of eco-friendly travel and sustainable tourism. Almost a 5th of the land is covered in wildlife reserves. Botswana actively encourages grassroots organizations that promote conservation projects and low-impact travel. The government plays a huge role in conservation and environmental education.
Take a look at some epic adventures with Responsible Travel!
A historical and naturally diverse country, Peru is perfect for the eco-friendly traveler. 50% of the country is still covered in rainforest, and the government is doing everything they can to conserve natural landscapes and heritage sites, like investing in green bonds and generating over 75 protected regions. Natural resources are also consumed at a sustainable rate.
Europe isn’t only known for its history, architecture and incredible landscapes. For years, they’ve been at the top of the ranks in environmental protection and sustainable practices at a governmental level, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. They design eco-friendly choices to be easier, cheaper and more convenient for their citizens. You have to go out of your way to have a large carbon footprint. This means taking action against climate change is simple and doable, which makes Europe an amazing collection of countries to support!
The countries included are Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Austria, Ireland, and Finland, among numerous others.
Sustainable Travel Companies
When it comes to travel, sometimes negatively-impactful choices are necessary: like taking an airplane. With the rise of ecotourism, there are now companies who work to offset the carbon footprint of your trip. For a relatively small payment, these companies will fund sustainable projects, like reforestation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, in an effort to neutralize your carbon footprint. They’re perfect for business or individual use and can be purchased to offset anything from a big trip to your daily commute.
Some popular companies include:
- TripZero: Book your hotel through them and they’ll erase your emissions for free!
- Carbon Fund: Supports over 180 projects focused in three main areas: forestry, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
- TerraPass: $4.99 per 1,000 lbs of carbon emissions. The ecotourist bundle is a mere $59 per 10,000 lbs of carbon emissions!
Explore the globe without guilt. Work exchanges, cultural tours, and supporting the local communities- all at the top of the list for these companies. Time to get off the beaten track!
This world-class company connects travelers with organic farmers across the globe. Travelers offer their services and are provided with room and board by the host. It’s a unique experience with tons of positive feedback. No experience required!
GlobalWorks, a Certified B Corp, gives teens the opportunity to work with local communities across the globe. They learn new trades and skills and are immersed in a new culture. There’s a major focus on respect, education, and safety.
Responsible Travel is a hub of ecotourism, only offering tours with the most low-impact, sustainable businesses they can find. For every one tour company they partner with, eight are refused. They’re all about transparency and honesty, and offer adventures in almost every region of the globe.
Explore and adventure with good intentions! GoodTravel builds personalized group tours with a focus on sustainable travel and local immersion. They’ll organize family trips, solo trips, and anything in between!
Modern tourism, with its massive impact on natural landscapes, resources, and local culture, is unsustainable. Thankfully, ecotourism is quickly taking its place. Promoting sustainable tourism, encouraging green travel, and immersing in local traditions and culture. What better way to experience a new destination? Make your next trip an impactful one: become an ecotourist!
Tune in to our next blog post, where we’ll be focussing on earth-friendly tips for green travel!