Being good to the earth and enjoying its wonders don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Travelers wanting an eco-friendly experience have tripled in the last 10 years. Check out these books from our Travel Neighborhood to find out how you can shrink your ecological footprint and still have a good time.
The Eco-Travel Guide has sections on eco-destinations and eco-products as well as a section for web resources and contact details. Fodor’s Green Travel boasts “The world’s best eco-lodges and earth-friendly hotels.” A score of 1 to 5 leaves rates each accommodation as to environmental and social responsibility.
Ecotourism is defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990) Included in a list of top ecotourism destinations by Sarah Schlichter is Kerala, India. Footprint’s India Handbook 2009 has a section on sustainable tourism projects as well as information on Kerala, a small state on the southwestern coast with a growing conservation effort. Other notable “eco places” included in the guidebook are Goa and Sikkum.
Another highly rated ecotourism spot is Norway’s famous fjords with their pristine snow-capped mountains and icy clear water. The Rough Guide to Norway can give you the low-down on what, where and how while DVDs like Touring Southern Norway give you pictures worth thousands of words. National Geographic’s top ecotourism destinations include Brazil, Dubai and Canada. Besides travel guides, the Travel Neighborhood offers personal accounts of Brazil by Moritz Thomsen and Theodore Roosevelt. We also have a wealth of information on our neighbor to the north including DK Eyewitness Travel Guides as well as Fodor’s, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. There’s also DVD’s like Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a system that rates buildings on their energy efficiency and sustainability. Several LEED-certified green hotels have recently opened in the United States as well as other places. In Portland, Oregon, stay at the Avalon Hotel & Spa while you check out places from Terry Richards’ Inside Out Oregon. Make the Orchard Garden Hotel your base as you explore San Francisco’s steep streets, grand hotels, dive bars and waterfront parks with Walking San Francisco.