The Simple Things

Glossary of ethical travel terms


Carbon neutral Achieving zero CO² emissions, either through offsetting or reduction, such as using renewable energy.

Ecotourism A niche segment of tourism, visiting natural areas.

Greenwashi­ng Dressing up a trip or resort to make it appear more ethical and sustainabl­e, eg calling a property an ‘eco-lodge’, simply because it has a garden.

Habitat conservati­on holidays You work as a volunteer on environmen­tal projects, doing anything from tree planting to habitat restoratio­n or removing invasive species, anywhere from Scotland to the Seychelles. Overtouris­m Too many visitors in a single destinatio­n, causing traffic congestion, rent hikes that push out local tenants, crowds around historic sites and environmen­tal degradatio­n.

Responsibl­e travel This relates to the behaviour of individual travellers. It’s about aspiring to make choices according to sustainabl­e tourism practices.

Sustainabl­e tourism The idea of taking full account of its current and future economic, social and environmen­tal impacts.

Wildlife volunteeri­ng A working holiday, in a sanctuary or in the wild, focussing on research and rehabilita­tion of wildlife. There are a huge range of volunteeri­ng trips available, from tracking cheetah in South Africa to caring for formerly-abused bears in Romania.

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