Whether you're planning to take a trip in the near future or not, its always nice to let yourself be taken away for a moment to a sunny place - hence I've decided to bring a new column to the PGD, called 'The Green Traveller', featured every Saturday (what better time to daydream than the weekend?). I love travelling, and would forgo so much else in my life in order to be able to afford it. My husband and I have a 'travel fund', in which we put small amounts away each month so that each year we can afford a trip. If its a great year and we've squirreled away a bundle, we go all out and travel Europe or South America; if we've had to skimp out a little, then we go for the quaint lodge somewhere close(ish) to home, like the Caribbean. The point is, there's nothing quite like experiencing other cultures to broaden your horizons and make you truly appreciate the planet we live on. For these reasons I've decided to bring you 'The Green Traveller', but with an eco spin. Eco resorts are popping up all over, so I thought it nice to educate you on just such places. Next time you're planning a trip, make sure you check and see if there are any green lodgings near by. The chances are good. And while you're at it, offset the carbon of your flight. Most airlines will let you do this when you purchase the ticket (online or with a travel agent), and it doesn't cost a lot. Last time, it cost $16.50 (CDN) to offset a flight to Cuba!
For my first posting, I've decided to feature something close to home, in Mexico. Lots of you may be planning a holiday getaway, and Mexico's a hotspot, so I thought it would be fitting. (I'm not ignoring my design fans - each lodge is carefully chosen for both it's eco creds and design.) The Balamku Inn, a small intimate inn with 9 'Palapas' (cottages), and located in the Costa Maya region (southern area of the Yuccatan Penninsula), is strongly dedicated to the environment. It runs completely off of wind and solar power, it was carefully built so as to not disturb the fragile surroundings, and has a strong lean towards ecotourism. You can sea kayak, deep-sea fish, snorkel the nearby world famoush Chinchorra Reef, go birding, hiking, explore Mayan ruins, go horseback riding or just plain veg on the beach with your non-toxic sunscreen and copy of Ecoholic. (Also, for you fellow Canadians, the Balamku is owned by Canadian Expats!). The Balamku has been certified as an EcoResort by several third parties, so you can be sure they are doing what they say!