29th Nov 2020
Green travel can mean much more than simply offsetting carbon emissions from your flight. Travel writer Amanda Cassidy on some of the destinations designed to give back to local communities and to help wildlife thrive.
Yes, we want to go somewhere, anywhere.
But as we continue to live with the pandemic, many of the decisions we make are becoming more considered. Those quick hop flights over to Spain are all we are longing for but if you are looking to release some of that pent-up wanderlust, you may want to go a little further. Additionally, sustainable travel is on the rise.
Hotels and holiday destinations are responding in kind. The Brando, for example, located in The Islands of Tahiti hosts its very own pioneering deep seawater air-conditioning system keeping the hotel cool.
It’s on my bucket list for when we travel again, but some of the exceptional natural scenery in Japan is worth the lengthy flight. There you can relax in a hydroelectric ryokan in Karuizawa. Just 90 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train, the Hoshinoya Karuizawa resort sits on a lake beside Mt Asama and feels a world away from the neon capital.
The river running down the mountain plays a key role in powering the property, generating hydroelectricity through a system simply called ‘Energy In My Yard’ (EIMY), which provides 70% of the resort’s energies. Guests can also enjoy award-winning ecotours, acclaimed bird watching and healing hot springs during their stay.
Why not visit Ouirgane Ecolodge in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco. It’s an eco-friendly accommodation in the Ouirgane & Toubkal National park. Just 70 minutes from Marrakech, at the foothills of the Toubkal summit, this spot focuses on sustainability, innovation, respect for the environment and the appreciation for the local Berber cultures.
A number of concepts are implemented at the lodge including the use of mixer taps, intelligent irrigation for the garden: well water, drop by drop system, use of biodegradable cleaning and bathroom products and the use of renewable energy technologies.
Montenegro is home to five national parks, each one offering outdoor lovers multiple hiking and biking opportunities through forests, lakes, and mountains, many of which remain untouched.
But once we get the green light for travel, look into Skadar Lake National Park, the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula – ideal for kayaking and SUP in the summer.
The emerald-colored lake is a bird lover’s paradise; home to over 280 species and the only pelican habitat in the south of Europe for the endangered Dalmatian Pelican and Pygmy Cormorant.
UNESCO World Heritage site, Durmitor National Park is famed for its sky-scraping peaks, black pines, glacial lakes and the Tara River Canyon.
There you will also find some of the last primeval forests in Europe as well as the river known as the teardrop of Europe. Whitewater rafting anyone?
With four national parks, eight national monuments, 41 state parks, 960 wildlife species, and 6,000 miles of rivers, the numbers don’t lie: the great outdoors is Colorado’s calling card.
In 2017, the Colorado Tourism Office and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics formed a ground-breaking alliance and introduced the jointly-created seven Care for Colorado Principles which encourage consideration when travelling.
As part of this initiative, you can stay at off the grid property Badger Creek Ranch which relies only on solar power for energy use. All organic material is also reused as fertilizer for the ranch’s garden and hay meadows.
In Florida too, the World Heritage Site of Everglades National Park (www.paradisecoast.com) offers multiple opportunities to explore and navigate the unique environment made up of tropical jungle, mangroves, and cypress swamps. Disney land is not.
This vast wetlands wilderness is an ideal environment for marine life to thrive and the area is famous for its rich birdlife and endangered species.
Sustainability also crosses over into the local cuisine. The harvest season runs from October to May and fishermen detach claws at the joint and throw the crustaceans back. Stone crabs have the ability to regenerate their claws every one to two years, making this Florida’s most coveted sustainable food source.
Roll on 2021!
Image via unsplash.com
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