Did you know that the Caribbean, as a region, leads the world in the number of Green Globe certified properties? When your plans call for overnight stay in the Caribbean or Latin America, take the time to identify a Green Globe property in your destination country! Green Globe standards focus on performance outcomes in everything from energy efficiency to ecosystem conservation, from solid waste management to social and cultural issues. Show your support of their efforts!
Green Globe property or not, what questions should you ask before deciding to stay at a hotel near the coast? The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, a local WIDECAST affiliate, is developing a voluntary “Sea Turtle Friendly Certification” program whereby establishments located on or in close proximity to sea turtle nesting beaches will undergo an inspection process to determine if they are practicing turtle friendly behavior. Practices such as beach lighting, trash removal, vehicular use, habitat modification, and nest protection will all be examined. As time goes on we’ll post a list of “certified” properties, both in St. Kitts and elsewhere in the region, and we’ll also create a list of questions that will assist you in making the best decision about where to stay. (Stay tuned!)
When you travel, don’t purchase sea turtle products. These would include meat, oil, eggs, or leather or shell crafts. More than 70 of all countries in the Wider Caribbean Region fully protect their sea turtles. But even in countries where it is legal to make such a purchase, it is a violation of international law to travel between countries with sea turtle products in your possession. Examples of such products are featured in the right sidebar. Wherever you shop in Latin America and the Caribbean, look for a WIDECAST placard that confirms that the vendor has pledged not to sell sea turtle products.
Select “green tourism” products and services when you travel, patronize locally owned businesses, and purchase locally crafted items. Visit national parks (tip your guide well), take a nature hike, support local botanical gardens and wildlife rescue centers, tour a historical site, don’t litter, rent a car from an agency that offers carbon offset options. There is only one Planet Earth, your decisions when you travel affect us all. Be gentle, be respectful, be intelligent, be green.
Related note: Please be an intelligent consumer of seafood, whether at home or abroad. There are several user-friendly tools on the Internet that can help you do your part to keep the oceans alive for sea turtles and other marine creatures. Bookmark the following: