Ecotourism is a neologism that comes from the fusion of two words: ecology and tourism.
It refers to the increasing number of people who are choosing to go on vacation without staying in in hotels or travelling by means which pollutes the environment.
Impossible? Not really
Expensive? Absolutely not! If you are open to a new way to experience travelling and spending your holidays then ecotourism is perfect for you!
Ecobnb has selected 5 ideas to become an ecotourist and change the way you travel forever!

Smiling dog
Working in a farm in exchange for bed and board? Yes, you can thanks to Wwoof. Photography by Steve Evans

Wwoof: become a rustic volunteer

Wwoof means “World wide opportunities on organic farms” and it is an association made up of farmers willing to offer bed and board in exchange of 4/6 hours of daily work on their farms.
Tasks range from sowing seeds, gardening, wine making, cheese making and bread making to name just a few!.
We like it because: most woofers get so passionate about this alternative way of living that they decide to change their lives at the end of their experience! They go onto to open organic farms, B&B’s in the countryside, produce bio food, open bio restaurants and more.

Camel in a van
Sharing a drive with someone going your same direction? It’s easy and inexpensive today if you surf the web photography by Bryce Kukloh

Carpooling: the evolution of hitching a ride, a trend from back in the 70’s

Can you remember when youngsters used to travel the world just by waving their thumb up and down, stopping vehicles to get a free ride somewhere?
Carpooling is the modern day hitch hiking!
Carpooling allows people to share the drive and driving expenses together.
The idea originated in cities as an idea to reduce the number of cars reaching the city centers.
Citizen’s associations and authorities promoted car sharing between people heading to the same workplaces as a possible solution to:

  • decreasing the number of cars on the streets
  • decrease car pollution

Others decided to extend the experience to long haul rides.
If sharing a car was ok for short distances it could be good for long distances too.
Nowadays the most popular website for carsharing/carpooling is called “Bla bla car”. Drivers log on days in advance to register their journey and potential travellers can log on to try and find someone who is driving to their intended destination.
How does it work?

  1. Log in
  2. Choose a destination
  3. Read the profiles of the drivers offering rides to the destination you wish to go
  4. Contact your ideal driver and make arrangements

We like it because: it promotes a smart and safe way of travelling.

A man in a bathtub
Do you like biking? You could have a free place to sleep with warmshowers. Photography by Derek Gavey via Flickr

Warmshowers: get on a bike and off you go on a free vacation

Are you a bicycle maniac? Then, this website is the perfect place to arrange your next eco holiday.
Warmshowers offers exactly what it says: warm showers in accommodation that is ready to welcome cyclists and bikers who go around the world on two wheels.
How does it work?
It’s easy:

  1. Log in
  2. Register
  3. Choose a destination on the map
  4. Browse the profiles of hosts willing to offer their places
  5. Make your choice

Get on your bicycle and off you go!
We like it because: riding a bicycle is an eco friendly way of travelling and it is good for everybody’s health too.

Two girls on a sofa
Travelling the world and sleeping on a new friend’s couch? Visit the couchsurfing website and pack your things photography by Dave Austria via Flickr

Couchsurfing: sleep on my couch tonight, will you ?

When you have a guest staying at your house it is often easy to get the couch ready and offer them a place to sleep right?
If you are a couchsurfing host you do the same except your guests are not exactly your friends and they can come from anywhere in the world and stay for short stays.
Couchsurfing is an online community of hosts who offer short stay accommodation to visitors for free.
How does it work?
Again, the web plays a critical role in the publication/advertising of these alternative ways to travel.

  1. You log in and create your own account.
  2. Choose your destination
  3. Browse the hosts’ profiles and contact her/him
  4. The host will put you up for free for some days and even spend some time with you and show you around their town just like a tour guide!! And what a bonus – it’s free!

We like it because:it is totally based on the desire to get to know other people and share experiences.

Your holiday in an original English cottage? You could if you exchange your home photography by Gary Knight via Flickr

Home exchange: stay in London, Sydney or Cape Town for free

Do you remember that movie featuring Cameroon Diaz where she exchanges her luxurious villa in sunny California with a cottage in England over Christmas?
That’s exactly the spirit of this house exchange service.
You offer someone you don’t know the opportunity to stay in your house, live in your village/city and in exchange, you get to stay in a place you have always wanted to go to but perhaps it is somewhere you could never afford.
It works the same way as the abovementioned services:

  1. Register
  2. Browse the website
  3. Choose the house of your dreams
  4. Contact the owners and hope they have always dreamt of “living your life“.
    If they have, you have got yourself a deal and you need to start packing for your dream vacation!!

We like it because: it is based on a genuine wish of living the life of a local while on vacation

Going for ecotourism has never been so easy and inexpensive with Ecobnb suggestions.
Pick up a tip, test it out and share your experience with other readers.

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