It is impossible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honourably and justly, and it is impossible to live prudently and honourably and justly without living pleasantly 

Epicurus (341-270 BCE)

unfortunately, there is no such button!unfortunately, there is no such button!Ecoclub, the eco travel portal, was established long before the social network era, in 1999, with the aim of connecting and supporting all those who share our passion for an ecological tourism! Fully supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and inspired by Epicurus' Principal Doctrines and Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid philosophy, 22 years later we still believe that a better Tourism for All can contribute to a better World for All, with more freedom, fewer borders, social and other divides, less exploitation, oppression and violence. Examples and good practices of this better Tourism pop-up every day, so we try to promote and propagate them - Join us

ecosunThe Four Ecoclub Criteria are: 

1. Minimise your Environmental Impact.
2. Respect Human Rights, Labour Rights and Animal Rights
3. Meet Real Local Needs and help Eliminate Poverty & Injustice. 
4. Increase Knowledge & Intercultural Understanding.
 
Our four criteria broadly correspond to Epicurus' pleasantly-prudently-honourably-justly.
 

ecosunThe ongoing quadruple crisis (environmental, socio-economic, humanitarian-refugee, pandemic) is of no recent historical precedent in terms of endangering our presence, let alone our well-being, on this planet. While technological and medical progress has allowed the human population to grow, despite hundreds of treaties and fanfare, progress is agonisingly slow, as it has generally been in human history, in terms of reducing poverty and improving conservation, social justice and human rights. Our problems (and our solutions) go all the way back to the dawn of the Anthropocene, to the first agricultural societies where accumulation, surplus, debt, money, markets and human-made pollution first emerged and have since been inextricably linked to the basis of human civilization. Beyond -isms, the truth is that there is no blueprint or one-size-fits-all solution that could be applied globally without resulting in mass starvation, mass violence and wars. It is not realistic for 7.5 billion people to retreat back to the countryside, the forests and to a nomadic-mode of survival - nor should they, in the first place, as cities can be the most eco-friendly environments, saving space and resources. The prevailing globalised, socioeconomic system can hopefully be peacefully improved if we could identify and collectively agree on implementing, on a global scale, key changes in how money, energy and food are produced, distributed and stored, and, in the light of the Coronavirus crisis, how quality health and education can be accessible for all, and how work can be redefined, re-organised and remunerated. For this process to stand a chance, we need open-minded leaders, governments and businesses and, above all, active citizens that help each other. Mutual Aid, as explained by the great philosopher, human geographer and zoologist, Peter Kropotkin, has been and remains a key driver of progress, even if all else fails, during turbulent and chaotic times.

Mutual Aid, along with Sustainability, Democracy, Social Justice, Freedom and International Cooperation - in one, euphemistic perhaps, word "Common Sense" - can help us move forward in the 21st century. We need synthesis and practical solutions rather than endlessly stating the problems, ignoring the problems or proposing impractical or violent paths. Essentially, a free and fair society exists to the extend that public and private "oppressors" cancel each other out, there is no great concentration of power or wealth, there are checks and balances at all levels, as well as a free press and a free speech culture, a social welfare system, vibrant trade unions, genuine respect for all types of minorities, and a welcoming culture towards foreigners, philoxenia!

A peaceful path towards real progress can only be voluntary and gradual and be based on scientific facts and technological progress. We should not be afraid of what neo-luddites dismiss as "technofixes" but endorse green technology and try to reduce its environmental impacts (yes, it does have such). For example, we should effectively encourage green aviation (and trains) rather than just protesting about air transport emissions and advocating staycations. We approach Ecology not as one more -ism, an ideology or a semi-religious dogma, not in the context of a we-know-it-all political party, but as a rational, scientific, ongoing project. We need, on the one hand, to constantly identify and oppose ecocidal aspects and actors of the global system, and on the other hand, to recognise and encourage ecological trends and best practices. We believe these include Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure that can create quality, meaningful & pleasant jobs where no other options exist and, as importantly, in opening hearts and minds, in greater mobility between nations and within societies, in re-distributing wealth peacefully, effectively and more equitably between and within countries without further harming the planet. We do not advocate less travel or more expensive travel for the privileged few. On the contrary, we consider Mobility, Leisure, Travel and Tourism as human rights and thus advocate a sustainable, democratic travel for all!

The mutual-aid tendency in man has so remote an origin, and is so deeply interwoven with all the past evolution of the human race, that is has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history.” - Pyotr Kropotkin, Mutual Aid, A Factor of Evolution

We have no time to waste, yet this will probably be an Ultramarathon. The transition to a fully-civilised, peaceful, global socio-economic system and the full humanization of humanity (if it is ever to arrive - it could be that some cosmic accident or human-induced blunder puts an abrupt end) could take another 10,000 years (since the first agrarian societies emerged) or even another 4 million years (since Australopithecus afarensis walked upright!). However, we should remember (Lao-Tzu) that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and (Cavafis) that "when you set out for Ithaca ask that your way be long...". The simple truth is that, apart from inertia, nothing really prevents us from helping each other today and every day, from "living prudently and honourably and justly" and thus "living pleasantly", today and every day. Ecoclub, as a latter-day, virtual Garden of Epicurus, aims to unite truly progressive and open-minded citizens of the world who share the above ideas and are active or would like to become active in Ecotourism/Sustainable Tourism or related sectors. Ecoclub is also a genuine example of the sharing economy. We share resources, information, knowledge, ideas, opportunities and we also share the costs of maintaining Ecoclub through very reasonable fees. 

ecosunOur Logo: The colour (teal) is one of a few colours named after an animal (a duck, the common teal, whose eyes are surrounded by this colour). The smiling sun symbolizes a pragmatic, positive, non-violent, non-sectarian, non-dogmatic, philosophical attitude to life which combines the Epicurean "LATHE VIOSAS" ("ΛΑΘΕ ΒΙΩΣΑΣ" = get through life without drawing unwarranted attention), "ATARAXIA" (ΑΤΑΡΑΞΙΑ = tranquillity) with MUTUAL AID, the will to assist each other, solve real problems, "to get up again and start over", rise up every day, in a peaceful, daily revolution in all our individual and collective dealings; it also symbolizes solar power - renewable energy in literal and figurative terms and light - the light of science, enlightenment. 

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ecosunAncient Greek Writing Tablet, Red figure Kylix by Eucharides, 480 BCE (U. of Pennsylvania Museum)Ancient Greek Writing Tablet, Red figure Kylix by Eucharides, 480 BCE (U. of Pennsylvania Museum)Recommended Reading: