Green travels are booming business. The trend of traveling sustainable has been around for quite some time, but environmentally conscious travel seems to be more important today than ever. With this article, we not only give some examples to choose for sustainable accommodation, we also provide some tips to make traveling as green as possible. Mother nature will be grateful!
The definition of green tourism
The most important thing about green tourism is maintaining the nature, culture and people the way you originally found it. Meaning, if you travel to a place you should not do harm or try to change any of those three pillars. Over the past few years, mass tourism has caused damage and cultural losses to many places. Now many years later, tourists realize that this was wrong and therefore are more interested in green tourism.
Trends and developments in green tourism
- Not only tourist themselves but as well the travel organizations, hotels and airlines are getting more involved in green tourism. These days, organizations can get a green tourism certificate that indicates that they are working on sustainable development.
- Apart from that, an important trend has come up in the past few years among tourist to have a ‘purpose destination’. This means that besides exploring the place where they are, they also do voluntary work such as helping to construct schools in poorer countries.
- Choosing one’s own country to spend the vacation gets more popular worldwide.
- Discovering non-touristic places is getting more popular. Doing so by camping in nature. Whereas back in the days camping had a bit of a dusty image, now it’s getting more popular than ever.
- The combination of travel and work gets more popular. More people choose to leave the office and work remotely on different places around the world.
Green travel organizations
Thanks to the internet, it is easier to create your own travel eternity. However, for some local destinations tourist still need the help of a travel company. To make the travel greener, it is wise to choose for green travel organizations. To help you make that choice, apps like FairTrip could make that easier. The app shows different hotels, hostels, restaurants and all the places you encounter during your trip. These places are ranked into five categories; authentic, green, local, social and fair. With this app, you can easily see which important asset of green tourism a certain company is providing.
Five green travel destinations
- The Azores, Portugal
If it isn’t about all the green accommodation options that the island offers, it will surely be green all around you. The small and amazing island group in the Portuguese archipelago are front-runners of sustainability. For instance, the energy that is used all over the island is only green energy. Apart from that, the island has strict water regulation rules as well as rules for diving and snorkeling around the island. The island itself is also very well maintained by many gardeners.
- Zakynthos, Greece
Although on most Greece Islands you will find big all-inclusive resorts, the island of Zakynthos has been focusing more and more on green tourism. In 2012, the organization Eco Zakynthos is established in order to protect the local culture, establish good relationships with the inhabitants and protect the environment. There are many places to go hiking, swimming in the crystal-clear water or camp along the beach.
- Costa Rica
Costa Rica has the largest biodiversity in the world and is keen to protect that wherever possible. It is one of the, if not, the most progressive country when it comes to sustainable living. It set the goal to be completely carbon-neutral by 2021 and it seems like they will meet that goal. Already in 2015, 90% of the total energy usage on the island was green energy.
Already in 2010, Kenya was chosen to be the best green travel destination by the World Travel Fair in Shanghai. Now almost nine years later, they are still worth that title. Most of the accommodations in Kenya use solar panels as well as working on the preservation of water and recycling waste.
- Portland, Oregon
In 2016, Portland has been chosen as the greenest city in the world. For instance, in Portland you can find 400 kilometers of cycle paths. Apart from that, the whole city drives on 33% renewable energy, while the rest of the U.S. maintains at 14%. Also, it’s one of the 25 cities in the U.S. with the cleanest air. In Portland, you will encounter many vegetarian and vegan restaurant, making it even greener than it already is. Way to go Portland!
Luckily, besides above-mentioned places, there are also many more green accommodations around the world. Look for accommodations that we mentioned below to make sure you are close to nature.
The Treehotel in Harads in Sweden has been running successfully over the past six years. It has developed itself as an even more sustainable place than when it started six years ago. The closest city to The Treehotel is Luleå, which is about a 100 kilometers down the road. Therefore, if you want to be in a real Swedish forest without any distraction, this is the place. A treehouse at this accommodation will guarantee quietness and a unique view over the Lule River Valley.
- A bird’s nest
Apart from the tree houses where you can sleep in, The Treehotel also offers bird’s nests. It is big enough for two adults and two children. Luckily, it is warmer than a real bird’s nest as the accommodation has a roof, double bed, and heating.
- An eco-capsule
Many people bring their own caravan or camper to sleep in, which is relatively unsustainable. A greener way of similar accommodation is an eco-capsule. The concept has started in Slovakia and is basically a house you can take anywhere. The capsule has installed solar panels that provide for energy as well as the usage of wind energy. It filters rainwater into drinking water and is completely waterproof.
And when you prefer eco traveling, also consider green flying possibilities.