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ECOtripper
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Responsible Travel in Los Angeles

What does responsible travel mean?

It basically means to take only pictures and leave only footprints, very, very small footprints. The green and responsible traveler should have certain objectives in mind when selecting a green hotel. Being sustainable does not only apply to the environment, it also means to be socially responsible/sustainable.

In a perfect world every aspect of our life should be green. Being environmentally conscious should not be a life style choice of certain individuals, it should be the only choice. As our society starts to very slowly realize this, new aspects of our life are becoming greener. These are areas, which we did not connect with being green before. Traveling is one such example. There are many ways to become a sustainable traveler. Examples are to select the mode of transportation with the least carbon footprint, offsetting carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits, selecting a hotel that recycles, collects rainwater, and uses solar energy. There are endless possibilities.

The Holy Grail of responsible travel

The ultimate achievement in the world of responsible travel however might be volunteer travel. Traveling should be relaxing, interesting, and fun. These are all descriptions of feeling great. Many people say that giving back is the greatest feeling. There are many travel programs that organize trips to great locations that offer all the usual adventures and excitements of vacation travel, but combine them with volunteer assignments. These can range from teaching English in Costa Rica to wildlife conservation in Indonesia, and organic farming in Australia. There are also less exotic volunteer vacations. The Sierra Club offers several different vacations with a cause (Outings). Volunteering might open possibilities and rare insights into communities, which the normal traveler would never have been able to gather otherwise. However, these volunteer travel packages might not always be entirely sustainable.

Custom planning your green and responsible travel experience

To be truly in charge of ones green travel experience with a cause, the green traveler could select a sustainable hotel at a desired location, followed by choosing a suitable mode of transportation. Vacation adventures can either be arranged by the traveler himself or be selected from the hotel offerings, if available. The arrangement of the volunteer aspect of a responsible travel package will in this case most likely fall to the traveler himself. There are always organizations in need for volunteers, it should not be difficult to find suitable volunteer work. However, depending on the nature of the work desired by the traveler, advanced planning might be necessary.

Choosing responsible travel intuitively

When planning vacations we look for the cheapest way to get there and the cheapest way to enjoy ourselves. Everything always centers around the most economic way to have fun. It is second nature for most people. Planning green and responsible vacations will soon also become second nature.


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