Working with eco-friendly tour companies is one of the easiest ways to stay sustainable without having to overload yourself with planning. These eco-friendly tour companies will find you the best eco-friendly activities, lodgings and destinations without you having to do too much of the work.
How do you pick and evaluate an eco-tour company?
==> What Kind of Lodging Do They Book?
Where will you be staying? What are the sustainability practices of the hotel you’ll be at?
Do they have energy conserving light bulbs, and/or light switches that turn themselves off when the light has been on without anyone in the room?
Do they take steps to conserve toilet paper, soap and other disposables?
Ask the tour company about the place(s) they chose for the tour and why. Try to get a sense for how much homework the tour companies do and how committed they really are to being sustainable.
==> Do They Buy from Local Communities?
Does the tour company buy in bulk from Tesco or Wal-Mart? Or do they work with local merchants to bring you the best deal while supporting the local economy?
Try to work with a tour company that works with the locals, and benefits the community by being there.
The best eco-tour companies are willing to sacrifice a little bit of profit if it allows them to have a better impact on the country.
==> What’s Their Reputation in the Eco-Travel World?
If a tour company has been around for a while, they’ll probably have written some articles for eco magazines or have a well-known spokesperson for the company.
Google the name of the tour company and see what comes up. Are you able to find any articles written by them? What about reviews?
If you find articles, read through them and see what you think of their philosophy and general outlook.
==> Where to Find Eco-Travel Tour Companies
The best way to find eco-friendly tour companies is to use Google. Make sure you try Googling both your departure location and your destination location.
For example, if you’re leaving from London to Laos, try Googling both “London Eco-Friendly Tour Company” and “Laos Eco-Friendly Tour Company.”
Each will get you different results. Some companies work from your destination to find the best places, while other companies are based in where you’re leaving from and organize eco-tours remotely.
Another great place to find eco-friendly tour companies is internet forums like Travelfish or Lonely Planet. These sites are where travelers go to compare notes on tour companies. You can get a great sense of what’s really going on without any marketing talk.
If you want to travel sustainably and don’t want to have to do all the research and bookings yourself, the fastest and easiest way to do it is to book through an eco-travel tour company.