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Socially responsible travel
A grass-roots alliance that unites people who see travel as a positive force in the world. Provides resources and information to transform travelers into "accidental ambassadors," and endeavors to harness the economic power of travelers to strengthen human rights and protect the environment.
A U.K.-based non-governmental organization, specializing in ethical, sustainable, and environmentally responsible tourism. Publishes various books about ethical tourism, as well as an informative quarterly magazine, Tourism in Focus.
The Ethical Travel Guide: Your Passport to Exciting Alternative Holidays, by Polly Pattullo (Earthscan, 2006)
Endorsed by Tourism Concern, this guidebook lists hundreds of travel destinations and opportunities that promote a positive impact on local people and their environment. Lists places to visit and stay in over sixty countries. Chapters cover the definition of ethical tourism, what's wrong with traditional tourism, why it's important to be an ethical consumer, and globalization and its effect on travel.
Native Tours: The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism, by Erve Chambers (Waveland Press, 2009)
A readable academic exploration into the cultural and environmental consequences of travel.
Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism, edited by Valene L. Smith (University of Pennsylvania, 1989 reprint)
First published in 1977, this collection of academic essays takes a look at the complex interrelations between travelers and locals and how they affect one another.
Kiva is a person-to-person micro-lending website that empowers individuals to alleviate poverty by lending to unique entrepreneurs around the globe: "When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on Kiva, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else." Discussion forum for lenders online at KivaFriends.org.
Environmentally responsible travel
National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations
Resources and information for "geotourism" travel that "sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents." Works with allied organizations to help develop and disseminate information for adopting the geotourism approach by destination communities, by tourism professionals, and by travelers themselves.
Sustainable Travel International
A non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development and responsible travel by providing programs that enable consumers, businesses and travel-related organizations to contribute to the environmental, socio-cultural and economic values of the places they visit, and the planet at large.
A clearinghouse for practical ecotourism around the globe, with an emphasis on Latin America. Features online forums, conference information, feature stories, and scholarly reports.
Organization created to empower decision makers to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs. Worldwatch focuses on the 21st-century challenges of climate change, resource degradation, population growth, and poverty by developing and disseminating solid data and innovative strategies for achieving a sustainable society.
MyClimate CO2 offset calculator
Online tools to calculate and offset your CO2 emissions from travel. MyClimate promotes the gathering of knowledge about CO2 reduction, raises awareness and inspires long-term climate protection.
IndependentTraveler.com's Green Travel Resources
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Resource listing for carbon-neutral travel, eco-friendly lodging, eco-friendly car rental, and eco-friendly tour operators. Includes some destination-specific resources.