“Sustainability goes beyond what we often think of as being green,” said Megan Epler Wood, CEO of the Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University 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 Political Solutions”, details the increasing burdens of travel and hidden costs — and proposes recommendations to reduce its carbon effects and protect 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.
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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 Beach Paradise, Profit and Perilby Sarah Stodola
In this page-turning travelogue, Stodola, the founder and publisher of Launch Magazine, studies the history and appeal of resort culture, and 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.
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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 faltering [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.
“Horizonby 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 concern. “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 writes. (Any of his other 13 books is equally mind-blowing, including his most recent, posthumously published”Fearlessly Embrace the Burning World: Essays,” and “arctic dreams», the National Book Award-winning classic.)
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 an armchair, the “Sustainable getaways» includes approximately 180 places and experiences. And for those who want to eat more sustainably, its “Vegan travel guidecelebrates plant-based adventures around the 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.
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“A life on our planet: my testimony 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 Netflix will and accompaniment documentary, he reflects on his incredible career around the world and the ecological destruction he has witnessed over seven decades. He names “the real tragedy of our time: the spiraling decline of our planet’s biodiversity,” and he offers a bold and much-needed hope.
“Destination unknown: sustainable travel and ethical tourism», edited by Carolin 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: Simple advice for the eco-conscious 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 Guilt Trips: Mindfully Traveling in an Unequal Worldby 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.
Williams is an Oregon-based writer. His website is erinewilliams.com.
Prospective travelers should consider local and national public health guidelines regarding the pandemic before planning any travel. Information on travel health advice can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDCs travel health advice web page.