Ecoclub Member Blogs

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Leaving no footprints is no longer enough

In an era of climate crisis and mass migration, leaving no footprints is no longer enough - Responsible tourists should leave solidarity footprints behind, we need a positive, progressive, green impact tourism!

Two inspiring examples from Greece:

1. Welcommon Hostel, Athens (Web: https://welcommonhostel.gr): A seven-floor building in the centre of Athens, a former public clinic, converted into a hostel and run by the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis (Wind of Renewal), led by former Green MEP (Member of European Parliament) Mr Nikos Chrysogelos. Since 2018 it offers inexpensive, eco-accommodation and is also a center for social and green innovation and the arts, making bridges between locals, migrants and refugees. It is disabled-friendly and bicyle-friendly. Two floors function as an open centre for social empowerment and inclusion, creating new employment opportunities in areas such as upcycling, ethnic cuisines, culture, green / cyclic economy, energy efficiency and others. Classes are offered (languages, painting, puppet show, music) with the support of volunteers to refugees, migrants, local people and visitors. Visitors are encouraged to present a topic to other guests in the meeting corners, the classrooms” or in the aptly named “In Common” bar and restaurant.
 
 
2. ELIX Conservation Volunteers, Greece (Web: https://www.elix.org.gr/en/) A non-profit voluntourism company founded in 1987 by Ms Eleni Gazi, current Chairman, to promote environmental protection, the preservation of cultural heritage, the promotion of culture and social cohesion in Greece and abroad. Their work, assisted by both Greek and foreign young volunteers, covers a wide variety of projects ranging from organising educational and recreation activities and youth camps for underprivileged and refugee children in inner Athens, to maintaining traditional hiking paths, revamping village schools and supporting local cultural festivals in rural Greece. more details can be found at https://www.elix.org.gr/en/our-work

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