What is Ecotravel or Voluntourism? Ecotravel is going to a destination, resort, or mode of transport that specializes in reducing their carbon footprint and is aimed at helping the environment. Whereas Voluntourism is where you do volunteer work in the community you are visiting.
Ecotourism or Green Travel is a leave the destination cleaner than when you arrived, type travel. It’s traveling to a destination or specifically choosing a company that has made a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint. We all know that major modes of transportation can pollute the air, among other ways of effecting the environment, but there are companies out there that do their part to help reduce how much pollutants they are expelling.
Another way popular tourist destinations are helping reduce their carbon footprint and help save their history and culture are reducing the amount of people allowed in at a time. Destinations like Venice and Rome have not been able to keep up with the trash left behind by tourists or been able to clean up their famous ruins or canals fast enough.
Many Cruise lines have been working on reducing their carbon footprint. Most cruise lines recycle, and some, like Disney, recycle their cooking oil where some of it is used to create biodiesel fuel for a fleet of vehicles in the Bahamas. Princess cruises works with companies that they buy in bulk from to stop using plastics and use biodegradable packages instead. Royal Caribbean have been noted for being the lowest emission producing ships in the industry, their newest ships emit 20% less carbon dioxide than ships that came out within the last couple of years. See, you don’t have to sacrifice your vacation to help the environment!
The best destinations known for Ecotravel are:
- Costa Rica is one of the top countries in the world that is reducing their carbon footprint.
- New Zealand
- Galapagos Islands
- Botswana and Zambia
Fathom is a great company that partners with Princess and Carnival to bring volunteers on vacation to destinations that need it. Currently Fathom is working with Princess to bring people to help those that were affected by the massive hurricanes that hit Caribbean islands in 2017. You’ll still get to travel to wonderful destinations, but help local communities rebuild and distribute goods and food to these communities that have been hit the hardest. Fathom’s other goal is to educate people on different cultures. Partnering with Carnival, they do just this on their Cuba cruises. You’ll get to learn about local culture, food, and languages when visiting this island.
Cruising with Fathom is particularly wonderful with children too. You’ll get to have your great vacation on these cruise ships and visit some amazing ports, but maybe take one day to help the local communities. This will greatly benefit children as volunteering to help will surely make a difference in their lives.
You can also volunteer with many different animal organizations as well! Helping rehabilitate injured or sick animals, helping clean rehabilitation centers, working together to mark sea turtle nesting grounds, and more. There are several tour organizations that you can work with, like WFA or NatGeo.
There are so many ways you can offer to help while sharing an amazing experience with your family.
She is also Fox Travel's Destination Wedding and Honeymoon specialist.