With National Geographic describing Costa Rica as the most biologically intense place on earth and a leader in ecotourism, Ingerlise Svaleng packed her bags to discover the roar of the jungle. Along the way, she learnt how to identify a howler monkey from a squirrel monkey, the importance of walking (and breathing) slowly, and how reducing your environmental footprint is a rewarding experience that you can turn into a lifestyle.
Eco-tourism or green washing?
• With “green” being the new black, many companies falsely claim to be eco-friendly. Don’t let them trick you – look for nationally approved eco-friendly certification stamps.
• Backpacking not your style? Some of the best eco-luxury hotels are at the forefront of making a difference to the environment, local economy and communities.
Did you know… More than a quarter of Costa Rica is protected as national parks, biological reserves or wildlife sanctuaries
Tip!: 3 eco-sites to get you started www.rainforest-alliance.org| www.ecotourism.org| www.grist.org
Easy ways to a greener lifestyle
• Stay informed! The more you know, the more of a difference you can make.
• Buy with a conscience! Whether you’re shopping for food or furniture, look for eco-friendly certifications – and always carry a reusable bag.
• Support local environmental organisations. It’s a two-in-one deal: help the world and boost your personal wellbeing! If you opt for volunteering, your happiness levels and sense of fulfilment will jump even higher.