Deborahmclaren's Weblog

Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for December, 2009

New Years Menu – Go Local!

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 29, 2009

I’m thinking of some good dishes for New Year’s Day. Everyone knows you have to have black eyed peas – for good luck! My intent is to have as much local food as possible, and in Minnesota that’s kind of hard in the winter. We’re just starting hoop houses.

Send me your suggestions if you have them.

My thoughts so far:

some kind of winter soup (roots, mushrooms, grains)
roast beef
gluten-free bread
frozen yogurt dessert and/or chocolate
home-made chai with Summit Farms milk!

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, mushrooms | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tourism, Climate Change & Indigenous Biodiversity

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 27, 2009

The Climate Change talks in Copenhagen were disappointing… and while the mainstream travel industry continues to greatly contribute to global warming the REAL change is, of course, being made by the people who have consistently been the best care takers and conservationists of Mother Earth – our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

The 2010 Award for the best Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website, is a collaborative effort between and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity/UNEP (CBD) with the support of the Heidehof Foundation to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award is presented to indigenous tourism operations for websites that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation.

A good slideshare description, posted by Ron Mader (host of is available at ITBW2010 and the ITBW2010 wiki.

So far, the nominees include:

Bicicletas Pedro Martinez is a Zapotec-owned biking company in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pedro prides his operation on respecting indigenous peoples and the incredibly rich ecosystems.

Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre introduces visitors to the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) in Victoria, Australia.

Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) in Pakistan is owned and operated by the indigenous Kho, Wakhi and Kalash communities.

Chalalan Ecolodge is the most successful effort made by indigenous people in Bolivia and is 100% run and owned by our indigenous community.

Hospitality Kyrgyzstan, is an umbrella association uniting 18 diverse destination communities with more than 350 families in Kyrgyzstan.

Kakadu Culture Camp is owned and operated by Fred and Jenny Hunter, Aboriginal people from Australia’s Kakadu National Park. They live out bush (live in a tent) for eight months to operate the culture camp in the ‘tourist’ season, and work as park rangers in the ‘wet’ season.

Nutti Sami Sii in Sweden features reindeer sled trips, which is a way to preserve knowledge. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are both Sami. Nils is a reindeer herder in Saarivuoma Sameby and Carina has her reindeer in Gabna Sameby.

Pathways Hotel in Micronesia promotes sustainable tourism through conservation efforts, environmental awareness, community assistance and marine management activities.

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Canada is the only Cultural Centre in the world that shares the cultures of two distinct indigenous cultures in a visionary partnership on shared traditional territories. The Centre is staffed by Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors from both Nations.

In New Zealand, Taiamai Tours was founded by Ngati Hineira – Te uri Taniwha descendant Hone Mihaka of Ohaeawai Kaikohe in 2001. Our ancient customary practices of kaitiakitanga [guardianship] and manaakitanga [hosting people] connects us to our unique ancestral living landscapes in the Bay of Islands and the wider region of Northland.

Terenga Paraoa Tours highlights the traditional customs – Maori tikanga – in tours based in Whangarei, Northland New Zealand.

TIME Unlimited NZ Tours and Travel provides unique and high quality Auckland and Maori Cultural Tours in New Zealand.

Te Urewera Treks strives to operate in a sustainable manner in accord with Maori principles and values.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park showcases indigenous culture of the Tjapukai people, featuring theatrical performances and interactive activities in Far North Queensland, Australia.

Xe Pian National Protected Are features tours and accommodation 100% owned and managed by local communities in Xe Pian NPA, southern Lao PDR.

Posted in climate solutions, dogsledding, ecotour, green travel, Mexico, Native tourism, sustainable tourism, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Still worried about COP 15 – Copenhagen Climate Talks

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 17, 2009

Ecotourism may be a solution to the tourism industry’s climate threat
Tourism is considered to be a highly climate-sensitive economic sector similar to agriculture. This has encouraged industry players to look at new ways to respond effectively to these problems.

More of this story at

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

COP 15 – Climate Change Talks/Tourism

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 16, 2009

Did you hear Al Gore? Perhaps he woke some people up now that we’re watching Greenland disappear before our eyes. Just checking, but I think my conservative/Republican family members still BELIEVE (what? that a “global warming” hoax is good for northern climates), so what do YOUR conservative family members still believe?

Is there any way to work together with them to address the real situation?

Posted in climate solutions | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Visual Activists @ Copenhagen

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 11, 2009

There’s some amazing stuff taking place in Copenhagen at the climate talks this week. The aviation industry and tourism industry are being taken on by civil society, particularly from developing countries. Here are some of the visual activists at work this week.

Consequences by Noor

Visualize a ton of C02

See deforestation by climate change

Maldives Activist Stages Underwater Protest @ Climate Talks

Posted in climate solutions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Climate Change – Global Warning?

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 8, 2009

I’m pasting in this information from Ron Mader. He’s calling for direct action.

…from world leaders on climate change was published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages. (Thank, C!)

Great, right? Sorta. What would have been cooler (sorry, bad pun) would be if the project had been developed with openness and transparency. The Guardian has a blog which accepts comments, but that’s a nice touch after the fact. For this to be a bigger wow – in terms of making use of current technologies and putting into practice collaborative work, it would be good to see process. Use Web 2.0: Make it a wiki. If you want to limit the writers, that’s fine, but make the process open.

Calling for direct action, here’s your turn! We are seeking climate art, reports, posters in World Climate, a group on Flickr.

Posted in climate solutions, green travel, sustainable travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 4, 2009

I just wrote a great blog about why we should buy organic bamboo (clothes, utensils, etc) and LOST IT. I cannot go back and figure it out at this moment. It’s sustainable, it’s comfortable, it’s lightweight… anyone got a problem with that?

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What is The Story of Cap & Trade?

Posted by deborahmclaren on December 1, 2009

I dedicate my blog today to the Story of Cap & Trade … the tourism industry is a great contributor to climate problems. This little film gives us some climate solutions.

What is The Story of Cap & Trade?

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details” in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about cap and trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

Posted in climate solutions | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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