Ecohelpline

Eco Helpline

In 2009 three of us started Eco Helpline My other 2 incredible partners are Jem Winston and Hemant Thite. We share the same ideals about promoting ecotourism, each in our own way.  We think of ourselves as the 3 Ecoteers promoting sustainability. Hemant lives in India and runs Biogas Helpline and he is the one that brought the 3 of us together. Jem runs 3 Rivers Dominica and Rosalie Forest Ecolodge, both in Dominica.

Our goal for Eco Helpline was to initiate people into “Eco” best practices. We were mainly thinking of hotels when we developed the course but anyone can benefit from it. Many things can be incorporated into other areas and can also help increase people’s awareness in general. Our focus was the 5 main parts of ecotourism; Energy, Water, Nature Conservation, Waste & Recycling and Community Development.

Our free online course covers all those and you can take it here: Basic Eco Course. This will take you to my partner site.  You do need to sign up to take the course, but there is no charge.

We also offer an Advanced Eco Best Practices Course here: Alternative Energies Course. There is a small fee of $50 (US) to take the advanced course. You do need to register first. By signing up for our advanced class you will enable the 3 of us to meet in person and we would all love that, so please take the advanced class after you’ve taken our free one!

The Creativity OF Eco Tourism In Uganda

Green World Safaris in Uganda

Eco Tourism in Uganda
Eco-tourism basically focuses on environmental conservation and sustainable development. Eco-tours help to save forests, cultures and the environment in general. Eco tourism is all about saving the environment around you and preserving the natural luxuries and forest life. Whether it’s about a nature camp or organizing trekking trips towards the unspoiled and inaccessible regions, one should always keep in mind not to create any disturbance in the life cycle of nature.

Eco-tourism sites in Uganda are endowed with an abundance of wildlife and ever green vegetation. The attractions are; the apes, birds, butterflies, green vegetation, reptiles, flowers and wild animals like elephants, baboons, warthogs, chimpanzees, bush backs, monkeys, bush pigs, buffaloes, mountain gorillas and cool natural fresh air.

In all of Africa, Uganda is blessed by Nature with a wide range of rain forests, wildlife sanctuaries, rich cultural history, spectacular national parks, active volcanoes, botanical gardens, snow capped mountain with their rich flora and fauna gives you abundant and diverse choices making it the perfect country to visit if you are interested in environmental tourism and the unforgettable wildlife experience.

For those interested in nature, and who love traveling and recreation, we welcome you to the Pearl of Africa (Uganda). Eco-tourism here focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. Traveling to different destinations is where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions like our well conserved national parks, forests and mountains.

For Eco Lodges and Tours in Uganda go here: Uganda Eco Lodges and Tours
This article submitted by: Green World Safaris

Wild Futures and the primate pet trade

The Monkey Sanctuary run by Wild Futures

By Paul Michael Reynolds MSc
Education Officer and Primate Keeper
Wild Futures-Primate Conservation

Wild Futures is a UK registered charity founded upon five decades of experience as a leader in the field of primate welfare and conservation, education, and sustainable practice. We are committed to protecting primates and habitats worldwide, with our UK flagship project The Monkey Sanctuary housing monkeys rescued from the primate pet trade and other abusive captive situations.

Our primary focus at Wild Futures is to protect primates and one of our main methods for achieving this is through education. Our education program raises awareness of the serious conservation and welfare implications for victims of the primate pet trade and other issues affecting primates worldwide. Some of the monkeys at our Sanctuary were born in the wild and through both legal and illegal means, have ended up as pets in Europe. Kodak the capuchin (see photo below), started his life in the rainforest and probably witnessed his family group shot. He then found himself transported across the globe to Greece where he was kept in a photo shop, until his owner realized he needed to be with others of his own kind. He is now the alpha male of his own group at our Sanctuary.

Kodak is one of the primates at The Monkey SanctuaryKodak ©Wild Futures

We estimate with the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) that there are approximately 6,000 privately owned primates in the UK, with further evidence suggesting it could be higher and there are signs that the primate pet trade is on the increase. Our Sanctuary witnesses the damage caused by this trade every day. Of the 37 monkeys residing at our Sanctuary, many of them display serious physical and psychological problems resulting from their time kept as pets. Our campaign work has led to much advancement, including political recognition that the trade in primates as pets is an issue within the UK, the publication of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates (to be used in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Act 2006) and strong public support, which has resulted in a parliament led committee discussing the UK primate pet trade.

We are working hard to protect primates and their habitats worldwide and strive for the day when all monkeys are free from the threat of the pet trade, free from malnutrition, mental, physical and emotional suffering.

Author Bio:
Paul Reynolds began his work at Wild Futures as a volunteer after completing his MSc in 2010, and after a period of time as a volunteer entered into his current role as Education Officer. He is driven and committed to ending the exploitation of primates for any purpose. You can email him at paul_reynolds@wildfutures.org

Paul Reynolds who works with Wild futures in preserving primatesPaul talking about Maya the Woolly Monkey

Water Conservation

Water scarcity worlwide

I keep having the same discussions with different lodges concerning water conservation. This is one of the 5 areas of my Eco Rating Exam. The 5 areas are Energy, water, recycling, land and conservation, and community.

Water conservation makes a lot of sense because there is a big water problem worldwide.  Wikipedia has an article on it here: Worldwide Water shortage, they claim there is a water scarcity in every continent of the world. The map below shows it:

Water scarcity worlwide

The Eco Rating Exam stresses water conservation. Lodges and Tours in very wet and rainy areas feel that they shouldn’t be held up to the same standards because there is an abundance of water where they are.  I have tried to incorporate some things into the questions of the Eco Ratings Exam.  For example, one of the questions is do you re-use gray water for irrigation?  This makes no sense if you have so much rain water that you don’t even have to irrigate.  I solved this question by adding this as a possible answer: Water is abundant and there is no need to collect gray water. There is another question that lodges do score lower on if they answer no.  That question asks if they record their water usage as part of water conservation.  So far, I have been tackling this question on an individual basis but maybe it’s time for some guidelines.

Our overall goal is promoting ecotourism.  As such, I think eco lodges and tours are in a great position to help educate people and act as the fore front for Global change.  By recording usage and conserving to some extent, even when they don’t have to because of an abundance shows the world that it’s important. As with most things in life, this is a progression.  I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about this water issue.  the more it is discussed, the more we will move forward towards change.

Here’s a quick way to share your opinion.
Do you think lodges/tours should have to record their water usage if they are located somewhere with abundant water?

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

 Yes No

You can contact me via our Contact Form if you have more to share or write a comment on this post. I will get it.

Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse

Eco Guesthouse in the U.K.

Zero carbon, 1883 guesthouse business lines up for UK wide eco award

 

Eco Guesthouse in the U.K.

House is at bottom of this ramp that was used to lower slate wagons on to ffestiniog steam railway. Railway is so old it is pre steam engines. 1830,s it all rolled with gravity2ok long

**2014 Winner of Considerate Hotelier Green Team**

Bryn Elltyd eco guesthouse, 700ft up in Snowdonia has made it to the last 3 in the prestigious Considerate Hotelier awards. This national UK competition examines the sustainability and green ethos of, usually much larger hotels. Ceilia and John’s tiny 3 star, 6 bedroom, guesthouse are on a shortlist of 3. Pitted against the likes of the Best Western Hotel chain’ hotel in Suffolk.  It does not worry them, last year they competed in the awards against large 20 bed, 5 star hotels. They won and sat next to the Savoy green team to discuss carbon reduction.Lake in background is one of 2 hydro plants within 200m. This one has LAKE pumped up 3k and 400m up hill most nights. When they want power, open tap and full power in 6 seconds. store wind power electric etc

Steam train at back

Very old steam train

Green does not mean compromise as Bryn Elltyd shows. Wi fi, sauna, 3 electric car charge points etc. It is all carbon neutral, all energy comes from renewable. Having had solar panels since 1983 John and Ceilia like to think they tread lightly on the land for their grandchildren. Many organizations discuss climate change and carbon reduction, but this business has acted and runs only on renewable energy.

Heating uses a local wood bye product that is turned to gas and burnt at 900c. Amazingly for a house up a Welsh mountain it has computer inter-grated solar panels that work to make hot water. Other solar arrays make 240v electric. All the work has been done by John or by employing local engineers.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Spot the solar thermal and solar electric arrays. turf roofed lined with sheeps wool and cosy.

Rain can be a welcome resource here. It is harvested to flush loos(toilets) and water the garden and there are also two commercial hydro plants within 200m. Sewerage goes through 3 natural biological chambers then a small reed bed and into a duck pond, with ducks. John says ” Don’t panic the system is smell free and the loo flushing is normal.  Bryn Elltyd was built in 1883, had an out side tap in 1983 and has now evolved into carbon neutral. It has been a long adventure using my 25 years experience of teaching technology and engineering. High tech solar integration works, as does low tech conservatories, soaking up the heat into 39inch thick walls and vents to put this warm air into the house.  Together with my wife Ceilia we did what most parents dream about. The children went off to uni so we put the house on the market, sold up and moved to this stunning area where we used to holiday. Take care in the Hobbit room, lined with cozy sheep’s wool, turf roofed and dug into the mountain. It has had two marriage proposals in it so far……..’’

The Considerate Hotelier Awards are in London on 13th June.  It was won last year by the Savoy hotel and our little green zero carbon guesthouse with 6 bedrooms is against  a 34 and a 396 bedroom hotels that are part of national chains. No worries.

To see their listing go here: Bryn Elltyd Eco Guesthouse in the UK

Maya Luna Eco Lodge in Mexico

Maya Luna Eco Lodge

Maya Luna Eco Lodge is located 4km south of the small fishermans town of Mahahual at the Costa Maya, the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

All 4 beach front bungalows with oceanview have a private bathroom, king-size bed, ceiling fan, hammocks and upstairs a private roof-deck. Extra beds for each studio are available. One bungalow is completely accessible for people in wheelchairs; Electricity is generated via solar panels. All rooms have 24 hours of electricity. To save energy, we use energy efficient lamps and fans in the main building and the rooms. For its water supply hotel Maya Luna uses rain water falling on the roof to be collected in large basements under the terrace. A basement for waste water was constructed and consists of different compounds with filters installed. After filtering the water can be used for irrigation.

The restaurant-bar at the waterfront offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our menu offers a selection of European & Mexican dishes with an Indonesian flavor. One of our specials is a stuffed pineapple with shrimps, cashew nuts, rice, chile poblano & omelette, topped with coriander. From local fisherman we buy their “catch of the day”. All inclusive packages on request.

Majahuitas Resort Mexico

Majahuitas Resort on Bay of Banderas, Mexico

Majahuitas Resort Mexico is situated in a secluded area of the Bay of Banderas

Just 15 minutes south of the bustling city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and yet a world away.  The only way to get there is by boat.  You are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in front and the jungle in back which adds to the delightful feeling of seclusion. You are minutes from the hustle and bustle of a big city, yet feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. At Majahuitas Resort Mexico you will feel be able to relax and enjoy the area in peace.

Come relax in seclusion with only 8 small cabins.  Here at Majahuitas Resort Mexico you can relax to your hearts content or if you’re feeling energetic, we have the following activities included with your stay:
Kayaks
Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Snorkeling gear
Beach Volleyball
Table Tennis
Daily Guided tour and hike to Quimixto Waterfall from 10-2pm.
Movie Night for classics on the beach once a week.

Visit our listing page with more information >>

TranquilSeas Eco Lodge

Tranquil Seas Resort

TranquilSeas has intimate boutique cabanas nestled amongst lush foliage. From your cabana you are just footsteps to the beach, snorkeling, private pool, bar a restaraunt. As you would expect from a tropical island, the lush green exotic jungle that laces Roatan provides a canopy for many indigenous birds and creatures that are the backbone for the golden palm-fringed beaches.

Tranquilseas Eco Lodge, Diving Center, Restaurant & Bar, Roatan, Honduras – Unique island accommodation & Padi Dive Resort set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, secluded from the hustle and bustle and yet easily accessible to some of the great adventures to be had on Roatan.

Whether you are looking for a Honduras or Roatan hotel or Eco Lodge, complete Padi diving resort for your Roatan diving experience, or are just passing through and want to spend a few nights vacation on the hidden gem of Roatan, Honduras; Tranquilseas Eco Lodge is where you will be able to do as much or as little as you like. Situated on the North side of Roatan, You will find our established Cabanas nestled in amongst exotic flora and fauna providing unique lodge accommodation in Roatan.

Visit our listing page with more information >>

Eco Friendly Lodges & Hotels

Eco friendly tropical resorts and hotels

Eco friendly tourism involves responsible travel to natural areas where they conserve the environment and improve the welfare of the local people. The lodges, resorts and hotels on this website are characterized by environmental and cultural awareness and respect. Often the goal of an eco friendly resort or hotel is to not only offer an environmentally responsible environment but also to educate their visitors on preserving the fragile ecology of the area.

Find an Eco Friendly Lodge for your next vacation destination >>

Guess What? Yoga is better in nature

Yoga is better when surrounded by nature, especially in the tropics

Breathe deeply… The air is clean at tropical eco resorts in the heart of Bali, Indonesia. While Ubud is commonly considered the yoga capital of Bali, its rapid growth, traffic congestion and poorer air quality is now sending nature lovers further into the hills of central Bali where not only is the air clean, but you can also drink and bathe in pure mountain spring water and eat clean local food.

The traditional heart of Bali is rich in culture, the way Bali used to be before tourism ran rampant in the south of the island. Here in central Bali you navigate your way by which volcano you are on. The largest volcano, Mount Agung in the east rises to over 3,000m. The slopes are too cold and barren to be inhabited but Agung provides a stunning sky scape that can be seen from nearly anywhere in Bali. Heading west, the steaming active volcano of Yoga in nature in Bali, IndonesiaMt Batur rises inside the collapsed volcano of Kintamani.

On the western slopes of Kintamani at 1007m elevation, surrounded by nature, near Plaga and the famous big long bridge, is Bali Ecovillage. Here the days are mild but be prepared to rug up in front of an open fire of an evening. Bali Ecovillage provides two yoga spaces and free classes for guests when they have guest yoga teachers from April to November to help guests connect with the beautiful location. Yoga makes more sense in nature and many guests have experienced the joy of their very first yoga class here in the mountains. Both yoga spaces, one indoor and one large outdoor bamboo bale have views across a valley to a wall of trees where often the mountain mist can be seen rolling down the valley. The 19 bed resort is available to hire for yoga and health retreats. Bali Ecovillage has more of an earthy farm stay feeling than a resort and is a wonderful place to connect with nature.

Further west, closer to central Bali is Bedugal and another volcanic mountain Batukaru. On the south west slopes of Mt Batukaru, in north Tabanan district, you will find two Eco lodges in even greener rainforest surroundings.  Bali Eco Stay, a boutique and very comfortable 5 bungalow eco resort can expand to 14 beds for small retreat groups. The lovely rectangular timber yoga bale has food forest views and is available for self practice or for yoga retreats. The grounds of the resort have lovely mixed tropical gardens over looking rice paddies with views to the ocean. The resort sources the purest of water from a mountain spring and  is on the banks of a small mountain stream that tumbles down a stunning waterfall, providing hydro power to the resort. At only 400m elevation, the weather is mild and you only need a light cardigan on the coolest of evenings. www.baliecostay.com

From Bali Eco Stay take a 20 minute drive through jungle, food forest and coffee plantations, with a slight climb in elevation up to 750m, to find the award winning Sarinbuana Eco Lodge. It’s round yoga bale makes a stunning presence as you wander down a winding stone path towards the forest. With timber floor and a towering woven bamboo roof, this is a happy place to breathe in deeply the clean mountain air while you stretch and twist your body through yoga. The bale was built for retreat groups up to 14. Do your own yoga or book a private yoga lesson from Val who lives just 100 m up the mountain. www.baliecolodge.com

Val and her husband Craig plan to open their own rainforest retreat and spa, complete with forest yoga bale by mid 2014. www.balicascade.com So eco lovers… Head to the mountains of Bali to discover unique and wonderful Eco lodges where you can breathe in deeply the fresh clean air and stretch and twist to give your body a yoga holiday. Be prepared to get off the beaten track where the roads are bumpy, but doesn’t that just add to the adventure and make you feel clever for finding these special secret places in the heart of Bali. By Miss Ronnie Eco Tropical Resorts Journalist 2014 You can find previous blogs from Eco Tropical Resorts  here