I live in the “Garden State”, New Jersey. The state of sweet corn and jersey tomatoes. Yum. Most recently I joined the Sustainability Committee at work so I asked myself why not think sustainably while I’m on Vacation too? Preserving that which has not yet been lost. Your “Carbon Footprint” can be reduced by thinking and going green so it’s a great idea to be environmentally responsible. After all we are the only solution to our problems.
When I think, okay dream, of traveling to a place like The Lodge at Chaa Creek I immediately conclude spacious, unspoiled, natural and fresh. It’s only fitting that Chaa Creek started promoting green responsible travel in 1981, the same year I was born, 30 years ago. I can think back many years and remember that ever since I was young I’ve had a love of the earth. From the endless hours I spent in my grandmothers garden to the endless hours I now spend in my own. Each place I visit I take on the culture, I appreciate the surroundings and I grab hold of the sacred. That’s why I take seriously the need to “go green”. My husband has had cancer for 11 years, this too brings on an appreciation for cleaner air and environmental stabilization. As a result of my husbands illness we have learned to watch what goes into our bodies this bleeds into our everyday live as we also watch what we put into this earth.
When my Husband and I traveled to Cozumel, Mexico in 2002 we decided to delve into the Mayan culture. We met a group of indigenous Mayans of the same religious background as my husband and I. Our verbal communication was limited because there was only one gentleman who spoke his native tongue and a little Spanish. Nonetheless through a little verbal communication, smiles and laughter we were asked to stay and enjoy dinner with them. In exchange and thanks we promised them Mayan religious literature in their native tongue when we returned. They were a kind, light hearted people. When I think back to that time now I smile ear to ear at their open-handedness. On another trip to Kauai, HI in 2008 we were kindly greeted on the beach of Poipu by two Sea Lions. As we stood at a distance to admire them we noticed a group of volunteers come to rope off the Sea Lions so that they would be protected from any human disruption while they caught some sun and much needed sleep. We learned that this team scourers the beaches each day, their sole purpose is to protect these endangered species so that they can be enjoyed for years to come.
As you become accustomed to other cultures while on vacation take the opportunity to slow your pace as the indigenous do and take time to say “Maanin! (Good morning!), Weh di go aan? (What is going on?) Hey Bali! (Hi Buddy!)” to those you pass by. Use biodegradable travel bottles for shampoos and conditioners. Remember to conserve your water use when brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Turn off the lights when you leave your hotel room. Treat your vacation home as you would your own. Most importantly remember to learn from your surroundings. Life is different and unique in every land. This deserves to be cherished.