As gas prices climb each and everyday around the globe, as responsible citizens and travelers, we can’t help but think about our lifestyle. Are we wasting and living too large? Are we transferring the living large concept to the places we visit?
What can we learn from a nation like Belize?
According to CIA.gov Belize GDP per capita for 2010 was $8,400. The United States was $47,400 for the same year. However, their public debt for 2010 was $1.01 billion and the United States was 13.98 trillion!
We have heard our grandmothers’ advice: it is not how much you make; it is how much you get to keep. This applies to the way we preserve our environment.
How can a tourist resort teach visitors about conservation, that less is more?
As an outsider looking into the Conservation Policy of Chaa Creek, there are so much we can learn from just this statement: The goal of Chaa Creek is to establish a model of low-impact, sustainable development. By stimulating interest in the environment, natural history and local culture we hope to demonstrate the long term benefits of ecotourism over other environmentally damaging options for development.”
That’s a statement worth pondering… how are we impacting our environment, natural history and local culture? It is not only in our neighborhood alone but the world at large.
Other than the reggae music, Belize is full of natural beauty of biological and geographical diversity. It is also a place where you can study the pyramids and the ruins of Mayans that dates back to1500 BC. Tourism is the most important source of income for the nation of Belize. It’s no secret that ecotourism plays an important role in attracting visitors.
So what can we learn and teach our children from a place like Chaa Creek with low impact, sustainable development and one that promotes the local people and their cultures and giving back to the locals?
- Reduce – reduce waste like disposable cups, paper towels, spoons, straws and even food. Take what we need and don’t throw food away. Practice turning off lights and air condition when not in use.
- Reuse- imagine… using three towels in a day at a resort? How about just one a day.
- Recycle- all soda containers, bottles, cans, paper. Use rechargeable batteries when traveling.
Sadly, we bring along our culture of big to places we visit…here’s an idea worth considering…how about a visit to the San Ignacio Market? Take a look at the simplicity of Belizean life away from modern high rise and development. Just savor local fruits and vegetables and mingle with the local western Belizean folks. You might even hear some Spanish and German spoken there.
The International Ecotourism Society defined ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people.
Won’t you consider a place like Chaa Creek for your summer vacation where you can relax, be pampered, explore, learn the simplicity of life, enjoy the natural environment, get involved with the locals and add value to the well being of the locals? You might be transformed from the experience!
The above article was written by Claudia Looi. You can find her at ww.uncommongeneration.com