Ecoclub Member Blogs

Utopia through Tragedy?

A plane is on fire and losing altitude. Some start praying. Others are frozen with fear. Some remain calm and also try to calm down their fellow passengers. Some are screaming or crying, something in between. Some are hugging each other and others are kissing. One is stealing. Some are texting their loved ones. A few are preparing to jump while others are just bracing for impact. A small group are trying to burst into the cockpit to check on the pilot and take control. The plane is the world. The fire is Covid, maybe 3 months from now. Who are you?If you think about it, add freedom of movement with (green means of transport, for all) to the current mix of no work and free allowances (in some countries) and we could finally attain Utopia! Technological advances mean that this could actually be sustained if (big IF) there was political...
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Quintuple Crisis? Five more reasons to act and green our act!

Tourism communities, businesses and destinations, the world itself is now facing a quintuple or five-fold crisis: the Climate Crisis, the Coronavirus Crisis, a structural Economic Crisis, a sharp Financial Crisis and an ongoing Refugee/Humanitarian Crisis. It should be, but it is not always obvious to everyone that the five crises are interconnected. Habitat loss and a warming climate encourages infectious diseases. Diseases worsen the simmering, global, structural economic crisis, which brings about a sharp drop in financial exchanges. All these worsen the socioeconomic conditions in already-troubled and poor parts of the world with wars ensuing and new refugees and economic migrant streams created. This in turn gives rise to xenophobic political forces which puts pressure on the political class and sabotages progressive, green initiatives, the very ones we need if we are to combat climate crisis or at lease adapt to some of its side-effects. This is a vicious circle. To break...
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Werfenweng – the role model of a genuine ecotourism destination

Werfenweng – the role model of a genuine ecotourism destination
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ‘ecotourism’ as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”. While there are plenty of tourism businesses and destinations worldwide that devoted themselves to both ecotourism principles and eco-friendly activities, Werfenweng is a unique destination as it specialises on the first two words of the TIES’s definition – the responsible travel.The village is located 50km south from Salzburg and it lies right at the foothills of the Tennengebirge mountain region at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. Thanks to its position, the nature is unspoilt, the air is fresh and both locals and wildlife enjoy good health. No wonder this region is highly attractive for tourists all year round. But how to manage the ever-increasing tourist flow without jeopardising the precious environment? The key, as it turns out, lies in...
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Opportunities to Link Community-Based Sustainable Tourism to Organic Farming Organizations

BIOFACH - The World's Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food, Nuremberg 12-15 February 2020.This is a great example to consider that community-based sustainable tourism can play a major role in collaboration. Connecting these two industries is key, as we @Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries have done for over 20 years.Pristine environments can also be protected by organic farming communities nearby. Eco-Tourists will appreciate that while enjoying real, safe food and waterways.https://www.biofach.de/en/news/press-releases/congress-organic-delivers-afbj2txytj_pireport     
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'What if?'

'What if?'
In December 2002 I headed into the Bolivian Yungas to visit the remote mountain town of Chulumani. One morning I sat drinking coffee looking out over the forested mountains, listening to Strauss and thinking...what if ????Six months later my trip was over and I returned to work in England. 'What if...' remained with me, though as routine and everyday life took over it got pushed further and further to the back of my mind.In December 2017 we changed 'What if...' to 'Oh my God we're doing this!' We bought a disused pupunha plantation in the Brasilian Atlantic Rainforest and set about building our Pousada. Living the Dream isn't easy; very long days, few days off, battling the elements, the forest and wildlife whilst coming to terms with a different culture and language all have presented huge challenges over the last 16 months. However last Sunday I sat in the sun, drinking...
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Top 10 impact travel experiences

Top 10 impact travel experiences
With each passing year, the concern for people and the planet is getting stronger more than anything else. So much so that the concern has taken over our news feeds, social media posts, or even our daily conversations. It is surely an elephant in the room that we can’t ignore anymore. Rapid changes in the environment, people’s lives, negative effects of consumerism, everything suggests us to make the right choices. Not just right enough to avoid negative effects, but making sure that right actions are taken for positive impact. When it comes to making travel choices, the scope to create positive impact widens. Just how sustainability discussions are becoming mainstream, taking actions towards making positive impacts would soon become a practice. Make sure you are updated to make right as well as very unique travel choices in 2020.Here is a list of travel experiences that will help you create a positive...
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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 GoaDuring 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 access to awareness about the marine environment,...
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9 purposeful mountain expeditions of 2019

9 purposeful mountain expeditions of 2019
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet!” – The quote by William Blake sums up the purposes and motivation for people to keep exploring the mountains. One might be going to mountains to find solitude and other might be going to get connected to new people and communities. There is always a purpose to it. The stronger the purpose, the more the exploration and learning one can bring back from mountains. Seeing the different lifestyles, natural wonders, and achieving new height every day are nothing less than life-changing experiences. Mountains challenge and motivate to conquer much more than one’s believes.Here are some trekking expeditions of 2019 that have a unique purpose to them. These expeditions are not just designed in the beautiful mountain ranges but they take you close to the mountain ecosystem. Seeing and experiencing the destinations with such a unique approach gives an opportunity to know the...
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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 watch...
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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 (and free...
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