Ecotourism is one of our favourite subjects! Every year we host a trip for students at the ‘British school of Lanzarote’. When we discovered that year 10 & 11 were studying the subject of ecotourism, we were eager to step in.
What is ecotourism
Ecotourism isn’t just a buzz word, or a trendy bandwagon we can all hop onto. Our idea of ecotourism is simple but incredibly important too. We see it as one part of us taking responsibility for our actions. Eco tours are still a bit of an unknown for many, but this is rapidly changing.
It can take a few generations to make positive changes. The bottom line is that we need to move faster though. Most of us recycle our rubbish now. Recycling has become part of our modern day routine. How many of us recycled when we were kids growing up in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s or early 90’s? We are in the midst of creating a new generation who have never known anything different.
Well done us! On to the next subject
Look up the word ecotourism and you will find explanations such as:
“Tourism to places having unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern.”
“Tourism that is designed to contribute to the protection of the environment or at least minimise damage to it, often involving travel to areas of natural interest in developing countries or participation in environmental projects”
Lanzarote eco village
Our school trip involved showing the students of BSL some alternative living/holiday ideas in Lanzarote, which many of them had never heard of. Our day began with a trip hosted by a local family run business, Lanzarote Retreats. On arrival we were greeted by Tila Braddock who runs the retreat alongside his wife Michelle.
Tila offered the group a great insight into his eco village. Finca de Arrieta is powered by the largest green energy system on the island and prides itself on offering ethically minded travellers the opportunity to enjoy a little luxury in their eco-lifestyle. The impressive energy system consists of a solar panel farm and wind turbines. They generate enough power to keep the entire eco retreat off the grid 365 days of the year. The students were particularly interested to learn that there is a growing demand for alternative energy engineers in the future, worldwide not just in Lanzarote.
The icing on the cake was the interaction with Molly the donkey and the chickens of course! Providing their guests with free range eggs everyday, to finish off truly bespoke sustainable holiday experience. The team at Finca de Arrieta have it all covered and inspired their young audience for the first part of our day.
Lanzarote eco farm
Our next stop was with Jose Martinez at ‘Atalaya de Haria’. Located within one of Lanzarote’s most dramatic locations overlooking the valley of 1000 palms. It was easy to grab the attention of our group here. Firstly we were introduced to all of the animals on the goat farm, pig pen and chicken coops. Each section is immaculate and all of the animals have plenty of room to enjoy life on the farm.
The animals are fed with carefully selected produce. As Jose explained to our group, the process of eco farming works as a cycle. He refuses to use chemicals on his land for growing his own produce. His animals feed on a pure non processed diet. The final link in the chain is that any produce we consume from his farm is 100% organic.
We enjoyed a beautiful lunch of fresh goats cheese, yoghurt and eggs which tasted fantastic.
Local Lanzarote economy
The effort and thought that goes into many of these businesses means that we are gaining a quality to our travels. Best of all, by supporting a local business we are supporting the heart of our local community too.
At Eco insider we lead by example. We choose not to sell our tours to large numbers of travellers. Furthermore, our groups are small and our eco tours are bespoke. This way we can guarantee quality for our guests. Most important of all we can afford to take the time to make sure that our tours leave no negative impact on our surroundings.
Eco insider will keep setting examples and educating. We all have to act quickly though, because the planet as a whole is getting quite tired of us taking and not giving back. Recycling. Buying local. Doing your homework on a location before you arrive. Supporting the community who live there. Respecting your surroundings. Our student group grasped this very quickly and seemed to enjoy every moment.
Who knows, maybe their children won’t have to learn about ecotourism. Maybe it will be another of those everyday words.
Team eco Insider.