Being Free and Being Green

Freedom from work, freedom from the daily grind, freedom from responsibility – this is why most of us go on holiday. Holidays are about letting our hair down and being carefree. Being aware of our ecological footprint, however, is one every-day responsibility which we can take with us on our holidays, and it need not be at the expense of our freedom.
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It is Easier than You Think

Nowadays we are far more aware of our impact on the environment. Consequently, many of us recycle, invest in energy saving, and are conscious of waste reduction. So why not continue these admirable practices on our holiday travels?

According to Robert Geneid, an experienced leader in ecotourism, minimising your impact on the local environment, wildlife and the indigenous communities of your holiday destinations, is what ecotourism is all about. And it is much easier than it sounds. Much of the tourism industry is already on board with this idea, and tourists can easily jump onto the same boat.


Living it Up, the Eco-Friendly Way
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OK, so you have been craving a holiday of luxury, and you want to stay at a classy hotel that offers all the best 5-star amenities. That is completely understandable – you deserve it. So, why not get your fix of luxury at a hotel that offers all of these things, yet also champions ecotourism?

Many 5-star hotels actively seek to reduce their ecological footprint. When booking your hotel, look for establishments that use solar power, biofuel, LED or low voltage lighting, and have computerised heating and cooling systems that maximize comfort at the lowest output possible.

Some hotels also employ water-saving procedures. For example, guests may be encouraged to change their linens only every other day to reduce the volume of laundry, or recycled water may be used for watering the hotel gardens. There are even hotel restaurants that refrain from putting a carafe of drinking water on the table (which is standard procedure at most restaurants) unless the guests specifically request one. Hundreds of litres of water can be saved each year by instituting this simple practice. 


Hotels With Green Bones

Taking this idea a step further, there are numerous hotels throughout the world which have been designed and built around eco-friendly principles. This includes using energy-efficient windows to maximise the use of natural light, and using structural materials that provide better insulation. Both these practices reduce electricity needs in the long-run. There are even hotels which have been built entirely out of recycled materials.


You too Can Be an Eco-Tourist!

Before planning your getaway, why not do some research into destinations that offer great ecotourism options? Not only can you stay at great hotels and still be eco-friendly, but you can also tailor your itinerary around eco-friendly activities.

As Robert Geneid points out, being a responsible traveller does not have to come at the expense of your holiday freedom, just as your holiday fun does not have to come at the expense of the local environment.

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