Eco-tourism is tourism that appeals to both the environmentally and socially conscience individuals. Can tourism really help the environment?
"Does the very act of observing something change it? Probably."
As you can see, tourism in Antarctica is on the rise. This can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. Antarctica's pristine nature makes it an idea travel location for the explorer, but by going to these remote locations we can impose on its untouched beauty? However, increased tourism has helped to clean the continent. 20 years ago, there was little regard for the impact that humans had on Antarctica, but now, even if just a plastic bag is thrown of a ship, that ship will turn around to retrieve it!
The next time you travel, please reflect on the total cost of your trip: The monetary cost of your plane, hotel and rental car plus the cost of each of those things on the environment. Your travel choices can make a difference!
What Can I Do?
- Follow "Leave No Trace" principles when in the natural environment
- Calculate the carbon footprint of your trip, and then...
- Offset your carbon footprint. (Expedia and Travelocity even have options to offset your flight right when you purchase your ticket!)
NPR: A Changing Antarctica Draws 'Doomsday' Tourists
Sustainable Travel International
NPR: Penguins Helped and Hurt by Changing Climate