As we reach mid-June here in the frozen northland (maybe “soggy northland” is more apt), many of us are counting the days until our vacation. Whether you’re headed to a favourite campsite, or hopping on a plane to somewhere exotic, we’re curious to know: Do you make choices about the way you will holiday in the same way you make choices in your home life?
At this point, you’re thinking “Um, isn’t the whole point of a vacation to provide a change to my routine?” Of course it is. But you’re still you. Just “holiday ” you. And holiday you still believes the same things as non-holiday you does. Right?
So let us introduce you to the notion of sustainable tourism. No, that’s not synonymous with “non-alcoholic open bar” or “sugar free donut.” Sustainable tourism isn’t about giving stuff up, it’s about approaching your holiday differently. It’s about getting the most out of your vacation while minimizing your impact on the place or people you visit. In other words, it’s a trip that not only benefits you but the environment, economy, and culture you visit.
Many people think that sustainable tourism is a “green holiday,” or involves Birkenstocks, abstinence, cold water, and eating bugs (not that there’s anything wrong with that.). In reality, sustainable tourism is a bit of all these things, but mostly it’s a principle and a set of practices, rather than a type of holiday. It applies no matter where you go.
If the idea interests you, run a search on Google or Bing for more information. For a quick start, here are some Citizen Capitalism recommendations:
READ The United Nations’ World Tourism Office site publishes a global code of ethics for tourism. http://www.unwto.org/ethics/pdf/make_travel.pdf
ASK How can I offset my travel emissions this vacation?
DO Buy local goods whenever possible. It will support the economy and (in the case of food) is often better for the environment.
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