How can we travel the world and be environmentally friendly? Is it even possible? Some believe ecotourism is the way to go. But is it a good idea? What are the pros and cons? Are there other ways to reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying what the earth has to offer?
First, what is ecotourism? It is defined as traveling responsibly to a natural place with an emphasis on conservation. Some even including “improving the lives of locals as part of ecotourism. There’s a lot to unpack there. Who are we to say what we bring improves the lives of locals? It’s a slippery slope for sure.
There are a few pros. Ecotourism can help protect flora and fauna by bringing an increased awareness. We can gain an appreciation and educate ourselves on a different culture.
The cons of ecotourism include animals getting used to humans, which endangers both them and us. Locals may be forced to leave their homes to accommodate the tourists. If an area becomes popular it can lead to other environmental issues. And of course, there is more pollution from all the travelers.
We all want to see new places and be exposed to new cultures but we need to do it respectfully and responsibly. In no way should we go somewhere and expect them to follow our green suggestions. Because let’s be real, we can’t even get green in our own country. How can we tell others how to be more environmentally focused?
Maybe when we travel to new locations we should learn from the locals how they work on conservation in the community rather than shove our ideals at them.
Being green and wanting to help others is noble but it should not be at the detriment to those who live there. This is a topic that requires more research and thought. Please be sure to think about your impact before becoming an ecotourist.