For those of you seeking a greener lifestyle, an overseas trip is not necessarily the place to start. Unfortunately, as we all know, air travel has a killer impact on the environment. On the flip side, most environmentalists agree travel is essential for the development of cultural sensitivity and Eco-awareness. So how is it possible to be green and travel around the world?! Lets be realistic – short of carbon offsetting, eliminating your travel footprint altogether is not a very realistic option. Regardless, there are ways that you can minimize your impact without too much effort…or any of those pesky additional funds!
As a first step, why not give up on the chain hotel train and book yourself some Eco-friendly accommodation? While once a relative rarity, such green hostels and hotels are now popping up in locations across the world from Canada to Costa Rica and the Czech Republic. So, wherever you intend on visiting, here are a few green accommodations to get the ball rolling:
- Un Destino No Turistico Eco Camping and Hostel (Patagonia, Chile): Off the beaten track in Pantagonia lies this unique Eco-hostel – an experience if ever there was one with its solar cooking, composting toilets, grey water collection and on-site fair trade shop. Forget about TV, Wi-Fi or cell coverage – you won’t get it here! Rather, why not go for a countryside bike ride. After all, you’ll get a 10% discount here if you travel by bike, whereas it’s 10% more if you arrive in a car. Now that’s an incentive to go green!
- El Sabanero Eco Lodge (Tamarindo, Costa Rica): On the North Pacific coast of beautiful Costa Rica lies El Sabanero Eco Lodge – a haven of tranquility in the midst of pure nature. A veritable bird watcher’s paradise, this new Eco lodge was built from local materials in an authentic Costa Rican way, thereby immediately giving back to the local community. Don’t miss the buffet dinner, serving up delicious meals using only fresh organic fruit and vegetables from the on-site farm.
- St Christopher’s at the Mosaic House (Prague, Czech Republic): This beautiful new mosaic house in Prague’s historic center is at the forefront of Eco-tourism in the Czech Republic. Built with an initial Eco-friendly ambition, it offers facilities including solar powered water heating, waste water recycling, temperature control rooms based on occupancy and a central staircase designed to allow ventilation in summer.
- Tranquility Island Eco-Tourism and Dive Escape (Moso Island, Vanuatu): Part dive base, part Eco-tourism resort, Tranquility Island is the ideal place to simply escape from everyday life. All seven beachfront fares are built in an ‘island style’ complete with a thatch roof, insect-screen and hurricane light. While generated power is available at different times during the day, the hostel maintains a general Eco-tourism approach to electricity and lighting (i.e. use less of it!).
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900