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Lonely Planet Ecotourism: Code Green
OAKLAND, Calif. — Many travelers today are looking for ways to have a positive impact on the environment. They may stay in lodges that preserve nearby habitats, offset carbon emissions created by their plane trip by planting trees, or patronize restaurants that buy produce from local organic farmers.
Lonely Planet's "Code Green: Experiences of A Lifetime" ($19.99) describes 82 trips you can take in good conscience, without worrying that your footprints have contributed to the demise of the very place you sought to go.
"Code Green" experiences range from visiting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda (book through Discovery Initiatives, which works with gorilla conservation groups); to studying yoga at an ashram in India; to an Aboriginal-led tour of Uluru Rock in Australia through Anangu Tours; to exploring Romania's Danube Delta, one of the last wildlife havens in Europe; to a stay in the Kapawi Ecolodge with the indigenous Achuar people in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
For Americans who may be interested in exploring their own country in an environmentally responsible way, the book outlines several trips that are an interesting take on destinations most of us are already familiar with. If a Maine vacation sounds appealing, consider sailing the coast with the crew of an old-time windjammer. Or take the classic Route 66 road trip, making sure to patronize all the mom-and-pop motels, attractions and diners along the way. Work as a volunteer in Yellowstone National Park, or if you've always dreamed of a Hawaiian vacation, forget about condo time-shares and prepackaged luaus _ pitch your tent in a campground.
Meanwhile, if you're concerned about the damage your flight might do to the environment, you can determine the precise impact of your trip at www.climatecare.org/airtravelcalc/airtravelcalc.cfm and make a donation to support a project that will help offset your carbon emissions. Projects include restoring a rainforest in Uganda and buying efficient cooking stoves for families in developing countries.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company