Essential reading for traveling green

Erin E Williams

THE WASHINGTON POST – Green Travel. For many people, even the term is confusing, particularly because it can refer to how we integrate sustainability into our individual travel decisions as well as how destinations are managed. Yet, as we face the climate crisis and travel rebounds from the effects of the pandemic, it is crucial to understand our choices and their profound implications for local communities and the planet.

“Sustainability goes beyond what we often think of as being green,” said Megan Epler Wood, executive director of the Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at Cornell University’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and director of EplerWood International. “It’s about how we manage our planet, share our resources, and do it in a fair and just way for everyone.”

In 1990, Epler Wood founded the International Ecotourism Society, the first non-profit organization dedicated to using ecotourism to encourage sustainable development. Since then, she has worked on developing tourism policies in more than 30 countries. His 2017 book, Sustainable – Tourism on a Finite Planet: Environmental, Business and Policy Solutions, details the growing burdens and hidden costs of travel – and offers recommendations for reducing its carbon effects and protecting environmental, cultural and human health.

Books like Epler Wood’s can help us make sense of our options. Case studies illustrate how management can affect destinations, negatively or positively. The autobiographies of conservationists take readers on journeys to amazing and perilous places. And how-to guides detail tangible pointers to reducing negative effects, experiencing conservation and community-minded destinations, and discerning meaningful measures of misleading greenwashing.

Released as the climate crisis has given us clear insight into the harms of tourism, these books describe the urgency and opportunity to reset travel as more conscious, sustainable, better managed and even beneficial to local people – who together , create a good definition for a green trip.

THE LAST RESORT: A CHRONICLE OF PARADISE, PROFIT,
AND PERIL AT THE BEACHBY SARAH STODOLA
In this page-turning travelogue, Flung Magazine founder and editor Stodola investigates the history and appeal of beach resort culture, as well as its effects on the environment and local communities. She takes readers to destinations such as the Jersey Shore and Bali, looking behind the facade of this “great global industry that has spawned economic and social inequality in many places, as well as contributed to the climate crisis while being existentially threatened by it”. – a paradise both menacing and threatened.

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO ADVENTURES WITH POSITIVE IMPACT
BY HOLLY TUPPEN
After traveling the world without flying in the late years, Tuppen has become a travel expert who sees sustainability as essential to protecting our planet and our communities. In this book, she presents an overview of sustainable travel and its relationship to the climate and biodiversity crises. “The travel industry is teetering on (a) precipice,” she wrote. “He can choose the long-term sustainable path, or he can crumble down the self-destructive path.”

Filled with advice for wherever your wanderings take you, her book also inspires stories of regenerative travel from around the world.

HORIZON BY BARRY LOPEZ
Across six regions, including the Oregon Coast, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica, Lopez uses her singular literary voice and her experience of traveling to more than 70 countries to create an autobiography imbued with wonder, urgency and of worry. “Our question is no longer how to harness the natural world for human comfort and gain, but how we can cooperate with each other to ensure that we will one day have a proper, not dominant, place in it,” he wrote. (Any of his 13 other books are equally stunning, including his most recent, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World: Essays and Arctic Dreams, published posthumously, the National Book Award-winning classic.)

THE SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL HANDBOOK: PRACTICAL TIPS AND INSPIRATION FOR THE CONSCIOUS TRAVELER BY LONELY PLANET
Lonely Planet’s guide to greener travel provides readers with tips for reducing carbon emissions, reducing waste, and planning activities such as hiking and volunteering. Themed lists of more remote and familiar destinations help readers brainstorm ideas, including electric car and train travel and more responsible wildlife viewing. (If you’re looking for more daydreaming in your armchair, Lonely Planet’s Sustainable Escapes includes about 180 locations and experiences. And for those who want to eat more sustainably, its Vegan Travel Handbook celebrates plant-based adventures across the world. world.)

OVERTOURISM: LESSONS FOR A BETTER FUTURE EDITED BY MARTHA HONEY AND KELSEY FRENKIEL
Travel authorities Honey and Frenkiel feature more than 20 case studies that include insights from travel experts, including Washington Post’s Andrea Sachs.

They describe sustainable management opportunities for destinations such as historic cities, parks, World Heritage sites, beaches and coastal communities.

A LIFE ON OUR PLANET: MY WITNESS AND A VISION FOR THE FUTURE BY DAVID ATTENBOROUGH WITH JONNIE HUGHES
Since joining the BBC in 1952, explorer and conservationist Attenborough has taken hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people around the world through dozens of documentary films, TV series and books. In this testimonial and accompanying Netflix documentary, he reflects on his astonishing career around the world and the ecological destruction he has witnessed over seven decades. It names “the real tragedy of our time: the spiraling decline of our planet’s biodiversity”, and it offers bold and much-needed hope.

UNKNOWN DESTINATION: SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL AND ETHICAL TOURISM
EDITED BY CAROLINE LUSBY
By including case studies that examine cruise tourism, wildlife conservation, volunteer tourism and other topics, Lusby highlights the role of travel in promoting cross-cultural understanding and economic development while critiquing the effects overtourism on local environments and cultures. The book argues that the pandemic presents an opportunity to create more environmentally and socially responsible travel.

TRAVEL: EASY TIPS FOR THE ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVELER (THE GREEN EDIT) BY JULIETTE KINSMAN
Journalist and hotelier Kinsman offers travelers a quick guide to making practical and sustainable choices effortlessly. Whether it’s booking less-visited destinations, choosing greener public transport and accommodations, packing with care or respecting wildlife, Kinsman offers beginners an accessible starting point to reduce the effects negatives.

BEYOND JOURNEYS OF GUILT: A MINDFUL JOURNEY IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD BY ANU TARANATH
In this award-winning book, Taranath, a professor and consultant specializing in diversity, social change, and racial equity, offers tips for balancing our expectations with the cultural differences we encounter while traveling. While the book is not a green travel guide per se, it provides a much-needed social justice framework that can inform our sustainability efforts and imbue our travels with greater respect.

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