Thursday, November 29, 2007

25 Great Ecolodges

I was reading this article by David Hochman titled 25 Great Ecolodges. It gives a birds’ eye view of what he rates as the world’s 25 great ecolodges. Hochman says “One hotel's idea of ecotourism is another's ploy to cash in on conscience. Some eco-sensitive retreats ask guests to reuse towels and insist they've saved the world. Others can't seem to do enough to serve the three-tiered mission of responsible tourism: positive impact on the environment, on the local culture, and on the traveler.”

I enjoyed reading this informative piece. Only one lodge from India measures up, Green Hotel, near Mysore.

If you want to have a look at the whole article have a look at

Friday, November 23, 2007

Green Washing

There are many lodges out there which prefix eco in an effort to green wash their operations.Please check up how eco is the place before you make a booking. The organisation "Responsible Travel" gives guidelines about how to do this
Here are the 10 ways advocated by them

1)Ask the lodge owner if they have a written policy regarding the environment and local people. If its not written down then it probably means they are not taking it seriously.
2)Ask them to describe the single contribution to conservation or local people that they are most proud of.
3)Ask them how they measure their contribution to conservation and local communities.
4)Ask the lodge owner how many local people they employ, what % this is of the total, and whether any are in management positions.
5)Ask them what they have specifically done to help protect the environment and support conservation, and which local charities they work with.
6)Ask them what % of produce and services are sourced from within 25km of the lodge.
7)Ask them how they treat waste water and how they heat their building (solar is better than firewood, which can cause deforestation)
8)Ask them what information and advice is provided to tourists on local cultures and customs.
9)Ask them if they employ guides from the local community (local guides not only provide unmatched insights into local cultures, but are also aware of areas/behaviour that might cause offence among local people.
10)Ask them for ideas on how you might get involved with local people and conservation in a worthwhile and rewarding way for you and the destination.

That is all folks for now. I will keep you posted about some of the ecoldges and how I rate them