Bike-based agritourism, hybrid cruises, eco-volunteer opportunities, all reduce a traveler’s footprint
By Patricia Harris and David Lyon
Globe Correspondents / September 13, 2009
Granted, the most environmentally responsible vacation you could take would be to stay home and read a library book. By daylight. With the air conditioner and the furnace off. But there’s no sense in saving the planet if you aren’t going to see the planet you’re saving. Just as you take small steps at home like recycling, walking instead of driving, or refusing to buy California produce trucked across the country, you can make environmentally responsible vacation choices, too. You can still go - just go green.In efforts to ameliorate global climate change, the tropical forests are often considered the planet’s lungs because they suck up carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. It might be a splurge, but you can rationalize a rain forest idyll by reasoning that full immersion in a critical habitat is the best way to appreciate what stands to be lost without careful environmental stewardship. Costa Rica was one of the first countries to emphasize ecotourism over resource exploitation. Lapa Rios resort (www.laparios.com, 011-506-2735-5130 or 011-506-2735-5281, five days all-inclusive from $1,020) has received many awards for sustainable tourism. Spend your days in a rain forest on the edge of the sea with interpretive hikes, dolphin and whale watching, bird watching, kayaking, and even surfing.
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