We like the idea of “ecotourism,” even though it’s a flawed concept. At its best, you get a community-based tourism project that is actually run by the community, benefits the community, and helps the environment. Unfortunately, you see a lot of big companies or people who aren’t locals who slap on the name of “ecotourism” when they really don’t benefit anybody but themselves, and their services are hardly environmental.
And so, that brings us to the topic of Australia! Yep, Australia! We love Australia, and we like the idea of ecotourism, so we wanted to find a way to promote real community-based ecotourism in this amazing country. Ecotourism Australia runs the Eco Certification Program, which is a great way to check to see if your destination is really going to benefit the environment and the local economy. While their published mission statement doesn’t say much about “community-based” tourism, they seem to have the right idea.
My unofficial motto for this group would be: “Start ’em young. That way they’ll actually give a damn!” So many adults in our world get to the point where they say “yeah, but there’s no point, what can I do about it?!” Action for Nature (AFN) is an organization that gives out “International Young Eco-Hero Awards” to girls and boys around the world, 8 to 16 years of age. Celebrating youth and eco-heroes is where to look for more info.
Sure, our government has a reputation of coming up with lots of inefficient ideas, but occasionally something beautiful pops up out of all that messy bureaucracy. ENERGY STAR is one of those things of beauty. This is a government-sponsored program that works to improve energy efficiency and protect the environment at the local level. They work with businesses and individuals and have a certification program that selects household products for high energy efficiency standards and then recommends them on their site. They also certify new homes if you’re looking to purchase a home. They even help with advice on home improvements.
Millions of people throughout the world wash their clothes by hand and hang it out to dry. In developed countries, we use tons of energy in washing and drying our clothes in machines. We need to ask ourselves, are washing machines a necessity, or a luxury? There is no doubt about it, washing clothes by hand is a pain in the butt. Who has the time and energy these days?
Well, here is a happy alternative, the Wonder Wash hand powered compact washer. This is a hand cranked washer that uses high pressure to get your clothes super clean. In the process, you use up to 90% less water and detergent. It takes about 2 minutes to wash a 5 pound load, and requires no electricity. You may even find you’ll be spending a little less time at the gym!
You can also use organic bio-degrabable detergents with the Wonder Wash. Additionally this machine reduces the amount of lint produced by washing.
PLEASE NOTE: We are linking to a different source for this product now, and not the company complained about in the comments.
Building Green is an eco-friendly company that works to provide information for the residential and commercial building community. They publish the excellent Environmental Building News which is chock full of great information. The magazine is not cheap, but it’s worth it.
They also offer a number of books including GreenSpec, which has tons of information on green building products, listed in over 200 categories.