The Problem With Sustainable Travel — Hidden Lemur Weekly #1

(Editor's note: This article is the first edition of our new sustainable travel newsletter. If you think you'd like to receive a regular dose of sustainable travel news and inspiration, sign up here.)

Doesn't sustainable travel seem kind of exhausting?

After all, it’s easy to openly support conscious consumerism.

Acting on those values, however, can be pretty damn difficult.

As this FastCompany essay lays out, socially responsible spending is actually in decline over the past seven years.

Why? Consumers are simply overwhelmed by the nuanced and complicated requirements for “doing the right thing.”

Sustainable travel can be an especially intimidating endeavor. Its three primary components — economic impact, social impact, and environmental impact — often contradict one another.

Eating organic while abroad might mean taking business away from local restaurants or street vendors without the means to pick their ingredients so carefully.

Flying across the world can mean opening yourself to a valuable cultural exchange while leaving an unwieldy carbon footprint.

Greenwashing can cast doubt over even the most well-intentioned purchase.

So how can we be sure that our purchases are actually making a positive impact on the world around us?

The truth is… we often can’t be sure at all.

That’s one of the primary reasons I’ve launched Hidden Lemur. Through crowd-sourced recommendations and educational content, I hope we can play a small role in making sustainable travel more accessible for everyone.

Sustainability doesn’t need to feel like an oppressive responsibility. If anything, it should feel like an opportunity to make a better world. So why not seize that opportunity?

What's To Come

From here on out, I'll be shooting you an email every week.

(Let’s call it Hidden Lemur Weekly, because hey, names are complicated too.)

Each edition will feature fresh reads on sustainability and travel from around the web, plus some Hidden Lemur content and recommendations.

If you think you know someone whose inbox could benefit from such an email series, hit that forward button.

Loose Links

* Here’s Wired on an effort to bring the Internet to a rural village in Tanzania
* Here’s Mashable on Copenhagen’s waste-to-energy power plant, whose roof doubles as a ski slope.
* Here’s Outside on pop star Mike Posner’s Forrest Gump-esque, rattlesnake-delayed walk across America.
* And if you plan on heading to Porto, Portugal any time soon, here’s a chance to do just a little less walking than Posner, while learning about the sides of the city that most tourists never see. The Worst Tours is our newest featured experience.

Parting Pic

Conor is the founder of Hidden Lemur. He's deathly afraid of bees.

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