These days, going on holiday is more than just about some fun in the sun. You’ll want to respect your destination — treating it as you would your own home. One way to do this is to plan an eco-friendly holiday. Sustainable holidays are not only good for the Earth but have become quite trendy as well.
How to Take an Eco-Friendly Holiday
Choose Eco-Friendly Holiday destination considerately
Consider holiday destinations that don’t require you to travel by plane or drive for hours to get to. Camping is ideal, as you can avoid using electricity and heating, keeping your carbon footprint to a minimum. If you’re planning to travel abroad, pick a destination where you don’t have to drive once you get there. There are so many all-inclusive holiday resorts these days, including many in sunny Spain and on the Greek islands, where you can find a place to stay easily and be entertained for the week or two you’re there, without needing to travel further. A lot of travelers on Benidorm holidays in 2014 will all be doing their bit for the planet by booking such a package.
Do harmless activities
If you do want to see some of the resort’s neighboring sites, use public transportation to get there. Better still, why not consider renting a bike and just cycling around the local area? You’ll get the added bonus of seeing the region as a local would and burn off some of that naughty but incredibly nice food that we always eat on holidays! Walking the streets and alleys of foreign towns will also give you a new perspective on the area. You may even come across out-of-the-way restaurants, for a taste of local cuisine without the hubbub of the resort.
Eat green grub
Speaking of the local grub, shop at the local butchers, cheesemongers, and vegetable markets for food to make your holiday more eco-friendly. Whether you’re buying for a week’s stay in a self-catering apartment or simply for a day trip out of town, purchasing local foods that are in season will help support local farmers as well as the local community and economy. Something that might surprise you is your alcohol intake can also be eco-friendly. Choose local, organic wines and brews to be kind to the local vineyards and environment.
Eco-friendly clothing has come a long way in recent years. If you’re planning on purchasing new clothes for the trip, choose designers and retailers who use eco-fabrics and design and make their clothing in-house. Failing that, consider shopping for vintage wear in your local second-hand shop. If you have kids, pack eco-friendly, organic toys that were made from sustainable sources or recycled materials. A lot of them are wooden, which gives them that quaint, traditional feel that has you different back to memories of your own childhood (if you’d like to go there!). With just a little thought you can go on a holiday that doesn’t mess up the world. Pack the right stuff, do the right activities, and the world will be none the wiser as to you being there. Happy holidays!
It’s Time to Say “Bula” to Eco-Tourism in Fiji
With a tranquil, unspoiled and beautiful environment, Fiji is an eco-tourist’s dream. Isolated in the South Pacific, the 330 islands that make up Fiji have generally escaped the nasty environmental effects of industrial progress, and the country’s government and citizens are working hard to keep it that way. Fiji supplies a plethora of natural, outdoor attractions that really can’t be found anywhere else, as well as a laid-back and friendly culture that welcomes tourists and makes them feel right at home. If you’re keen to enjoy some of the spectacular wonders of this tropical paradise, book your airline ticket to Fiji and then read on for five eco-friendly tour operators who are committed to environmental education and utilising sustainable business practices.
Kula Eco Park
Whether you’re travelling by yourself, in a group or with your family, Kula Eco Park is a fun, educational attraction to visit in Fiji. A haven for native flora and fauna, the park is also a centre for captive breeding of many endangered species. Located in Viti Levu on the southern Coral Coast of the country, Kula Eco Park works cooperatively with The National Trust for Fiji, The Endangered Species Recovery Council of San Diego in the United States and the Parks Board of New South Wales in Australia. While visiting Kula, tourists can enjoy the peaceful setting of the ecological reserve while spotting a wide variety of animals and plants. Residing at the park are iguanas, snakes, tropical fish, turtles, bats, peacocks and a plethora of birds. A hit with children in particular, the park aims to educate kids on wildlife conservation and environmental awareness.
Tui Tai Adventure Cruises
Tui Tai Adventure Cruises is an eco-friendly company who considers the environment to be their partner and is one of the only luxury adventure services in the world that meets International Oil Pollution Prevention standards. The business is also the only South Pacific holiday package provider that has been featured in National Geographic’s annual “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” survey. Operated with total commitment to ecotourism, Tui Tai regularly evaluates its impact and takes care to consider waste management, resource purchases and in particular, the purchasing, storage, mixing, filtering and disposal of fuel. The cruise company also works closely with local villages — it fosters partnerships with indigenous groups, provides funding to schools, purchases medical supplies and sponsors community developments. Tui Tai specialises in luxury cruises that sail between Vanua Levu, Taveuni and remote islands such as Kioa and the Ringgold Atolls. A Tui Tai luxury cruise is the perfect choice for nature lovers and conservationists.
Fiji Shark Dive
Described by its owners as a “conservation project masquerading as a dive shop”, Fiji Shark Dive runs reef and shipwreck tours and renowned shark dives as a way of protecting the sharks in the local area. The business is focused on the protection of reef environments and habitat conservation and conducts extensive research in Fiji. This ecotourism operator regularly hosts shark conservation studies for high school and university students and is expanding to provide research internships too. Fiji Shark Dive has been instrumental in having 48 kilometres of the southern coast — dubbed the “Fiji Shark Corridor”— declared a no-fishing zone. All staff members of the company have also been certified as “Fish Wardens” and conduct regular patrols in the area to ensure no-fish rules are abided by.
Rivers Fiji specialises in whitewater rafting with the purpose of enhancing awareness of and appreciation for the culture and environment of Fiji. The company provides adventure activities that promote conservation and preservation and regularly works with locally owned businesses to run the available programs. Committed to ethical dealings in the region, Rivers Fiji pays a user fee to the native landowners as a way of providing direct benefits to the local villages. The company has conducted an impact analysis of the tourism program on local communities in order to develop best-practice policies and procedures. Rivers Fiji has also been awarded Fiji’s “Excellence in Tourism Awards” for Environmental Tourism and Best Adventure five times.
Fiji Eco Tours
An adventure tour company located in Nadi, Fiji Eco Tours specialises in comprehensive packages for tourists who wish to become better acquainted with the Fijian people and way of life. All the tours run by the company allow visitors to experience the culture up close and personal while also getting a taste of the country’s natural beauty. The tours include outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching and visiting beaches, parks and waterfalls, in addition to cultural activities such as weaving, art and pottery lessons.