12 Tips for Green Travelers

You've decided to camp in the Costa Rican jungle alongside howler monkeys, sloths, parrots and snakes. That makes you an eco traveler, right? Actually, you can be an environmentally conscientious traveler anywhere you go, from New York City to Nepal's highest summits.

Just ask Glen W. Hanket, author of Underwear by the Roadside: LitterWalk Coast-to-Coast. In 1993, Glen and Sue Hanket left behind jobs, friends and family to stroll across the United States and clean it up a bit. He spent his honeymoon walking from Maine to Oregon bagging more than four tons of garbage.

Traveling with an eye to the environment, however, need not require a Herculean effort. Here are 12 ways for travelers to help the planet.

1. Do your homework. The International Ecotourism Society can help you find a responsible ecotourism company. Green Globe is a worldwide certification program designed to help tourists discover their impact on local environment and communities. Planeta.com specializes in environmental and tourism reporting.

2. Choose your destination carefully. "For example, Iceland has some of the most fantastic whale watching in the world, but that country also started hunting whales last year in defiance of an international moratorium," said Chris Cutter, communications manager for the International Fund For Animal Welfare. "In Africa, Kenya has a strong commitment to conservation and a wide variety of habitats and animals, but countries like Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are much less responsible with natural resources."

3. Select a green hotel. Look for lodges and hotels that have received the Green Seal Certification for environmentally responsible practices. For a list of certified lodgings, visit http://www.greenseal.org/certproducts.htm#lodging. Delaware North Companies, which manages some national parks, created the GreenPath environmental management plan to conserve water and energy, reduce and recycle waste, and maintain the properties' integrity. For a list of GreenPath lodgings, visit http://www.delawarenorth.com/Destinations/Destinations.asp. Vacationing in Canada? The Hotel Association of Canada's ECOmmodation Rating Program recognizes hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performances. Visit www.hacgreenhotels.com for information.

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This page contains a single entry by published on July 11, 2007 2:03 PM.

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