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Ecotourism Tips

Ecotourism is more than just an environmental awareness issue but is also a way to support and protect cultures and communities. Find out about the culture of the destination you are planning on visit. Cultural and interpretive centres offer insight into local communities and activities.

Respect the environment by taking your litter to recycling bins, do not pickup and take home items you find such as shells or rocks. Stay on the path for your own safety and also to help protect the natural flora and fauna.

Make sure you donít damage any of the historic sites you visit. Stay within the designated areas and donít climb on walls or objects on display.

When looking for a place to stay, consider lodgings which support environmental conservation and sustainable business practices. The Hotel Association of Canada has a green-rating system for hotels. See the Places to Stay section for these hotels.

Find out if businesses invest in emission reduction projects or have other worthy projects which they participate in to ensure sustainable tourism benefits their local community and ecosystems.

Be conscientious about resource conservation. Vacations may be the time to indulge yourselves but be aware of the amount of water and electricity you are using. Many places in Canada, especially in National Parks or the wilderness take extra steps to protect the local environment.

Eat at restaurants which support locally grown produce. In Western Canada there is a program supported by the Vancouver Aquarium known as Ocean Wise. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol on seafood menus to be sure the ingredients have come from ocean friendly sources.

When buying souvenirs for yourself or friends and family make sure you buy locally made products. Look out for products which support local industry and culture. These not only make for a more authentic souvenir but also help reduce shipping emissions and at the same time support the local economy.