Eco Tourism Doesn’t Always Have to be Hard Core!
It is a common misconception that to travel in an eco-friendly way you have to give up all luxuries, roll up your sleeves, and work hard. It’s true that we have some pretty hard-core and incredible projects and you can read about them here. However it’s not true that all ecotourism works this way.
A huge part of ecotourism is respecting and working with the people and culture in the area – not just the animals! This means that supporting the local economy in a sustainable way can make all the difference. There are areas in the world where poaching is a way of life and the only way for people to survive. Bringing eco-tourism and jobs to the area can make all the difference by offering jobs. Many of our hotels have a strong focus on hiring and training local people. For those who work in other sectors than hospitality, this is also an incredible opportunity to offer their own skills and resources to the hotel. These places will source as many of their resources locally as possible.
Shyok River Lodge is an incredible example of self-sustainability in a recalcitrant environment. Isolated from the bustle of Leh, it sits right where the Himalayas and Karakoram meet, high in the clean mountain air. The owners of the lodge avoid the pollution involved in transporting things to the lodge by producing everything they can right there on-site. Furniture and furnishings have been ordered and made locally, as far as possible, with the aim of maximizing the contribution to the local economy. They cook with home-grown vegetables and are powered by a local solar power plant.
The Fazenda Catuçaba and the Pousada Picinguaba Lodges in Brazil work on many of the same principles. They offer work and training opportunities to local people, use local organic produce, and minimise waste wherever possible. They pride themselves on the dialogue they have with local people. While they provide training, they hold what their employees can teach them as equally important. People have lived here for many generations, living off the land with respect for it. These people have so much to teach us about how to interact with our environment.
Of course, an easy way to cut down your carbon footprint is to holiday in this country and leave the flights out all together. That isn’t always the most appealing prospect but our range of stunning eco-lodges will make you feel as though you have escaped to another world. Our Two-bed En-suite in the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect place from which to explore the dramatic landscape and gorgeous villages. When you’re tired, relax in comfort in front of your flat screen TV or watch the world go by through the floor-to-ceiling window. All this luxury in the knowledge that you saved both money and fuel by skipping the flights. Not only that, these lodges are built to fit in with their environment. Being constructed in part using Forest Stewardship Council sourced timber keeps concrete to a minimum. They are designed to best utilize the sun’s heat and warmth and are well-insulated so emissions are kept really low.
However you like to holiday, we believe that people should be inspired by nature and spend their money on supporting its protection. We are proud to host a collection of incredible lodges which allow you to do just that. See below for a few of our favourite examples of eco-luxury…