Eco-tours encourage and teach participants how to live in an environmentally responsible way. By participating in conservation and preservation projects, travelers educate themselves on environmental issues and awareness. Eco-tours that involve the local community empower the area's inhabitants and pay fair wages, thereby preventing exploitation, as well as benefiting the local economy.
According to The International Ecotourism Society, your eco-vacation should:
There are many eco-tour providers that span the entire world, but before you decide who to sign up with, you should research what the eco principles and practices are of the company you are thinking about going with.
You should also get yourself up to date on the area you would like to visit. Familiarize yourself with their culture, history and customs. In addition, learning a little bit of the language will ingratiate yourself to the locals even if all you know is how to say "Hello" and "Thank you." You should also be aware of resource shortages before leaving so as not to add to their depletion.
While at your destination, the Eco Tour Directory recommends:
Once you've returned home, you can continue to reduce your carbon footprint by following the practices you've learned on your trip. Also, supporting organizations or societies that are eco-friendly and spreading the word will go far in raising environmental awareness.
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