The term ‘go green’ generally means to do things in ways that protect the natural environment. However, the Go Green initiative is a fully comprehensive environmental action plan for schools, businesses, organizations and homes towards promoting environmental stewardship on campuses from preschools through universities and protecting human health through environmental stewardship.
In the lodging industry, to ‘go green’ would be asking housekeeping not to change your sheets and towels every day and you, the guest, would be turning off the air conditioning and electronic gadgets when you leave your room.
In some other parts of the world, green conscious travelers would stay in hotels that have recycling programs in place and abide by them. They travel with reusable items like reusable water bottles, travel mugs, a cloth shopping bag for the groceries, and containers for leftovers, all the while, avoiding single-use disposables. I must confess I don’t measure up …not yet.
Last week’s article on the blog, ’Tourism: Green is clean’, was a teaser to what I envisaged to be a short series on tourism but I’ve had to resign myself to my nostalgic ‘tourism adventures’ in Ghana. Indeed, many parts of this country, distant and nearby landscapes need ‘little touches’ to create significant experiences for repeat visits. Can you identify them?
After 20 years, I still have lingering memories of the serenity of a well conserved, beautiful, lush vegetation and the riverine of the Black Volta at Weichau, in the Upper West region of Ghana; the abode of hippo population in Ghana!
My ‘exploration’ of tourism in Ghana leans towards eco-tourism experiences visiting 14 eco-tourism sites under the pretext of being a foreign tourist for training purposes! The next few weeks will feature some observations made on this 21-day ‘adventure’. Ghana has an extensive list of official ‘Community-Based Eco Tourism Projects’, which have been established in a joint effort by:
• Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC)
• Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) now Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA)
• SNV Netherlands Development Organization
• Peace-Corps Ghana.
For many people, the terms Green Tourism, Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism may sound like the same thing; so, they use them interchangeably, but they are not. More recent industry buzzwords include nature tourism, responsible tourism, ethical tourism, mindful travel, conscious travel, pro-poor tourism, and many others. Regardless of what you call it, the central concepts that these philosophies share in common are that the travel industry as a whole should adopt more environmentally friendly practices, protect the natural and cultural heritage of a destination, and support local communities.
Thankfully, more and more tourism destinations and enterprises are focusing on becoming more sustainable and encouraging responsible tourism.
Watch this clip. Ecotourism – Ghana at Heart
Riddle for the week: I have seas without water, coast without sand, towns without people, and mountains without land. What am I?
Solution to last week’s riddle: The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I? Footsteps