How to Stay Green AND Volunteer Responsibly

Written by  January 6, 2011

Looks like 2011 is going to be a very green year for consumers! 

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Over the next 12 months, consumers (in the States, at least) can expect the following: eco-friendly products that perform better than their earlier incarnations, new policies that keep marketers from making overblown claims about the environmental advantages of their products, more green ways to get around that include everything from luxury hybrids to more car-sharing programmes, more eco-friendly architecture and... more green travel!

Yup, according to the Center for American Progress, these improvements should be heading our way during the upcoming year. While it's hard to argue with the benefits of any of these predicted trends, we just want to add a small addendum to the promise for more green travel. 

A sticking point in the promise for more green travel involves the goal to integrate it with voluntourism programmes, which is great, but it's important to define the kind of voluntourism. (See a list of green travel trends from Travelanthropist here.) A lot of voluntourism trips involve working with the environment, but as we've mentioned before, not all volunteer abroad programmes are made equal, so it's vital to the health of the industry as well as the communities these programmes are meant to serve that we ensure sustainability in every sense of the word. To do that, click here to read more about how to choose a responsible volunteer organization.

And while we're on the subject, check out some of these articles for ways to stay green while you travel:

A Traveller's Guide to Going Carbon Neutral
Must-See Global Eco-Hotspots Add this article to your reading list
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Zalina Alvi

Zalina grew up in Toronto and began her career in journalism at the York University campus newspaper. Before joining Verge in 2010, she worked for a documentary festival, a non-profit organization and various magazines and newspapers. Zalina has had some eclectic travel experiences, including reporting for a newspaper on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.

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