Add Punakaiki Pancake Rocks to Travel Your Bucket List

The road to the famous Pancake Rocks in New Zealand’s Paparoa National Park takes you on a breath-taking journey of beauty, with thick, wild vegetation on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other.

Credit: Barni1

If you’ve been working on a bucket list of places to visit, this destination should be near the top of that list. Here’s why.

The most amazing sunrise

The pancake rocks in Punakaiki are the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast of New Zealand, and with good reason. One of them being the most stunning sunrises. You’ll have to set out early of course, but it’s well worth the effort – as the sun rises the rocks literally appear to glow.

Sunrise isn’t the only time you can enjoy a spectacular view, it’s a magnificent spectacle throughout the day. Whether you stop at the rocks alone or take the time to see some of the other sites in the vicinity, you won’t be disappointed. To catch the sunrise it’s worth checking out available accommodation in the area. Visit www.punakaiki.co.nz/accommodation/

They look like real pancakes!

The cliffs, which can be found overlooking the sea, are composed of several layers of limestone – most of which are no more than a few centimeters thick. Whether you have a proper camera or intend to take pictures with your mobile phone, your memory card could easily become full before you know it, as there are so many platforms from where you can take amazing photos.

Today’s landscape is the result of 30 million years of erosion, sediment depositions, and decomposition of dead marine creatures. In fact, the accumulated strata should have remained hidden. The only reason we’re able to see the rocks in all their glory is due to earthquakes that have caused the earth’s crust to rise.

Many other attractions in the area

The Pancake Rocks are a delight to behold, which is what most guides focus on exclusively. However, there are a number of other unique attractions to see in the area. For one, check out the marine cave, but be sure to take a flashlight with you. The rocks can be slippery, so you’ll need to be careful. No matter how careful you are, it’s prudent to protect yourself with insurance from a reputable company such as www.state.co.nz, AA Insurance or Tower when you travel.

While some of the caves have never been fully explored, some are home to glow worms, which can provide an awesome spectacle.

After exploring the caves, we recommend taking a walk on the beach. As you progress along the coast, be sure to keep eyes peeled, because the smallest species of dolphin (Hector’s dolphins) can sometimes be spotted. As much as you might like to dive in, we don’t recommend this, because the sea is way too rough, even for a pro swimmer.

Rich flora and fauna

The creatures and vegetation of the forest form an interesting ecosystem. Here, you’ll find the nikau, which is a palm tree that wouldn’t usually reside in such a location, due to low altitude. You can also spot birds called ‘Weka’, which were nearly chosen to represent New Zealand as the country’s mascot, instead of the Kiwi. This flightless bird is battling, stubborn and not afraid of humans. It can swim, move swiftly and jump. There’s also the Kererū wood pigeon, which can be spotted in the branches.

Fantastic for hiking

If you would rather sightsee whilst hiking, then you’re in luck, because there are hiking trails that lead to Pancake Rocks. Depending on where you park, you can access a path that will lead you to Dolomite Point, from where the rocks can be seen. It can be refreshing to see them from this vantage point, so you might want to have a camera with which to take pictures.

So, have you added Pancake Rocks to your bucket list yet?

Wonderful Eco Tour Destinations In Florida

If you are interested in planning a vacation to some of the best eco-destinations in Florida, you should be aware of the fact that you will be faced with a wonderful experience. This state has some completely unforgettable, preserved beauty spaces, ranging from the wonderful Northwest sand beaches to the Everglades. Holiday villas in Florida are incredible and the eco-lifestyle is a big part of local life.

One thing that many do not know is that Florida is a highly ecological and really culturally diverse spot to go to. It is definitely among the most diverse travel destinations in the world. Florida is renowned for being vacations centered, mainly building a travel reputation due to shopping and theme parks. However, this is just the start of what you could experience in the Sunshine State. This state has a unique history and numerous natural landscapes. This is why eco-tours are so popular right now.

There are many different towns and destinations you can find when interested in ecotourism. Most of them are within a short driving distance of popular tourist hubs. Make sure that you travel consciously and light so that you can truly enjoy the natural beauty that Florida has to offer. Check out the following destinations as really top spots that you do want to put on your list.

Navarre

Navarre is placed between Destin and Pensacola. It is a perfect place that allows you to explore Florida’s Northwest area, which features a stunning powder-white coastline.

One of the best spots to visit is Gulf Islands National Seashore. This covers 8 miles filled with undeveloped beaches. You can even spot some incredible sea turtles that visit the shores in order to rest. Move east to check out the dune lakes of Walton County. This is where you can find some incredible freshwater marvels that are unique around the world. In the north, you want to go close to Milton so you can experience what the Blackwater River has to offer. This is Florida’s Canoe Capitol. Then, be sure that you hike the Blackwater River State Forest’s Florida National Scenic Trail.

Flagler Beach

Flagler Beach features so many miles of coastline that is undeveloped. It is a favorite spot for those that love nature and that want to spend some quality time on the coast. Once there, go through the North Peninsula State Park to find pristine scrub-jay habitat and visit Fairchild Oak. This is one of the largest oaks in the world, a wonderful Bulow Creek State Park attraction. Once there, go to Graham Swamp Conservation Area, a region that is simply a heaven for fox, deer and wading birds.

Crystal River

The Crystal River Archaeological State Park offers everything that an eco-conscious tourist would want to see. This includes a plaza area, middens and Native American mounds that are pre-Columbian.

Do you want to see some manatees? Then, visit Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in King’s Bay. The area was created in order to protect the West Indian Manatee, which is an endangered species. There are different guided kayak and boat tours that you can choose from. Also, there are numerous trails that hikers are simply going to adore. The one that is usually recommended is the beautiful Citrus Hiking Trail. It is located in Withlacoochee State Forest and gives you the possibility of seeing the red-cockaded woodpecker, which is quite a rare species.

Everglades City

Whenever talking about Florida and ecotourism, it is impossible not to mention the Everglades. This is an incredibly popular destination for all people that want to start self-guided eco tours in the state. Your base camp can be set in Everglades City, which is the best gateway to visit the Everglades National Park.

Once you are there, seriously consider paddling the Wilderness Waterway (99 miles long) and try camping in Ten Thousand Islands, an area that is very popular at the moment. Guided tours are available, taking you to Smallwood Store and Rod And Gun Club, in Chokoloskee Island.

Punta Gorda

This is a truly wonderful starting point for anyone interested in coastal and inland exploration. This incredible Southwest Florida town is simply filled with history, giving you access to that old Florida charm that you want to experience. Much preserved land can be found here. Around 80% of the entire Charlotte Harbor coastline is now protected, being marked as the seventeenth largest US estuary. You can experience around 200 miles of blueway trails, giving paddlers wonderful options for wildlife watching and birding.

When moving away from the coastline you can enjoy numerous Florida eco tours, normally starting from Babcock Ranch. You can also visit Pine Island, where you can learn about Calusa Indians thanks to the people at Randell Research Center.

Conclusions

Florida may be renowned for the party lifestyle and the many things that tourists do every single day but there is so much more to experience. Most tourists do not actually know much about the real beauty of this state. The destinations highlighted above are just some that are perfect for those interested in ecotourism. Many others can be mentioned.

Start your experience from a spot that will allow you to quickly reach as many ecotourism destinations as possible. Also, be sure that your visit will be longer than just a weekend. You do need at least a week to plan a trip that would cover some of what the state has to offer.

How to Make an Eco-Friendly Home and Life for Your Pet

Being environmentally conscious is very important these days, thanks to phenomena like global warming. And that means you should take an environmentally friendly stance in all parts of your life including your home. If you have a pet who lives with you at home, you can incorporate eco-friendly products and processes to ensure your pet is well cared for, and that he makes little impact on the environment as possible.

Here are some ways you can make an eco-friendly home for your pet.

Invest in an Eco-friendly Pet House

Your dog may want a pet house he can hang out in outside, or when he needs a place to hide away inside. Consider investing in an eco-friendly dog house so you don’t choose a shelter made from materials that tax the environment. Consider a dog house made from salvaged wood or a plastic one made from recycled materials. Buying a green dog house will ensure that your dog’s little shelter didn’t use unnecessary resources.

Compost Your Pet’s Poop

Instead of tossing your dog’s poop in the trash, consider composting it (just not for your edible plants!) This ensures that the poop and the plastic bags you might otherwise use to pick it up with are not going to clog up a landfill.

Feed Your Pets Food That Is Sustainable

When you think about what you’re going to feed your pet, make sure you only consider food that’s from sustainable sources. You can find a dog food that is made by companies who only use sustainable ingredients, or you can consider making your own dog food and treats using food from local, sustainable farms and markets or even by growing your own food!

Adopt Your Pet

Rather than going to a pet store or a breeder to buy your beloved animal, head to a shelter instead and adopt a pet. By adopting a pet, you can reduce the chances that places like puppy mills will continue to operate and this will ultimately reduce the number of resources those businesses require. Adopting a pet is also a generally good way to ensure that all animals already alive are cared for and that none have to be put down by a kill shelter because they couldn’t find a loving home.

Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

Make sure you get your pet spayed or neutered so they don’t get end up getting pregnant (or getting someone else’s pet pregnant), and contributing more to the world’s animal population. By making sure your pet doesn’t add more animals to the world, you can help reduce the number of animals that end up requiring resources to stay alive — and those that end up creating more waste in the world. When you take your animal to the vet for a regular treatment like the top Heartgard plus for dogs, ask about getting him or her spayed or neutered — your vet can give you all the information you need to know about how and when to have it done.

If you want to have a pet but also make a minimal impact on the environment, you should try to focus on creating a green pet home. By taking some eco-friendly steps to create a comfortable pet environment, you can enjoy your furry friend while also having the knowledge that you haven’t harmed the planet while caring for him.

 

How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Mattress (Without Destroying the Earth)

So your mattress has reached the end of its life…

Find the next destination of your old, unwanted mattress and avoid the landfill at all costs. Based on the condition of your mattress, we will help you decide if it should be recycled or donated – never dumped.

Twenty-million mattresses are improperly disposed of every year in the United States – meaning they end up in a landfill. To put this into perspective, the number of mattresses dumped in a landfill could circle the earth. What a shame considering 85% of the materials in a mattress can be recycled!

This information might sound shocking, but think about how many unwanted mattresses you’ve come across in your own neighborhood. You’ve probably seen many a mattress dumped on the curb for the trash collectors.

Have you ever thought about what you would do with your old mattress? Probably not. After all, the average lifetime of a mattress is 7 to 10 years – so it’s not a regular habit to get rid of your mattress like it would be to take out the trash. That’s why no one really knows what to do with their old mattress.

We are here to tell you that there are options! Contrary to popular belief, there are responsible ways to dispose of your mattress.

Before you ask yourself, “Why to bother?”, consider these consequences:

  1. You could be fined for illegally dumping your mattress
  2. Mattresses take a decade to decompose
  3. Some materials in mattresses are non-biodegradable chemicals that can seep into drinking water
  4. Mattress springs get caught in equipment, causing damage and imposing costs
  5. They can create flammable air pockets

Here’s how to get rid of your mattress without getting fined or destroying the earth:

Option 1: Donate Your Mattress

Before tossing your old mattress, consider giving it to someone in need!

Keep in mind, this is a more conditional option. For a mattress to be donated, it must be free of any rips or stains. (If that’s the case, check out option two below about recycling your mattress.)

For those of you still with us, you should know there are many laws about donating and reselling mattresses. So even if your old bed is in decent condition, there may not be any place to donate it in your area.

Donating your mattress is easy. All you have to do is call your local charity and ask if they accept mattress donations. If they do, most of the time they will come pick it up at your house for free! If not, load it up in the car and drop it off.

Almost all donated mattresses are taken to be sanitized before they are offered to someone in need. For more information, check out Mattress Advisor’s guide to donating your mattress.

Option 2: Recycle Your Mattress

Okay, so your mattress has reached the end of its life – or so you thought! Although it’s life as a bed is over, consider all the ways it can be repurposed. For example, as carpet underlay, yarn, mulch, clothing and much more!

Source: mattressadvisor.com

If recycling sounds like a good option for your situation, check out this guide to recycling your mattress. It will tell you everything you need to know about how, why and where to recycle your mattress.

Once again, the process of recycling a mattress varies from state to state and sometimes city to city. To get you started, find places to recycle your mattress near you:

  1. Earth 911
  2. Bye Bye Mattress – for those of you in California, Rhode Island and Connecticut
  3. Sleep on Latex – 100 recycling facilities nationwide that accept mattresses
  4. Keep America Beautiful

A word of caution

There is the option to call a junk removal service such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK and College Hunks Hauling Junk. Just make sure to call and ask where they take the mattresses in your area. Oftentimes, they take them to the landfill – which we are trying to avoid! However, sometimes they DO recycle. Just make sure you know where your bed is going, and try to avoid the landfill at all costs!

How To Create An Eco-Friendly Budget Travel Package List

Central America is a beautiful place to visit and a huge draw for tourist annually. If you are on a budget, the best destination in this part of the world is Honduras.

 

Honduras gives you the beauty of the tropical Caribbean, the rich Garifuna culture of the area, and it will not break the bank. There are actually some very reasonable ways to travel to Honduras.

Research before you go

As with any country, there are a few places you would not want to travel in Honduras. Just as the United States has areas that are troubled with gangs and unsavory activities, Central America has it’s troubled spots.

 

However, for the most part, Honduras is a tropical paradise. As long as you know where to travel, you will have no worries.

Photo credit/site https://pixabay.com/en/pyramids-mayan-ruins-chichen-itza-2803447/

 

Beautiful and affordable

The Northern coast is famous for natural beauty. La Ceiba is a destination that many people flock to. This area is very affordable, and there are many options to allow you to customize your trip. For example, you may opt to stay in a hostel which is considerably less money than a hotel. You may also choose to rent a cabin. If you are traveling in a group, a cabin with up to 4 bunks may be just what you are looking for. Travel light and have your luggage delivered to you. This allows you more options for getting to your destination. You can even arrange to have it shipped back home at the end of your trip.

Embrace the culture

When Americans go on vacation, we seem to have a preconceived notion that we have to eat, sleep, and live as we do at home. When you are traveling to Central America, you will find their lifestyle is different from yours. This is their home, and they are accustomed to making the most of it. To save money and enjoy a true Central American experience, live as they do. Instead, be open to trying new things. For example, instead of eating at a restaurant, try a local cafeteria. Enjoy low prices and traditional foods like “pastelitos” and “baleadas” from famous Cobel’s Cafeteria. Cobel’s is well known for their breakfasts.

 

In the evening, it is not unusual to find food vendors on the beach. They serve their authentic meals such as baleadas which is (warm wheat flour tortillas) topped with refried beans, cheeses, avocado, chicken, pork or a local favorite “chorizo”.

Getting around

In Honduras, you do not have to spend a fortune renting a car or taking a cab. The most popular form of transportation is walking. However, using a taxi is very inexpensive. The charge is per person, and it usually equals less than $2.00 per trip. The taxi can pick up a total of four people while in route. This is a great way to meet the locals, see the sights, and save a bundle. There are also shuttle services available between popular destinations.

Money saving tips

  • Check your bill carefully. Some establishments add the tip directly to your bill. If you are not watching, you could tip your server twice.
  • Use cash. The credit card and debit card fees in Honduras are costly.
  • Take care of your currency exchange before you go. There are money changers at the borders, but they charge hefty fees.
  • Download apps to help you with the currency and the language. Take your time and be sure you know what you are paying for and how much it costs.
  • Consider backpacking and camping while you are there. The weather is great, and there is no better way to enjoy the tropics.
  • Shop for travel packages before you go. Make your purchases online and compare the adventures.

Most popular attractions in Honduras

Honduras is popular for many things. When you are planning your travels, learn which attractions are where. Then shop that area for the best deals on food, lodging, and fun. Here are some popular things to do on your Central American trip:

 

  • Visit the Mayan ruins
  • Go on a zipline adventure in the wilds of Honduras
  • Visit the world’s second largest coral reef
  • See a wide variety of wildlife in the rainforests, pristine lagoons, and sea
  • Go scuba diving in Roatan. See shipwrecks, seawalls, and marine life.
  • Go whitewater rafting or kayaking at Pico Bonito.

 

No matter what your idea of fun it, you will find it in Central America. No where else can you experience this natural beauty at such an affordable price. Once you go, you will return again and again.

 

Lose the VOC: Choosing Eco-friendly Paint for Your Home


Painting isn’t as easy as slathering a coat of paint on your walls. There are a lot of things that you have to consider if you’re planning to repaint the walls in your house. You have to be aware that your choice of paint affects your home’s indoor air quality, and your family’s health as well.

Read on to learn about VOC, and why it’s an essential factor that you must consider when you’re buying paint. You will also know about several paint brands which are certified eco-friendly

Learning about VOC

Organic compounds are chemicals that can be found in all living things. VOC means the volatile organic compound, and these are organic compounds which can easily be altered to gas. Aside from carbon, VOCs also contain sulfur, hydrogen, and chlorine.

VOCs are dangerous air pollutants because they can turn into smog if combined with ground-level nitrogen oxide. Paint, solvents, and fresheners emit VOC. The products that you use in your home can expose you to high levels of VOCs.

VOC can affect your health. Short-term exposure to VOCs can result in minor discomforts like a headache, nausea, dizziness, and epistaxis. Long-term exposure can cause liver and kidney damage. These are the reasons why VOCs should be avoided as much as possible by choosing eco-friendly paint brands which contain low or no VOCs.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Paint Brands

● Farrow & Ball

The paint from this company is free from formaldehyde and ammonia, and it also uses natural pigment and other natural ingredients. The paint is also water-based, efficiently reducing the use of solvents.

● Konig Paints by Vanessa Galloway

The products under this line are water based, but it’s still durable. It’s easy to apply, and it also dries quickly, speeding up the process of your painting job. The 101 colors offered will provide good options for you.

● Benjamin Moore Aura

This paint is odor-free, and it doesn’t contain VOC. It’s also durable, and the colors don’t fade quickly.

● Mythic Paint

This non-toxic paint is odor-free and VOC-free. The absence of chemicals doesn’t affect the quality of the paint because it’s still durable and it gives excellent and lasting coverage for your walls.

● Sherwin Williams GreenSure

This specific line of products was created to produce Painting products which help the environment. The paints under this line are free from toxins and contain low VOC level.

● C2 LoVo Paint

This paint brand is unique because it uses European colorants, and it offers a vast collection of colors. C2 LoVo is also toxin-free, and it contains low VOC levels.

● Dunn Edwards Paints

Dunn Edwards colorants are free from VOC. It also puts a Reactivity-Adjusted VOC Content rating label on their products.

● Ecos Organic Paints

The water-based paints are free of toxins and VOCs. It doesn’t emit a strong odor, and it’s also ideal for people with allergies.

● AFM Safecoat

AFM Safecoat aims to eliminate harmful toxins from their products. It also seeks to eradicate bad indoor air quality for the home caused by products containing VOCs and similar toxins.

● Ecotrend Collagen Paint

With 120 colors to choose from, you’ll have a lot of options for your wall colors. It resists mold and bacteria. It’s also odorless, relieving you from the usual strong fumes of paint. These paints are also free from VOC.

Takeaway

It’s essential to make your house more beautiful by repainting your walls once in a while. Aside from beauty, you also have to consider if the paint you’ll choose is beneficial for your family’s health.

There are a lot of eco-friendly paint choices in the market. You won’t have difficulty in choosing the shade that you want. So be health-conscious with your paint choices and help your family stay healthy inside the home.

Going Green with Your Car

So you want to buy a car, but don’t know where to start. Before making any big investment, you need to do your research, compare models and car insurance rates, and drive the car yourself before making a final decision. Another important factor to note is that the average price of gasoline across Canada is over $1.10 per litre. Choosing to go green and buy a fuel-efficient vehicle or an electric vehicle will help you avoid those high gas prices while being environmentally friendly.

Fuel-efficient models save time spent filling up on gas and they also reduce the amount of smog-contributing pollution compared to driving other cars. Advanced technologies like plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars bring efficiency to a whole new level. No matter what size vehicle you’re shopping for, fuel-efficient vehicles are a smart choice against the inevitable rise of gas prices. That being said, follow this guide to find out what to consider before buying a fuel-efficient car.

1. New or used

The first question to ask yourself before buying a car is if you want it to be new or used. If you’re buying new, make sure to check the fuel-efficiency rating on the car’s EnerGuide Label. EnerGuide is the official Government of Canada mark for rating and labeling the energy consumption or energy efficiency of products including new vehicles. The fuel-efficiency rating can be found next to the gas pump logo on the label. This information will help you compare costs of vehicles and identify the most fuel-efficient car for your needs. If the car has no label you can ask the dealer about the manufacturers’ fuel consumption ratings.

If you’re buying a used car, make sure to check with Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption search & compare tool. This tool helps you compare the fuel-consumption information of different car models. You can also use this tool to look up the actual fuel consumption rating for vehicles from the 1995 model year to now. The tool will also help you to see how a vehicle compares to other vehicles in its class size, and how it compares in all size classes.

2. Hybrids

Hybrid vehicles are a cross between a conventional car and an electric car, making use of both gas and electricity. These cars are more efficient because they have a transmission capable of splitting power between an electric motor and the gas engine. The battery is charged from the engine during driving so they cannot be plugged-in.

The electric motor powers the car at low speeds while the gas engine powers the car at higher speeds. Hybrids usually are more expensive, however, depending on how often you drive, what you save on gas may be worth the investment within a few years of owning this type of vehicle.

3. Insurance policy

When looking for a new fuel-efficient car, you should compare more than just sticker prices and fuel consumption ratings, compare car insurance rates as well. Some car insurance providers are more than happy to reward environmentally friendly driving with a discount on your insurance. This discount is put into place because hybrid drivers pose a lower insurance risk than others since they drive fewer miles overall. Make sure to find out what you could save by contacting your agent.

The Importance of Ecotourism

This newer traveling trend isn’t just about enjoying the beauty of nature. It serves many purposes to the environment, cultures, and the world.

I’ve covered what ecotourism is and some of the best spots around the world to travel to, but I think it’s important to highlight exactly why this form of sustainable traveling is so important. It has more benefits than many might think, and I was even surprised by a few of them. If you’ve ever considered giving ecotourism a try, then consider the following benefits.

You: The Traveler

While experiencing something new and adventurous, you bring back more than just a few souvenirs from your travels. Ecotourism provides you with stories, memories, and conservation messages that stay with you for a lifetime. Your experience gives you a taste of the culture and the importance of preserving the natural beauty of the area you traveled to.

It gives the traveler an insight and appreciation for wildlife that they may not have had before, or strengthens the one they already have. It also gets important discussions started about conservation, whether those are about the area you visited or your home country.

Lifestyle

The Host Country

Natural areas used to only be valued for the resources they could provide, but ecotourism has given these areas a new value. Now, people appreciate them for their landscapes, wildlife, and indigenous cultures. It also helps to preserve these areas, making the thrill of seeing animals in the jungle more important to the world than cutting down the trees for lumber.

The Communities

Ecotourism benefits developing communities by creating a more stable economy. From lodge owners all the way to local shops, the flow of money helps to create environmentally-friendly jobs and spur conservation efforts within these communities. Each dollar spent helps feed children, save animals, and house families.

Global Impact

Easily on of the fastest growing industries in the world, ecotourism’s influence is constantly spreading farther across the globe. Every person in every piece of the puzzle is an ambassador for positive environmental change on a global scale. The powerful stories you as the traveler and they as the community are able to tell cause more and more individuals to hop on the sustainable, eco-living bandwagon.

I am passionate about the positive influence ecotourism is having on the world and its natural habitats. As this nature conscious trend continues to grow, and it will, the world will identify and appreciate the importance of preserving what natural ecosystems we have left to enjoy. What are your thoughts on ecotourism, and have you ever traveled to a natural destination?

Top EcoTourism Destination Around the Globe

With ecotourism on the rise, more and more locations around the world are adopting the principles behind this environmental movement.

With ecotourism on the rise, I did a little research to find the top destinations around the world for an all-out eco-vacation. Each of these places offer visitors something uniquely different. So, consider these locales for your next environmentally friendly getaway.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has made a name for itself in the ecotourism world due to its well-protected natural beauty. It offers coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific, not to mention it is nearly one-fourth rainforest. One of the main draws of this incredible natural location is the chance to see volcanoes up close and personal, aside from the many low-impact hotels and resorts.

Norway

Norway is well known for its sustainable living practices, especially in the Fjords. Fjord, Norway is one of the four pilot destinations of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, possibly due to the government’s strict regulations on fishing, hunting, and even drilling for oil.

Kenya

Grasslands featuring exotic wildlife, coral reefs, and mountainous hikes all make this one of the most unique ecotourist destinations in the world. Where else can you see lions and rhinos up close? The varied landscapes of this African locale offer an incredible amount of biodiversity.

While the area is still plagued by illegal poaching, organizations have worked hard to deter and arrest those who would commit such a heinous atrocity. Aside from the unique wildlife, low-impact resorts can be found in abundance here.

Galapagos Islands

Home to some of the most diverse and distinct species of fauna in the world, the country’s Directorate of the Galapagos National Park implements a strict visitor management system to ensure the natural area remains protected. With a heavy focus on sustainable tourism, this eco-destination is easily one of the most awe inspiring locations to travel to.

Palau

This island nation in the Western Pacific is part of Micronesia and offers more aquatic sights than it does ones on land. Coral reefs are home to hundreds of species of fish, which makes them perfect for snorkeling and diving. The Palau Project, a part of Blue Planet United, brings in university students to learn about the island and aspects of ecotourism.

Kenya

On land, the country does offer untouched shorelines and forests filled with diverse plants and animals. The country recognizes its natural beauty and strives to preserve it at all costs.

Portugal

Ecotourism in Portugal is beginning to take hold in this beautiful land. Many places are overbuilt, but some of Portugal’s coastal areas has been recognized as protected landscapes. There ares include the resorts of Esposende, Sintra and Cascais and southeast Alentejo, near Cabo de São Vicente.

Other areas, especially in the interior are being preserved and set aside for future generations to enjoy.

If I were headed anywhere in the world, these ecotourism destinations would be the top spots on my list. What unique and environmentally friendly places have you visited in your travels? Did I miss any wonderful locations that should have been on this list?

The Best Ecotourism Destinations in the U.S.

Looking to take an eco-friendly vacation without wasting precious fossil fuels while saving money? There are more places in North America than you might think!

Countries like Africa, Australia, and South America offer a plethora of eco-lodges that offer low-impact tourism centered around the indigenous peoples of the area. In the United States, however, ecotourism seems to be a scarce and rarely heard of phenomenon. It isn’t impossible to find wonderful destinations in our country though.

If you are starting to plan your next eco-trip, consider some of these beautiful locations!

Eco-Tourism in the U.S.

I had to do a little digging to find eco-tourism locations in the country, or even its neighbors, which prompted me to find out why this wonderful way of traveling hasn’t taken off here like it has in other countries. The main reason stems from the fact that environmentally-responsible tourism has its roots in developing nations. A large part of the movement is giving back to local communities that are just beginning to blossom.

The U.S. does not have a national, government-run tourism board like many other nations have. This has led to smaller community-based organizations heading the movement. While North America might not have the same scale of eco-tourism that other countries do, you can still experience rapidly evolving eco-destinations in the country.

Most of them are far from perfect, but I picked out the top two locations based on the principles of eco-tourism.

El Monte Sagrado

Old

This resort made entirely of adobe-styled structures, constructed from fly ash, can be found in Taos, New Mexico. It runs on what they call the “Living Machine”, which consists of plants and sea life that treat water for reuse. That, and photovoltaic solar cells that power the electrical components of the Living Machine as well as heating and cooling.

The resort collects rainwater, composts, recycles, and even uses water from their Living Machine to irrigate crops. They transport treated water back to the city of Taos, and have even founded a local school.

Sadie Cove

Located in Homer, Alaska, this wilderness lodge features off-the-grid coastal cabins in Kachemak Bay State Park. Using hydroelectric power from a nearby stream, each cabin effectively runs on alternative energy. They offer meals from their organic vegetable garden, and focus heavily on their “leave no trace” philosophy.

I found their benefits to the local ecosystem interesting. They are actively working to have the area officially declared a mountain goat sanctuary, which means you can definitely observe the adorable creatures in their natural habitat.

Have you ever been to either of these locations? Do you know of any other great eco-tourism locations in the U.S.?