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How to Choose a Green Vacation Destination

Where you choose to go on your eco-friendly vacation depends largely on what you want to do when you get there — aside from enriching your mind and renewing your spirit without harming the planet. Whether you want to wander through museums, play historian at archeological sites, kayak along a seacoast, or simply lounge by the pool, some things to take into consideration when you’re looking for a location are

  • A destination (geographical area or individual resort) that supports environmentally friendly principles, especially carbon emissions reduction

  • A destination that supports democratic principles and fundamental human rights for all people, including its own

  • A destination that’s actively working to protect local plants, birds, and wildlife

  • A destination that values its own heritage and culture and is working to educate visitors about both

Do some research into what life is like for the local people. Sure, you deserve a bit of luxury when you’re on vacation, but in some of the most luxurious vacation resorts, local people live well below the poverty line. You may not feel at all comfortable in a place where there’s a huge gap between how you’re vacationing and how they’re living. If you think that may be an issue, try finding either a location where this isn’t so much of an issue or an alternative accommodation that gets you closer to the local culture.

Even if your vacation doesn’t take you outside the United States, it’s worth remembering that some areas fare better than others in terms of attracting visitors. There’s nothing wrong with getting off the beaten path into less touristy areas and spending your money there.

If a train tour or a cruise is in your future (meaning that you don’t necessarily have one specific destination), research the company you’d like to travel with before you book. Find out about their green practices, where they find their staff, and what working conditions are like for the staff.

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