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Treading Lightly: 8 Eco-Conscious Tips for Vacations That Leave Behind Mostly Memories

Some ecotravel destinations, along with ideas on how you can protect the environment while enjoying a relaxing vacation--no matter where you go

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FAMILY VOLUNTEERISM: Antigua, Guatemala

A one-week family vacation organized by Global Vision International. On this trip, travelers stay in the colonial town of Antigua and travel to local communities to help families build energy-efficient stoves to replace open cooking fires.....[ More ]

ECO-ADVENTURE: Baja California peninsula, Mexico

You can spend four days watching and learning about the California gray whales that gather in the San Ignacio Lagoon on this trip, which involves camping at night. The whales congregate to mate and calve before making the long swim north to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Ocean.....[ More ]

SHRINK YOUR TRAVEL "FOOTPRINT"

A growing number of travel groups are selling so-called "carbon offsets" designed to compensate for travel-generated emissions by reducing levels of greenhouse gases through a variety of environmental programs.....[ More ]

ECO IN THE CITY

For those who want less outdoorsy adventure and more indoor chic, turn to the urban eco-hotel. One example is the ALT chain of hotels in the Canadian province of Quebec that employ a long list of energy-saving features, including geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, and special water-saving toilets.....[ More ]

SIX-DAY POLAR BEAR EXPEDITION: Manitoba, Canada

Canada's Natural Habitat Adventures takes travelers to the edge of Hudson Bay to witness the world's greatest concentration of polar bears, just outside of Churchill, Manitoba. From the safety of tundra vehicles, scientists from the World Wildlife Fund discuss climate change and polar bear life.....[ More ]

CROSSWATERS ECOLODGE AND SPA: Guangdong Province, China

Set in the Nankun Shan Mountain Reserve of southern China is the Middle Kingdom's first eco-lodge. The owners wanted to protect the existing land, but also support the local Keija community. Designed by a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., architect, Hitesh Mehta, and a feng shui master from Hong Kong, Michael Chiang, the 49-room lodge and spa is made of indigenous bamboo, which thrives without the use of pesticides.....[ More ]

RIDE THE RAILS

All modes of travel produce carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas causing global warming. So why not choose the least CO 2 -intensive path and take a train? It consumes less energy and produces less pollution per passenger-mile than driving, boating, cruising or flying.....[ More ]

MAHO BAY AND ESTATE CONCORDIA PRESERVE: Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

The Maho Bay Campground is one of the world's oldest eco-resorts, founded in 1976. Over 100 one-room, wood-and-vinyl tents sit along wooden platforms perched aboveground, set into a hillside next to Virgin Islands National Park.....[ More ]

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