Ecoclub Member Blogs

Stop Plastic ! - Project for more sustainability in Goa, India

This project is about launching an awareness campaign throughout the whole state of Goa in India about plastic pollution, responsible tourism, protection of the marine environment and of the marine wildlife in Goa During a minimal period of 6 months, we will do this campaign for locals: in schools, universities, coastal establishments (hotels, restaurants, shacks), tourist operators, state agents (tourism department, environment department, coast guards) and also for tourists: during events (setting up beach clean-up days, eco-responsible parties), in hotels. Why this project & why Goa? Goa is India’s most polluted coastal destination. Tourists come in large numbers every year to enjoy the beach, parties and alcohol without necessarily caring about the environment. Disposable plastic is part of the everyday life of locals and tourists. Abnormally high numbers of endangered dolphins and turtles are stranded on Goa’s beaches, certainly in relation to human activities. The locals, especially children, do not have...
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64 Hits

Astrostays in the Himalayas

astrostays-1-600 Himalayan Astrostays!
Leh-Ladakh is the Himalayan region in the extreme north of India, an area blessed with tremendously beautiful landscapes and clear sky. Seeing the Milky Way with naked eyes is not a big deal here. But in the Spring of 2019, things came together to turn this into a unique attraction of the tourism industry.  A lot has been said and written about things to do in Ladakh. Most of them, however, promote only a few places. The reasons behind are the rough terrain, inaccessibility of the locations and lesser information. The promoted list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of jewels hidden in the cold desert. One such destination is called Maan; the first Astro-village of India. The village is home to a state-of-the-art telescope set up by Global Himalayan Expedition. The villagers conduct a stargazing session every night to promote astronomy in the region. You can...
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327 Hits

Friday Happiness in Algarve, Portugal

pizzanight-algarve-in Friday Happiness Algarve
Last summer, I came across a new surreal place in the middle of Algarve, south of Portugal: FridayHappiness in Tojeiro. Located near a small village approximately 300km down south from Lisbon. This charming campsite with a beautiful view in between the mountains, built from recycled and local materials is an association promoting agriculture, art, and consciousness. A community of people coming from the five corners of the earth are living and staying on this very well-organized campsite, with the objectives and mission to live fully self-sustain. Many volunteers come and stay for a minimum of 3 months up to several years, for some of them. What began initially as a gathering of some friends a Friday night around a slice of pizza and some music, became an official venue called “Pizza Night Algarve” where children and adults are welcome on the campsite and offered pizza-all-you-can eat and lasagna for 10euros p/p...
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420 Hits

Agroecology Europe Forum, Crete, Greece September 2019 Proceedings

Greetings, Video highlighting the Agroecology Europe Forum, Agroecology Europe Youth Network , Agroecology Greece . It was a great pleasure to participate in this forum and to meet so many people dedicated to cultivating our safe food sources, protecting communities from toxic chemical agriculture, and working hard to sustain resilient communities. My presentation at Workshop 6: Scaling Out, entitled "Collaborating with Sustainable Community-Based Tourism Initiatives." Discussion on proven initiatives supporting Agroecology through community-based tourism. Also, ways to expand and/or initiate more programs and create more global awareness of the necessity for Agroecology. For those who have participated in Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries seminars/study tours, you will recognize some of the organic farmers and speakers at this forum, who are also teachers in the CCS Network. Agroecology Europe Forum Information  
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286 Hits

Community Tourism in Bolivia's Uyuni Salt Flats

191023-bo Homestay providers in Uyuni Salt, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) is annually receiving more than 60.000 national and international visitors, interested in discovering its beauty. A surprising and challenging salt desert, together with a past of mining and hunting of the local communities, makes it nowadays one of the most visited attractions of Bolivia, and since 2016, the icon of Bolivian Vice Ministry of Tourism’ country promotion. Nevertheless, this wonderful destination is still managed through a model that leaves few resources to local communities; everyday, tour groups come from Chile and other Bolivian destinations, drive through the salt packed with visitors, take funny pictures into the desert, and go back to continue their tour in Bolivia. Under this model, no benefit is left to local communities, who mainly live on the poverty line and with many economic vulnerabilities. In order to revert this situation, and to seize the opportunity of tourism, since 2015, local families...
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340 Hits

Cape Winelands Continue to Grow as World-Class Eco-tourism Destination

191021-cape-winelands Cape Winelands, photo by Sebastian Nowozin
Ecotourism in the Cape Winelands of South Africa, in particular, is booming as an increasing number of visitors to the Western Cape Province want to explore the multitude of eco-friendly activities in the area. Apart from indulging in the freshest organic produce imaginable at a local farmers market or embarking on a full-moon hike through a lush green valley, visitors can also enjoy some of the best sustainable wines in the entire world .  Although you do not have to be a wine-lover in order to enjoy a day at one of the superb wineries in the region, enjoying a good glass of sustainable wine will definitely add an element of merriment to your very beneficial eco-tourism excursion .   Sustainable wines are skyrocketing in popularity Sustainable wines have been all the rage for some time and, thankfully there is no shortage of superb offerings in the Western Cape. These wine...
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138 Hits

Turtle Voluntourism in Cape Verde

191020-cv-voluntourism Some of the Volunteers and Field Assistants in their tent, relaxing before the next nights work.
To be alongside a nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle is a privilege. Every year they pull themselves up onto the beaches and dig deep into the sand to hide their eggs, producing nests that can house a hundred eggs that will soon hatch into baby turtles ready to face the dangers of the big wide world.  But on the island of Sal, in the Cape Verdean archipelago, the Loggerhead Sea Turtles are under threat. Under intense development, the numbers of people and domestic animals arriving on this island is increasing all the time. Because of this, turtles nesting here have been long under attack by poachers killing the nesting females, dogs digging up the eggs, and illegal developments. Voluntourism with the organisation Project Biodiversity has made great strides in combatting these threats, and allows nature-lovers to get first-hand experience of these majestic animals by staying a few weeks with the rangers as...
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244 Hits

Greening the Camino de Santiago

191020-camino-de-santiago Two pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, 1568
The Camino de Santiago , or Way of St. James, is the main tourist resource of Galicia, in Spain, and beyond, it is also a national and international icon. With adequate long-term planning and integrative and collaborative management, it would be positioned as a cultural and sustainable tourist destination, according to a demand in search of experiences, immersion in the local culture and observation of nature. The Master Plan and Strategic Plan of the Camino de Santiago in Galicia 2015-2021 includes four strategic lines as main objectives of action, an example of the intentionality in positioning the destination as socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. The four lines are: 1. Coordination and administrative organization: highlighting the creation of bodies that facilitate coordination and participation among the different agents, such as the creation of the International Committee of Experts of the Camino de Santiago and the strengthening of relations with other international “caminos”...
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135 Hits

Tour Operators can easily implement an environmental charity offering scheme

191010-to-charity Reforestation in the Scottish Highlands
As tourism becomes a bigger and bigger industry, it is important to be as environmentally conscience as possible. As carbon footprints mount up from flights, it is refreshing to see travel tourist companies try to offset their greenhouse emissions through a variety of processes. In Edinburgh, it is common to take day trips to the Scottish Highlands to see the majesty of Glen Coe and Loch Ness via tour bus, with your driver/guide showing you the secret spots and divulging interesting local facts.   In order to create an ecologically sustainable practice, tour operators such as Highland Explorer have implemented their own Environmental Charity Offering Scheme. They pioneered this scheme in order to allow guests to donate a small sum to preserving Scottish natural wildlife, while also promising to match any donations. This money goes to the charity Trees For Life , who have planted over half a million trees so...
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154 Hits

Green Underground

191009-iera-odos The Sacred Way
The greenest, quickest and safest way to explore a big city often is to use the underground. No hopping on and hopping off double-deckers stuck in traffic or lethal (to you and pedestrians) electric scooters. No more so than in Athens where many underground stations are museums in their own right. Get off at any station and walk 1 km in each direction and you will sample the real sounds, tastes and smells of each neighbourhood. Taking Line 3 to Egaleo station today I missed a couple of trains due to the fascinating ancient artefact displays next to the platform. And two more trains must have already passed by while I was admiring the best preserved section of the 2,500+ year old Sacred Way or ΙΕΡΑ ΟΔΟΣ  (see picture) discovered a few years ago when the station was built! 
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187 Hits