Celebrate Earth Day with these eco-friendly vacations
By Aimee Heckel
Every 3-year-old knows the common-courtesy rule: You gotta be nice to someone on her special day.
Well, on April 22, it’s Mama Earth’s special day: Earth Day. And the worst gift you can give her is a giant, stinky carbon footprint from a glutinous vacation. A much kinder gift this year: A vacation that honors and takes care of the planet. Because really, no good mother deserves anything less.
Here are a few great eco-friendly luxury vacations (you know, just to keep you happy, too):
A simple, outdoor adventure at the Papoose Creek Lodge in Montana. Rent a seven-bedroom house for 21 right on the Madison River in Montana. Go fishing, grill outside, sit around the log fireplaces, ride bikes, play volleyball — just get outside. The rates here are great, since it’s through VRBO.com: Through May, it’s $2,800 per week for up to 10 people ($40 per day per person), or $3,600 for up to 21 people (about $25 per day per person).
The tagline here is “travel with a purpose.” Ethicaltraveler.org was designed to empower travelers to change the world, and it’s currently featuring the world’s 10 best ethical vacations. On the list: Barbados, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ghana, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau, Samoa and Uruguay.
One Ethical Journey Tour coming up: “Burma at the Crossroads,” Oct. 28 through Nov. 8. This small-group journey will teach travelers about Burma’s culture and history and connect travelers with locals and groups to help them gain an understanding of modern life there. Tour prices start at $3,490 per person.
Gaiam has a list of its favorite eco-honeymoons — but you don’t have to be on an actual honeymoon to enjoy these Earth-loving resorts. Topping the list: the Maho Bay Camp in St. John, Virgin Islands. Stay in a hand-built tent-cottage on the beach. Walk on elevated walkways that prevent soil erosion. From biodegradable soup to hiking beaches, this is known as one of the most beautiful, earth-friendly Caribbean destinations.
Tip: While you’re there, check out the Trash to Treasures Art Center, where the resort’s trash is recycled and transformed into craft items and fine art. Talk about a zero-waste vacation, down to the souvenirs.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out Orbitz’s recommended list of sustainable vacations.
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Photo of Papoose Creek Lodge, courtesy of VRBO.com.