Responsive Travel Blog

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day to all of the Responsive Travelers from the United States! The writers at the Responsive Travel Blog want to know what you are doing to celebrate this Earth Day. Are you pledging to Carbon Offset all of your travel this year? Are you going to participate in a neighborhood clean-up? Are you going to help a community in a country that you’re visiting plant trees?

Here are some highlights from great organizations that work year-round to celebrate the Earth:

EcoLogic Development Fund

EcoLogic’s longtime partner in Totonicapán, Guatemala, the Association of the 48 Cantons, has received a grant from Rainforest Alliance for US$30,000 for the construction of two greenhouses which will each produce approximately 17,000 trees a year. EcoLogic will provide a third greenhouse as well as training for the operation of the greenhouses and reforestation of the surrounding areas. The three new greenhouses will be in addition to the existing greenhouses which produced 110,000 trees in 2010. (Information courtesy of Ecologic Website)

Conservacion Patagonica

In the Chacabuco Valley, 46 people work to create Patagonia National Park.  Everyone is Chilean; the majority are from Cochrane, the closest town.  Along with volunteers and visiting experts, they are the ones building the trails and campgrounds, monitoring and protecting the wildlife, and restoring the damaged grasslands–the jobs you would guess land conservation encompasses.  But they are also the ones operating and maintaining the machinery, landscaping the park headquarters, and cooking for workers and volunteers–the “behind the scenes” roles that provide critical support for building the park. (Information courtesy of Conservacion Patagonica Blog)

The School for Field Studies

Understanding the local views on the ecological and socioeconomic challenges facing the communities in which we work is key. Our ongoing research and close ties with community stakeholders allow students to make meaningful contributions to long-term conservation solutions. In Maasailand (Kenya), indigenous trees are being cut down for agricultural development and the harvesting of charcoal. This deforestation, in combination with a long drought, has resulted in widespread soil erosion, habitat loss, and a negative impact on the health of humans, livestock, and wildlife. Soil degradation threatens the water supply and dust bowls are causing respiratory and vision complications. To counter this disturbing trend, our faculty and students are planting trees in partnership with local elementary schools and community members. Local conservation organizations grow saplings of indigenous species like Acacia and Balanites in nurseries and sell them to SFS for the reforestation effort. (Information courtesy of School for Field Studies website)

Let us know what you are doing today and Happy Earth Day!

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