What is Green Travel?
Green, organic, eco-conscious, eco-friendly, responsible, sustainable, eco-tourism
In the past year, these environmental catchphrases have cropped up everywhere — in newspaper articles, online, in stores. But what do they all mean in the context of travel? Since these concepts are still in their formative stages, defining them is tricky. But we’ve compiled definitions from reputable sources and added our own two cents:
• Eco-conscious travel Conscious means being aware of something. Eco means concerning the environment, so “eco-conscious travel” essentially means being aware of the environment, and your impact on the environment, when you travel.
• Eco-friendly travel Again, eco relates to the environment and we all know what friendly means, so “eco-friendly travel” means being nice to and having little impact on the environment when you travel.
• Eco-Tourism From our good friends at Ecotourism Australia, “Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”
• Responsible Travel expands beyond the traditional notions of environmentalism and encompasses socially-conscious travel. It means understanding, respecting, and supporting the cultures and people in the area you are visiting. We like this definition from Lonely Planet:
Responsible tourism can be more-or-less defined as travel that takes into consideration the ‘triple bottom line’ issues of:
Environment: travel that minimizes negative environmental impacts and, where possible, makes positive contributions to the conservation of biodiversity, wilderness, natural and human heritage.
Economic: travel that has financial benefits for the host community and operates on the principles of fair trade.
• Sustainable Travel is defined as “a level of tourism activity that can be maintained over the long term because it results in a net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the area in which it takes place” (from Detour Destinations).
• Organic Travel Honestly, “organic travel” doesn’t make sense. Organic, in the context of being green, generally means produce or dairy grown or raised without the use of pesticides or hormones. So strawberries can be organic, shirts can be organic, even sheets can be organic. But travel can’t be “organic.”
• Green Travel: (defined by us)
Thinking about your impact on the environment (both the physical and social environment) when you travel
Doing your part to minimize your impact on the environment – so that tourism in your destination can be maintained in the long run
Understanding eco-friendly choices you can make
- Making eco-friendly choices when they are options
- Doing your research to be a responsible traveler
- Saving money by making low-impact choices