Protecting the Earth While Roaming It

  by Theresa  |     February 8th, 2011   |    1View Comments

Recycling at home is a no-brainer: you have your system and it works.  But it’s not always easy to be as earth-friendly on vacation, especially in destinations that don’t support it.  I’m not saying that I only visit eco-friendly locations, but I’ve experienced a wide spectrum of practices in this regard on my journeys.

Thailand: No Trash Can, No Problem

For example, in Thailand there seems to be absolutely no thought whatsoever about protecting the land for the future.

Case in point: Rich and I were on a day-tour on one of the southern islands, where we were taking a boat ride to see monkeys.  As our boat approached the beach, our tour guide grabbed a plastic bag full of bananas and threw it on shore to attract the monkeys, who were surrounded by plastic bags from previous visitors.

As he started grabbing a second plastic bag, Rich and I jumped up, telling him not to throw it; we could see the monkeys just fine, and he didn’t have to add to the trash for our sake.  He didn’t understand why we didn’t want him to throw the bag, after all, he explained, that’s how they get the monkeys to come for the tourists.

We felt guilty about indirectly contributing to the litter by paying for the tour.  It was interesting that although the tour guide made a living bringing tourists to the beaches to see the monkeys, he had no concept of how short-sighted his actions were.  After all, if the beaches get a reputation for being covered with litter, the tourists will stop coming.  Duh!  Unfortunately, the language and cultural barriers made it impossible for us to explain this to him.

What's Good for Tour Companies Isn't Necessarily Good for the Monkeys -- or the Land

Costa Rica: Top-Rated Eco-Friendly Destination

Compare that to Costa Rica, which is rated the greenest country in the world, and is incredibly progressive in regards to preservation and sustainability.  You can’t go there without seeing evidence of this philosophy everywhere you look.

Puerto Rico: Comfortably Conscious

I wasn’t expecting it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Puerto Rico was also earth friendly.  There were recycle bins all over Old San Juan.

Recycling is easy in Puerto Rico!

And the Marriott where we stayed even had recycle bins in our rooms.  Maybe that’s because it’s an American chain in an American territory, but it was nice to see that I didn’t have to compromise good habits while on vacation.

My kind of tough guy!

What about you?  What have you noticed about this on your travels?  Share your stories below!

Tags: Costa Rica, Marriott, Puerto Rico, Thailand

One Comment → “Protecting the Earth While Roaming It”

  1. Tweets that mention Earth-Friendly Vacations: Puerto Rico and Costa Rica! --

    4 months ago

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Theresa Baiocco, Click2Travel. Click2Travel said: Protecting the Earth While Roaming It [...]

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