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)

If only it was so easy! Perhaps it is?Ecoclub is an Ecotourism portal and professional network established in 1999 in Athens, Greece, today with Members worldwide. We understand Ecotourism as Ecological Tourism, meaning a tourism which promotes the scientific and political principles of Ecology. Inspired and informed by Epicurus, the Green political philosophy and the Alter-globalization movement and endorsing the Global Greens Charter, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Ecosocialist Manifesto our aim is that Ecotourism contributes to a gradual, peaceful transition to a better and happier world, a world with social justice and real freedom for all, a world without borders, class divisions, violence, exploitation and oppression, that respects the fundamental rights of all people and other life forms. Examples and good practices of this better & happier world already exist and new ones pop-up every day, so we cooperatively try to promote and propagate them. In three words: Ecology Through Tourism!

ecosunThe Ecoclub Ecotourism Criteria are: 

1. Minimise your Environmental Impact.
2. Respect Human Rights, Labour Rights and Animal Rights
3. Meet Real Local Needs and Reduce Poverty & Inequality. 
4. Increase Knowledge & Intercultural Understanding.
 

Our four criteria broadly correspond to the four pillars of Green parties around the world: Ecological Sustainability, Social Justice, Grassroots/Economic Democracy and Peace & Non-Violence. Not everything that counts can be quantified and accurately measured, and vice versa, but, we believe that ecological tourism providers should make an effort to follow quality green standards such as the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, Accommodation and Tour Operators and the European Union EU Ecolabel for Tourist Accommodation criteria.

ecosunEcotourism & the World: The current global environmental and socio-economic crisis (aka Global Warming/Climate Change), according to overwhelming scientific consensus, is unprecedented 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 in terms of reducing poverty and inequality and increasing environmental conservation, social justice and human rights. The problem, equitable distribution of decision-making and resources, goes 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, so there are no quick fixes that would not involve mass starvation and mass violence. It is also 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, as cities can be the most eco-friendly environments, saving space and resources. But we believe that it is credible to argue, and practical to aim, that the current, globalised capitalist system, dominated by large, transnational corporations that are backed by a handful of powerful states, can be peacefully and gradually transformed, if a handful of key changes (including changes in how money is defined and how money, energy and food is produced, distributed and stored) are introduced, into a greener, fairer and freer system. For these changes to occur we need on the one hand progressive, green, anti-capitalist governments, and on the other to help each other and do things differently at the grassroots.

The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured? - Albert Einstein, 'Why Socialism?", 1949

The necessary path towards change will hopefully be ecological, voluntary, non-violent and thus gradual and it will be based on both international cooperation and technological progress. For Humanity to survive, let alone to progress further, 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, currents and movements. We believe these include Genuine Ecotourism/Ecological Tourism/Sustainable Tourism, which, although not a cure-all, has a pivotal and multifaceted role to play in creating 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 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.com, as a latter-day, virtual Epicurean garden aims to unite and support open-minded, green and progressive/modernist citizens of the world, who share the above ideas, are inspired by the civilised triptych of Ecology-Liberty-Equity, and are active or would like to become active in Ecotourism/Sustainable Tourism or other Green Economy sectors - join us today!

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) and "ATARAXIA" (ΑΤΑΡΑΞΙΑ = tranquillity) with the will to assist others, solve real problems, 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. 

arrowJoin us today!

The deepest shadow that hangs over us is neither terror, environmental collapse, nor global recession. It is the internalized fatalism that holds there is no possible alternative to capital’s world order. - Joel Kovel & Michael Lowy - An Ecosocialist Manifesto (2001)


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