I write this blog about ecotourism because I have a big interest in this topic and I do think it can make a difference. I want to share what I find/think interesting about it.
This blog is yours, please feel free to add any comment/suggestion/feedback or email me at guillaume.foutry (at) gmail.com

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Time to Take a Break

Hello everyone,

As you have seen I have not been extremely active on this blog recently, mostly because I moved to a different country and was busy settling in.

The thing is that I also used this time to reflect on this blog and my activities around it. I have realized that I have changed and my interests have changed. When I launched this blog two years ago, green travelling was really a big activity for me. Even if I still highly interested in green issues, there are new things I would like to explore/try.

So I have decided to take a break with this blog. I will keep posting things, but probably on an irregular basis and see how it goes. In the meantime I am working on a new project that I hope to make public soon.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Discover Ecotourism in South Africa with Katherine

One of the great things about travelling stories is when the writer has the ability to make you feel you are discovering the country with him. It does not always happen, but when it does, you literally feel you are in his mind, you share the same emotions than him. And this is priceless as you can learn so much from a place thanks to him.

I recently discovered a new blog that has the potential to give me this feeling: Katherine Writes. Managed by Katherine Hales, she will bring you to South Africa where she will do a research trip to study local perceptions of ecotourism. Have a look at her blog and make your mind, but I have the feeling I am going to learn so much about SA through her experience. So thank you Katherine, and good luck!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Have to Know More About Monsanto

LE MONDE SELON MONSANTOImage by David_Reverchon via Flickr
You have probably heard of Monsanto, the leader of GMO engineering. The company is infamous for developing the Orange Agent used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and other cancer inducing products such as Round-up and PCB. To sum it up, a company with a past full of lies and death for money sake.

In case you would like to discover more about this multinational, I strongly recommend you to watch the documentary 'The World According to Monsanto' made by a French journalist, Marie-Monique Robin. This shows the urgency of closely monitoring the company activities and counter them when their actions endangers the environment.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

China Is Shaking up the World of Renewable Energies

Darling Wind FarmImage by warrenski via Flickr
Napoleon said, after having read a book about China, that 'when China wakes up, the whole world will be shaken up'. I think he had no idea this would especially apply to the field of green technologies. A recent article from Fast Company shows that China has become the Saudi Arabia of Wind is on track to produce more electricity through wind farm than the US.

As the Chinese market is potentially way bigger than the US one, the industry will adapt itself to the Chinese demand; The good news is that it will give a big boost to the sector and hopefully drive prices down.

If you extent this principle to the other green tech (and China is investing billions in the solar industry), you realize that China has all the cards to become the number one player in the green energies game. The only thing that could challenge this assumption is if the US move quickly to adopt a green energy bill, but the coming mid term election will for sure prevent this. This is a missed opportunity for the US in terms of leadership, and it might not come back.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Blog Is Not for Sale

NO SALESImage by KateMonkey via FlickrTo all the guys out there that are looking at my blog and think of contacting me for advertising or linkbuilding, please DON'T!!! There are a few reasons why I am not interested in any of them:

  • Linkbuilding is illegal
  • My blog is an ad free zone: I just watched Fight Club last night and read the excellent 'No Logo' of Naomi Klein, so I am not in corporate mode at all.
  • My blog is about ecotourism and I try show how it is vital for all the stakeholders to take the environment into account. This means I will never talk or recommend a business that is not green or at least genuinely try to be.
  • If you really want to have a mention of your company on this blog, do something green, implement new measures, do whatever makes sense to protect the environment.
I know it will not stop the flow of stupid emails, but at least I want to show to whoever comes to this blog that I am completely independent and free from any commercial pressure.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Crazy Plan: Selling Alaska Water to Middle East Countries

Picture Source: U.S. National Oceanic & Atmosp...Image via Wikipedia

Yes, this is not a mistake, this is a real project implemented by a US company, S2C Global Sytems. They want to sell the water from the Blue Lake reservoir located near Sitka, a small town in Southeastern Alaska. And they plan to sell a large quantity of water: 9.5 billion gallons a year or 8% of the total volume of the reservoir.

They affirm it will not endanger the ecosystem of the lake as it is provided with fresh water from glaciers. But still, I feel they are like wizard trying something new without measuring all the consequences of it. And what to say about all the pollution generated to condition the water for shipping and then transport it to the Middle East?

I know that some countries are in dire situation regarding water, but the first thing to do should be to have a better water distribution system and reduce water consumption, not resorting to what appears to be the easiest solution that will inevitably create new problems.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Dying Dead Sea

Jordan Dead seaImage via Wikipedia

I went to Israel and Jordan last month. That was an amazing trip, which I recommend everyone to do. But I was very shocked by the state of the Dead Sea. I knew that both countries are pumping too much water from the rivers alimenting it, but I did not expect to see something like this.

The level of the Dead Sea is dropping by 1 meter per year. And the most alarming thing in all this is that both countries are not talking about way to improve their irrigation system or reduce the amount of water lost through leaks. No, they want to build a multi billion dollar aqueduct to bring water from the Red sea to the Dead sea.

Sounds to me it is like creating a new problem when trying to solve a current one.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Food Packaging: Still Some Efforts to Make!

Easter is coming soon and as it happens every year we are going to be flooded by chocolate (and who doesn't like it?). As I was doing my shopping at M&S in London I saw a sign saying that since 2007 this company has reduced by 50% the amount of packaging used for Easter products.

I found it was a horrible fact as I felt there are still too much packaging out there. Treehugger has suggested a few solutions but the one that seems most appealing to me would be to (progressively) outlaw landfills.

So What is your idea to reduce the plague of packaging waste?

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Survey on Ecotourism Online

Hey guys,

I have been contacted by Gitanjali More that is looking for information on ecotourism online. If you have five minutes please take the time to complete his survey, would be really helpful for him.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stop Wasting Food!

OK I know it is not directly related to ecotourism, but food waste is a problem that has a direct impact on the environment: all the food thrown away has been grown using lots of energy and the whole process of growing it to making it available to customers generates a high volume of carbon dioxide. So less food waste is good for the environment.

In case you are looking for a solution to reduce it, have a look at this iPhone app from Love Food Hate Waste.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

When Osama Bin Laden Talks about the Environment

osama bin laden t-shirt (2)Image by Paul Keller via Flickr

I know, this sounds very unlikely, but this murderer mentioned it in its latest tape, as explained here by Fast Company. Of course this psychopath used it as a new angle to attack the US and the West.

The only good news I can see in that is that if someone like him starts using it is that now it is 100% mainstream. On the other hand, it could also announce something more terrible: eco-terrorist. I am not saying that Al-Qaeda would evolve into this, but some radical ecologists could in the future move to violent action to "protect the earth". What could be their target? Well, I would say polluting industries and big businesses. Not saying I am a fan, but honestly, in the long run, terrorism is a dead end.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti: When Bad Governance Ruins a Country

Map of Haiti with Port-au-Prince shownImage via Wikipedia

You have all heard of the tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti. What is unfortunate from an environmental points of view is that the catastrophe has been amplified by the destruction of the environment that the country has undergone over the last decades: exhaustion of natural resources, deforestation, pollution. All these problems have been created by a lack of governance led by dictators more interested in making themselves rich than improving the situation of their people. Jared Diamond, in his book Collapse, explains this better than I could ever do.

Not only Haiti is a failed state, the poorest of the Western Hemisphere, but it also has one of the most damaged environment of the planet. I am not saying a better governance would have prevented the earthquake, but it would have had a different impact (less building collapsing because of better infrastructure; less landslides because of trees to keep the ground). And the problem is that the destruction of the environment has created a vicious circle hard to break: as there are less opportunities for development, people will exhaust the environment even more to survive, worsening the problem.

It is hard to see any light at the end of this depressing tunnel, but right now what people need is help, not pessimism or cynicism. If you want to do something, here is a list of charities working in Haiti.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Green Marketing: Planting Trees to Promote a Website!

{{de|Linde von Linn (Tilia cordata), Linn AG, ...Image via Wikipedia

I got contacted some time ago by Ruba that told me that if I had their logo on my blog they will plant a tree for that. Moreover they would do the same for any person putting it on their own blog or website. The trees will be planted by Trees for the Future. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me, so if you want to have a tree planted, put the following badge on your website!
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ecotourism in Korea Demilitarized Zone?

Original Picture of the English Version Explai...Image via Wikipedia

If you have never heard of it, the Korean Demilitarized Zone is a buffer zone that separates the two Koreas. Created after the end of the war in 1953, this no man's land is surrounded by one of the highest concentrations of military in the world. It is without any doubt one of the hot spots of our planet.

However, as it has been untouched for more than 50 years, this space has been recolonized by nature: to some extent, it is a natural park guarded by the military! So as the relationship between the two countries have warmed up over the last decade, some people are now suggesting to open up this zone, and strangely for ecotourism.

So who knows, in a couple of years if you are in Seoul you might spend a day trip admiring nature, without realizing you are surrounded by soldiers, landmines and other nasty military inventions. It will not be weirder than visiting Chernobyl.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 = Commitments?

OK I am a bit late for wish you a happy new year, but I am still on time to provide you with content that shows you how some people see green travel going in 2010, (well some also call it ecotourism). Ron Mader decided to bet on the countries we will hear on the ecotourism front this year. Other people are even bolder by betting on what will happen in the next decade in terms of sustainability.

Personally, I hope 2010 will be a year of commitments as there is not much time left to change the effects of climate change. The failure of the Copenhagen summit in 2009 showed all the difficulties associated with this problem (the main one being able to agree on a common solution), so the least we could do from this is to learn from our mistakes and move on, hopefully in the right direction.

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