Monday, December 1, 2008

Guide to low-carbon lifestyle

WWF has come out with an excellent guide that will help you to reduce your carbon footprint, The WWF Pocket Guide to a One Planet Lifestyle. Essential tips on how to be more environment friendly at home, the workplace and when planning a holiday is lucidly explained. The report is a sequel to recent launch by WWF of their “Living Planet Report” which warned that humanity was heading towards an “ecological credit crunch”. We currently use 30 per cent more resources than the planet’s ecosystems can naturally replenish. Americans have a “five planet lifestyle” and the Europeans a “three planet lifestyle”. With the aid of this eBook you can easily calculate your personal footprint, measure the positive effects of your lifestyle changes, find low-carbon alternatives to travel, and get help on how to find energy-efficient appliances or a green electricity supplier. The report is primarily available as an online e-book, The printed version is produced digitally on-demand on FSC certified paper and bound by screw rivets which enables the readers to easily unbind the book and insert updates, Paper wastage is virtually zero, and non-hazardous inks has been used. If you want to access the guide click here

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fodor's 1001 Smart Travel Tips, 2nd Edition

Here is a great book for those smitten by travel bug. It is a compendium of advice from the Writers, Editors & Traveling Readers at Fodor’s. I recommend this book unreservedly.

Published by Fodor's

Category: Travel - Special Interest
Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Date Published: April 1, 2008
Price: $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-1938-0 (1-4000-1938-9)

Here is what the blurb says

Fodor’s well-traveled writers and editors have acquired their travel savvy the hard way. And with this book in hand, no one else has to. Fodor’s 1001 Smart Travel Tips expertly guides all kinds of travelers -- from the moment they start planning until the day they return home.

· Straightforward, topical chapters cover everything from booking---including getting the best prices and avoiding scams---to making any journey comfortable to seeing the sights and staying safe and healthy.
· Boxes address real-life travel problems and how to avoid them.
· Checklists and entire chapter help even the most disorganized of souls choose the best luggage and pack like a pro.
· A special Destinations chapter prepares travelers for trips to dozens of countries.
· Lists of contacts and resources show travelers where to turn when it’s time to book trips, when they encounter a problem, and when they need destination information.
· A comprehensive index makes it easy to find guidance on any destination or for any travel situation.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What kind of shoes are the best for travel?

I was perusing the Fodor's site when I came across this discussion on what kind of shoes are the best for travel?. I found it interesting and informative.Want to have a look at it? Click here

Sunday, August 17, 2008

BlogCamp Kerala a runaway success

The first ever blog camp held in Kerala on 16th in a house boat cruising along the placid backwaters of Alappuzha, was a smashing success. The attendees got a chance to get to know the fellow bloggers from across the country. The presence of Guillaume Marceau from Quebec, Canada gave the proceedings an international flavor. The lively discussion centered on the future of blogging with the experts chipping in with their dose of distilled wisdom. For the budding bloggers it was a dream come true. The typical Kerala style non vegetarian lunch tickled the palate. The breathtaking scenery added that extra punch to the lunch. Full marks to the organizers of the conference. I eagerly look forward to the second edition of the meet next year.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Seven steps to more responsible travel

I came across a good piece of writing on green travel in Guardian by green travel experts Liane Katz and Richard Hammond recently. The seven steps they advocate are.

1)Fly less:Plan breaks by rail and ferry as alternatives to short-haul flights whenever possible.
2)Find green accommodation: Look out for green accreditations when choosing a holiday. There are more than 20 'green' accreditation schemes in the UK and more than 100 worldwide.
3)Find a green tour operator: In UK the Association of Independent Tour Operators ( has a rating scheme for members.
4)Play detective: Ask the hotel management directly what they are doing to control carbon emissions, for minimizing energy and water use and whether they employ local people and buy food and other supplies from local producers where possible.
5)Report bad practice: If you encounter exploitative practices in destinations or among tour operators, complain to the company that made your booking. Write a review on a site such as
6)Take good habits with you: Stick to recycling, avoid unnecessary car journeys and take care not to waste water. Use public transport as far as possible. Keep heating, lighting and air-conditioning to a minimum and take showers rather than using the bath. Go for Environment-friendly suncreams and toiletries, such as the Dr Hauschka and Lavera.
7)Consider volunteering: If possible Offer your time and skills for the benefit of a developing country. It will be a very rewarding experience. The website has some useful tips on how to choose the right agency.

If you want to read the original article click here

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Reducing the environmental impact of our travels.

Friends have requested me to post WWF guidelines for environmental impact of our travels. I am posting it below.

1. Selecting your destination…

When you travel to your holiday destination by plane you are contributing to significant emissions of climate change causing carbon dioxide.
• Try to take vacations nearer to home, or pick locations that you can reach by other forms of transport.
2. Getting there

•If you have to fly carbon offsets to compensate for the emissions caused by your flight.
•Rather than hiring a car at the airport choose other ways to get around like taxis, trains or buses.
•If you do travel by car turn off your engine when you’re parked, or stuck in traffic. It will save you fuel and reduce emissions.

3. Choosing the right place to stay

•Choose accommodation that have effective waste treatment systems, that recycle, that are energy efficient, and, where possible, that use environmentally friendly energy sources such as solar energy or hydroelectric power.
•Look out for hotels that participate in WWf checkout for nature programme. Participating Hotels will add a Euro (or its equivalent value) to your hotel bill when you check out at the end of your stay, which will be used to support our conservation work around the world.

4. Whilst you are there

•Look at eco-tourism options. Many travel companies now offer holidays which support sustainable development, do not impact negatively on the environment and provide financial support to local communities.
•Respect the environment and stay on trails and public footpaths. Do not remove plants or feed animals, and never litter.
•Conserve water and take showers rather than baths. Use a refillable water container, sterilizing water when necessary rather than buying bottled water.
•Limit energy use, including your use of air-conditioning and hot water. Turn off all lights and taps when you leave hotel rooms.
•Minimize your use of personal care products and detergents to wash linen, and reuse your hotel towels and bed linen.
•Dispose of sanitary waste properly. Don’t flush cotton buds, condoms, tampons and plastics down the toilet, or you might just find them on the beach!
•Recycle newspapers, magazines and your beverage containers (many can be returned for refunds), and reduce the number of bags, napkins and disposable cups you use when you eat fast food.
•Rent a bike. In many places you can rent them out. They are not only environmentally friendly and cheap, but also a great option for sightseeing.
•Take a hike. walking in cities or going on a hike in the countryside is great way to avoid emissions and yet discover some of special things about where you are, things you may otherwise simply "drive by".
•Reduce the impact of your recreational activities by avoiding sports which have a significant harmful impact on the environment, or choose more progressive establishments (e.g. golf courses which recycle water).

5. Coming home…

Some souvenirs could end up costing a lot more than you paid for them.
•Think twice before you buy any products made from any endangered species, including animal hides and body parts, tortoise-shell, ivory, or coral - they could be illegal.
•Visit WWF-US’ buyer beware website for information that can help you say "no" to illegal wildlife products.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Reuse of water bottles- Venice shows the way

A used plastic water bottle thrown away carelessly is a big headache in tourist centres. I came across this new scheme launched in Italy recently. It impressed me with its simplicity and inherent great potential. If implemented properly it is going to be blessing.
Italy has the largest consumption of bottled water in the world. For tourist centers like Venice discarded water bottles is a big bother. Venice has come out with this innovative scheme called 100%public whereby tourists are given an empty water bottle and a map showing 122 fountains that have been installed in the city. The authorities hope that this will solve a major problem for them
Ecolodges congratulates the civic authorities of Venice for this innovative scheme.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group plans 100% ecologically-friendly hotel

The InterContinental Hotels Group has come out with plans for 100% eco-friendly hotel. Latest technology in energy and water conservation and recycling has gone into the planning.

The important features are

Solar panels on the roof to heat water

Wind power to generate electricity for the hotel

A green roof planted with low-maintenance plants

A rainwater harvesting system to supply water to toilets

Furniture and fittings made entirely from recycled materials

Using household waste to provide heat and power

Natural lava stone signage at the entrance and on the lawns instead of traditional plastic and metal signs

Furniture in the reception made from recycled material

Recycling paper used by the receptionists

Low emission paint décor

Unused food from the kitchens packaged and delivered to local charities or food banks

All furniture and fittings including towels made from recycled materials

Usage of low-flow shower heads and dual flush toilets.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The dark side of Costa Rica’s environmental tourism.

Costa Rica is often touted as an environmental paradise. It may have been true in the early years. But mass tourism has brought misery to the region. An investigation by Christian Science Monitor has come out with alarming facts.

Water quality tests conducted by the Costa Rica Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) over the past year found faecal contamination far above levels considered safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The biodiversity that has long lured visitors is disappearing. 97 percent of Costa Rica's sewage flows untreated into rivers, streams, or the ocean. Illegal well drilling is running aquifers dry. Monkey populations, symbols of the rain forest and a charismatic tourist attraction, declined by an estimated 50 percent in little more than a decade. Sea turtles are also threatened.

Costa Rica has 11,450 species of plants, 67,000 species of insects, 850 species of birds, and the highest density of plants, animals, and ecosystems of any country in the Americas. It is a shame if these disappear by pandering to tourism. What is needed is levelheaded planning. Judiciously used tourism is a great driver of economic prosperity. But the hen that lays the golden eggs has to be protected.

Read the full story here

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Link - 2008 Green Spaces Travel awards

I have received couple of mails asking for a link to the original article in TimesOnline
Here it is guys
Click here
Please send your entries to

The Times’ Green Spaces Travel Awards – 2008

Leading UK newspaper, The Times, has launched Green Spaces a new award for green travel. This is your chance to have your say about Green Spaces and gets rewarded to boot. You could win a copy of Alaister Sawday’s Green Places to Stay. Travellers around the world can nominate a favourite Green Space that they have encountered on holiday in the UK or abroad. You can nominate a hotel or villa, a park, a beach, a city, an area of natural beauty, a restaurant, a bar, a method of transport, a tour or holiday. Deadline is September 2008.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pro-poor Tourism: Who Benefits?

Pro-poor tourism is the buzzword nowadays. It is part of the sustainable development strategies in the less developed countries. But is it a really effective development tool or lot of hogwash? Here is a book that does a detailed analysis with case studies.

Pro-poor Tourism: Who Benefits?

Perspectives on Tourism and Poverty Reduction

Edited by: C. Michael Hall

Publisher: Multilingual Matters

List price: £34.95

Format: Hardback (pp: 176) ISBN: 1-84541-075-0

Monday, March 31, 2008

Green Travel - The World's Best Eco-Lodges & Earth-Friendly Hotels

Here is a great book coming your way. People who had sneak preview say it is money’s worth. Green Travel is a guide to eco-lodges & green hotels around the world. It features 100 eco-lodges & green hotels that support local communities in their endeavour to deliver clean, green, holistic experience. It also tackles issues like questions about poverty, the politics of boycotting certain destinations, and the environmental impact of travel. First-hand accounts of green travel experiences on each continent and practical information about the greenest ways to get there are great additions. If you are in to travel business or happens to be an inveterate traveller go ahead and buy it when it hits the stand in April.

Green Travel: The World's Best Eco-Lodges & Earth-Friendly Hotels

Written by Fodor’s
Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Fodor's
ISBN: 978-1-4000-0753-0 (1-4000-0753-4)
Pub Date: April 29, 2008
Price: $25.00

Monday, March 24, 2008

Galápagos Islands - Perils of Mass Tourism

Galápagos Islands, the world’s first World Heritage Site is under threat due to mass tourism. Galápagos Islands has unique native species that are said to be the instigation behind Darwin’s theories on evolution and natural selection. Visitor numbers to the islands have grown phenomenally. The crisis afflicting the islands is not only a direct result of the rise in tourism but also from a change in the type of travellers visiting the area. Nature-loving tourists, who were easily accommodated by smaller, locally owned tour operators characterized early tourism in the Galápagos. The new type of tourists often prefers high level of comfort available from large tour operators and vessels. Tourists coming by big vessels are not staying in locally run hotels or eating in the local restaurants. Local guys are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the mainly foreign-run large-scale operators. Out of $418 million generated by tourism annually in the Galápagos, only $63 million is estimated to enter the local economy. Increased risk of infection and introduction of non-native plant species looms large. The delicate ecosystem is in great danger.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Top 10 Eco-friendly Destinations of the world

IgoUgo, (owned by Travelocity) selected the following 10 Eco-friendly Destinations as real top class and money’s worth. If you are a green buff these are the destinations you should plumb in for.

  1. Buck Island Reef National Monument – St Croix, US Virgin Islands
  2. Sea Turtle Watching in Rekawa – Rekawa, Sri Lanka
  3. Napo Wildlife Center – Quito, Ecuador
  4. Artisans D’Angkor Silk Farm – Siem Reap, Cambodia
  5. Celestun Biosphere Reserve – Yucatan, Mexico
  6. Rainforest Hike to Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge with Ken’s Hinterland Adventure Tours – Dominica
  7. Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge – Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska
  8. Volcano Trekking at Gunung Batur – Gunung Batur, Bali
  9. Strokkur Geyser – Geysir Center, Iceland

10. Canopy Tour – Quepos, Costa Rica

Sunday, March 9, 2008

National Geographic Green Guide

National Geographic has come out with a new publication called National Geographic Green Guide. It is what you expect from National Geographic. Class stuff.

The Green Guide offers advice on living green and tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint. The magazine is printed on recycled paper and uses ink, which contains no heavy metals and is derived from renewable sources like soy, corn and linseed.

The blurb says “Written for general consumers, not for enviromaniacs, Green Guide is chock-full of simple, useful ideas, broken down into achievable steps that make "going green" a gradual and affordable process rather than an all-or-nothing plunge.”


Couple of guys has requested me to give tips on how to calculate carbon footprints. The site gives excellent tips on how to go about it based on your house, flights ,car, bus, motorbike, rail, food preferences, fashion, packaging, furniture and electricals, recycling, recreation, finance and other services. So go ahead and calculate your carbonfootprints. Click here to go to their site.

Here is another good site. Click here

Yet another site. Click here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where NOT to Go

Travelling the world in an environmentally responsible way is getting easier every year but there are pitfalls that you should avoid. You must have read articles giving recommendations about where to go. Here is something different. Plenty mag has some advices about where not to go. I found it interesting reading. Go ahead have a look at it here

Monday, February 11, 2008

Book Recommendation

The book “Tourism and Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities” authored by Susanne Becken and John E.Hay provides a comprehensive discussion of the latest knowledge in the field of tourism and climate change. It is aimed at tourism practitioners and those with an academic interest in the fields of tourism management.

· Paperback: 352 pages
· Publisher: Channel View Publications
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 1845410661
· ISBN-13: 978-1845410667

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

concerned about security?

Are you a frequent international traveler? Are you concerned about security? Well here is succor. Allsafe travels provide up-to-date info about situation round the world. A very useful site. Click here to go to Allsafe site

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ecolodges around the World

Want to have a quick look at ecolodges around the world? Info hub is a good place to hook on to for this purpose. I enjoyed browsing through their site. The site is packed with Oodles of info. Click here to go to their wonderful site.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Green Travel Tips

The latest issue of Conde Nast Traveler has an excellent article on green travel by G. Jeffrey MacDonald. Jeffrey says, “Your travels can destroy habitats and accelerate global warming. They can also help heal the planet. This handbook shows you how simple decisions can make all the difference”. Go ahead have a look at the article Here

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Reading Materials

I came across this good publication on ecolodges published by Lao National Tourism Administration and Asian Development Bank. Even though this manual is for Laos the contents have relevance to all who have interests in ecolodges. It made fascinating reading. The contents include selection and preparation of site, use of local building material, Bungalows and multi room lodges, restaurants and common areas, construction advice, interior decoration, landscaping and gardening, safety cleanliness and hygiene, staffing issues, marketing and promotion, some examples of bad design and construction and sample architectural drawing. Go ahead have a look at it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

More Resources

As I was scouting the net I came across this article Ecolodge & Green Building Tips by Karen Lewis. Karen shares know-how on building an ecolodge and tips on green building practices and sustainable products.I found it very interesting. Gives you lot of insights. Have a look at it