Eco Hotels and Responsible Travel Eco Hotels or Lodges are most preferred by tourists who choose them on their travel. With greater focus on green living and awareness about the environment this preference is not a vogue. It is more of a necessity in order to contribute towards reducing carbon footprint or curb the emission of green house gases. This is not restricted to just accommodation and travel it is applicable in all sphere of life. But how does this come about? Well changing our lifestyle, structural improvements and responsible behavior will contribute towards a better World.
Though it can be a costly affair for many hotels the contribution can still come about by making suitable changes as much as the cost allows. By implementing many changes we can create a carbon neutral property. Some of the implementations are mentioned in this article. The first step for eco hotels is to keep them small this automatically reduces the carbon footprint. This is most favorable for jungle lodges where limited tourism is a usual affair. A five room or a six room property based on home stay concept is most preferred. Nevertheless these lodges provide all modern hotel facilities and hence are deemed as such. The size does matter since usage of materials and energy is kept in control.
In case of most of the Eco hotels the energy is derived from alternative means like the solar panels, wind farms and usage of LED bulbs. Using natural locally available abundant materials for construction also contributes to responsible design. Using locally quarried rocks and hardwood from plantations through licensed purchase is the best practice. The local materials usually help in climate control saving electricity consumed by machines. This can be fortified by designing structures that make optimum use of natural light.
Energy produced in a sustainable manner from recycled waste, gobar gas plants is ideal. Rainwater harvesting is an eco-friendly activity where the ponds and lakes constructed using local material can store crucial supply of water. The operational contribution can be derived from saving water in washing linen, using organic cotton sheets, towels and mattresses, Using bulk organic soaps and toiletries which are not harmful to other life forms in the neighborhood.
Organic kitchen garden and use of local varieties is another good practice. Abundant sunlight is usually available and recycled water can be used for irrigation. Empowering locals is a part of responsible tourism. The sons of soil should be first beneficiaries of natural heritage or monumental edifices. These are the sentinels that preserve and conserve destinations which play a major role in tourism.
Uday works as naturalist in an eco hotel in Kanha hence the article. He works as host and tiger/bird guide in Kanha National Park in India. Uday also blogs on wildlife and conservation and provides website contents.