Eco Lodges

Eco lodge in Ecuador

8.6 The impact of Eco Lodges

 

Let’s have a closer look at the Eco Lodges. From all tourist facilities, these lodges should have the least impact on the environment. Eco Lodges belong to some of the best-known products in Ecotourism. Their intention is good, but there are no official international rules that set the standard and regulate Eco Lodges. There is no regulation about how you need to manage your lodge to be able to call it an Eco Lodge. So far it is only possible to gain different certificates with different international organizations. Some of them include the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance, the Center for Responsible Travel and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). All of them can provide good guidelines which responsible businesses can decide to follow. Some countries have their own regulations and laws which hotels and lodges need to obey. But how the restrictions are locally enforced depends mainly on the local authorities and the absence or presence of corruption. More information about sustainable hotels in chapter 14.2.

Eco lodge with swimming poolAn important fact that most people forget, or prefer not to talk about when it comes to Eco Lodges, is simply that many of them are built right on a pristine beach, or into the (Amazon) Rainforest… So to build these Eco-Lodges, you first need to damage the environment. First trees and plants need to be cut to create infrastructure, for the construction and to transport the tourists, supplies and provisions. Some ‘Eco Lodges’ use poison to protect their gardens and tourists from insects. While others have monkeys as ‘pets’ and/or swimming pools full bleach to keep the water clear. Still, they are legally allowed to be called Eco Lodges.

Keeping the above in mind, what would be a real Ecological Friendly Lodge, if such a thing exists? Let’s try to give a few general ideas. For starters, such a lodge will have to be built at the edge of a natural area, not right within. Part of the infrastructure is already present, so only a limited amount of trees will have to be cut. The lodge would have to be built with mostly natural construction materials that don’t have to come from far. They can’t have an artificial swimming pool that uses bleach and in their garden only grow local plants. Of course, they don’t use poison to protect those plants or their clients, which means there will be more mosquitos. The lodge has no wild animals as pets and they don’t feed wild animals to animate their clients either. Not even the (humming) birds! The use of electricity is reduced to a minimum, so no air-conditioning, television, and internet. The use of water is limited to the minimum, so sheets and towels will only be washed after the clients leave. Preferable the lodge provides biodegradable soap and shampoo and their meals are prepared with food that grows in the area and doesn’t have to be transported for hundreds of kilometers. Guides who work with Eco Lodges will have to treat all Flora and Fauna with respect. This means that they cut as little flora as possible and surely don’t pick up tarantulas, snakes, sloths, or any other animals that their clients like to take pictures with. Do you think that this type of lodge would still be popular with tourists? Likely most tourists prefer to stay in a less ecological friendly lodge. A friend of mine who runs a rural/ eco-lodge at the coast of Colombia agrees with this. Her clients frequently complain about the basic facilities of her lodge. Those basic facilities include: no flushing toilets, only short cold water showers, limited variety of available food, guests have to bring their own towels and sheets are only changed when the guests leave. A good example of a guest friendly sustainable Eco Lodge is Izhcayluma in Ecuador.

Of course, the concept of an Eco Lodges is still good. And in many places, it might still be better to have semi Eco-Lodges, instead of no lodges at all. This is because the biggest advantage of these lodges is often that they prevent mass farming, hunting, logging, or even mining in the area. However, overall it is good to keep in mind that staying in an Eco Lodge doesn’t mean that you don’t cause an environmental impact. It just means that your stay has less of a negative impact on the environment. Besides, it is always good to try to adjust your behavior while traveling and staying at a lodge or hotel. See chapter 15.

How whales absorb CO2
Sustainability Blog How whales absorb CO2 How whales absorb CO2 and can slow down climate changeCan protecting whales be 'the next' carbon offset scheme? The world's largest animals are unusual good at taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and how they do this is likely going to surprise you.Whales,
Read more
DR Congo Rainforest communities
Sustainability Blog Communities in Congo Sustainable rainforest communities in DR Congo The Congo Rainforest Basin is part of some 314 million hectares (1.2 million sq miles) of primary rainforest – the oldest, densest and most ecologically significant kind. This rainforest plays a crucial role in the stability of the world's climate, and
Read more
Power of movement
Sustainability Blog The power of movement https://www.tourismvsclimatechange.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Movement-inspires.mp4The power of movement inspires The title of this short positive video about the First of January is actually “Movement Inspires”. It’s a great inspiring video about the importance of movement, movement from exercise and traveling, but also movement of the spirit and the soul.
Read more
Sustainable Japanese wooden satellite
Sustainability Blog Wooden satellites Sustainable wooden satellites Japanese company Sumitomo Forestry and Kyoto University have joined forces to reduce climate change caused by space junk.Satellites are increasingly being used for communication, television, navigation and weather forecasting. There are currently nearly 6,000 satellites circling Earth, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Read more
Space travel to help society
Sustainability Blog Space Travel 18. Space traveling to explore new areas and development On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to set feet on the moon. What few people know is that they left a silicon chip with 73 goodwill messages
Read more
The sustainable Doughnut Economy
Sustainability Blog Doughnut Economy 17.5 The Doughnut EconomyA sustainable economy is a win, win for everyone. Therefore since April 2020 the city of Amsterdam is planning to introduce the so-called Economical Doughnut model into the management of its city. This diagram was developed by Oxford economist Kate Raworth and looks like
Read more
Sustainable salaries
Sustainability Blog Sustainable salaries 17.3 Sustained salariesSome people believe that to fight poverty, everyone should earn the same comfortable salary. Recently this so-called ‘Universal Salary’ came back in the news again, as Spain wants to use it to fight the poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. I disagree with this
Read more
The danger of booking websites
Sustainability Blog Dangerous online platforms 14.6 The danger of bookings websites When bookings websites started in the 90s they provided a great tool for especially the lesser-known, not so well organized, and new businesses. Hotels without a (good) website, with a slow responding rate to reservations, or even not very good
Read more
Izhcayluma sustainable eco lodge
Sustainability Blog Izhcayluma 14.5 Izhcayluma Eco Lodge The Izhcayluma Lodge in Vilcabamba, Ecuador has come close to implementing many of the recommendations about sustainable tourism. The owners and employees seem to have found a good balance in sustainability and business, between foreign and national clients and between clients with more and
Read more

Copyright © 2020 Tourism vs Climate Change Powered by Fairtravel4u