Deborahmclaren's Weblog

Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Posts Tagged ‘green travel’

Tiny Green Cabins

Posted by deborahmclaren on February 13, 2010

I ran across Tiny Green Cabins while researching ideas for guest cottages designed to reduce their own carbon footprint (and whoever stays in them). Simple, Small, and Sustainable – that’s their motto. Jim Wilkins, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is inspired by Thoreau. There are even photos of the cabin at Walden Pond and Thoreau quotes scattered throughout his website and blog. It seems he wanted to create something simple and green that could multi-task as everything from a fishing house to a cabin in the woods to an extra room on a house.

Jim Wilkins is devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Right now there are 4 models of tiny cabins built using green attributes with the capability of being mobile, moveable cabins as well as starter cabins. Tiny Green Cabins range in size from 65 square feet to 250 square feet with an appeal to customers that enjoy living green and off the “grid.” They range in price from less than $10,000 for the Mini-sota to $40,000 for a larger cabin with a loft. It doesn’t appear that the cabins have toilets. So that might be an additional issue. Although some come with grey water systems.

TGC offer custom services for those that desire new designs along with products that they can incorporate into the tiny cabins, such as denin/cotton insulation, recycled and reclaimed materials, FSC Certified Pure* SW-COC000669 lumber products, solar panels for power off the grid, homemade soaps, organic products and other earth friendly sustainable products.

Green Attributes of Tiny Green Cabins

• Small is Green
• Locally Produced
• Reduced waste (engineered)
• Chain-of-Custody certified
• Third-party certified low-emitting
• Recycled content
• Water conserving
• Energy conserving
• Durable

These seem perfect for farmers and other land owners that would like to add a small guest house on their land without much hassle or investment. Very cool!

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Posted in Buy-local, green travel, Minnesota, Recycled, Refurbished, Reused | Tagged: , , , | 1 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 Planeta.com 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 Planeta.com) 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 »

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 »

I googled “sustainable travel, branson”

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 23, 2009

cause we’re going to Branson, Missouri.

didn’t get much….

Posted in green travel, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 21, 2009

I have spent the past couple of weeks thumbing through the book “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World” by Paul Stamets. As you can imagine from the title, Stamets is practically religious in his message that we can use living systems to solve environmental problems and to restore ecosystems.

One story that stands out in my mind is about his brother’s no-till farming technique. After the produce is cut, the stalks and roots are left in the field. As mushrooms grow in this material they hold the earth in place, absorb and keep more water, and return nutrients to the land. The land stays fertile.

Stamets also discusses the numerous ways that mushrooms have been used as medicine, discussions from the renewal of toxic land to the rehabilitation of toxic human bodies, gardening techniques, how fungi can live off of and absorb and grow on human hair, petro products and other crazy stuff — and compares mushroom growth and shapes to those of galaxies and universes. Could this book be more interesting? And it is written in perfectly readable, understandable English.

My husband Rob and I started taking our son, Anil, mushroom hunting this fall. He was immediately captivated and not only discovered many different types of fungi, but was intensely interested in helping us identify them later. I think part of his interest might have had to do with the fact that many mushrooms are dangerous and have names like “Death Angel,” and sometimes glow – like Jack-o-lanterns. Very cool for 9 year old boys — and I’m happy its mushrooms instead of Play Station 3 warriors… way more organic!

I’m going to have to check Stamet’s book out for another term from the library. It’s too much fun. And I think I might have to start doing mushroom tours! I’ve got some great places in mind — call me if you want to tour both wild and domestic mushroom sites in Minnesota next year!

Truffles-R-Next!

Posted in Book Review, ecotour, green travel, mushrooms, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Slow Foods Dinner at White Earth Indian Reservation

Posted by deborahmclaren on September 14, 2009

Janice Chilton, chef at the Minwanijige Cafe at White Earth (Minnesota) presented a beautiful and delicious dinner for Regional Flavor participants from around the US last week. Participants traveled from America’s Grape Heritage center in NY/PA, the Arkansas Delta, south central Colorado, the Ohio Appalachia, and the “Grow Nebraska” project to learn more about our efforts here to combine economic development and support for microenterprises connected to regional foods, culture, heritage, arts, and tourism.

Janice prepared a late summer salad of veggies and greens from country gardens at White Earth. Toasted pine nuts and raspberry vinegrette provided a light, flavorful and earthy topping.

We feasted on braised pork, creamy new potatoes, wild rice and mushrooms, baked pumpkin and homemade wheat/butter bread. Janice served mini caramel and cream pies and locally harvested and hand-made maple syrup candies. Richwood Winery, the newest vintner in Minnesota, provided the wines.

Ojibwe singer Annie Humphrey played guitar as the sun set behind her over the White Earth forest. You can find out more about Annie at http://www.myspace.com/anniehumphrey

Musician Annie Humphrey

Musician Annie Humphrey

Over the years her songwriting has focused on a specific theme with a message to “Be brave and have a good journey.” Her haunting song “Beautiful Son” is still in my heart and my mind.

The Minwanjige Cafe is located at 33287 County Rd. 34, Ogema, MN 56569. It is at the intersection of 34 and 143, across from Strawberry Lake Store. (218)-983-3834

Minwanjige Cafe

The Slow Foods Dinner topped off a 3-day program that included touring White Earth and West Central Minnesota, and a regional meeting held Sept 10th at MapleLag Resort that brought together enterprenuers and economic leaders in the region. The “Regional Flavor Circle” in Minnesota will continue to work to support the growth of sustainable entreprenuers in a geographic circle that includes the village of Mahnomen and Itasca State Park (headwaters of the Mississippi River) on the north and the villages of Fergus Falls and Wadena along the south. A Regional Flavor Entreprenuer office will be set up at M State in Detroit Lakes, MN. Contact Juanita Lindsay at CherokeeUpNorth@gmail.com or myself for more information – especially if you are interested in being part of the Regional Flavor Circle.

Posted in Buy-local, ecotour, entreprenuers, green travel, microenterprise, Minnesota, Native tourism, Slow Foods, sustainable tourism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Organic Cooking Tours of Turkey!!

Posted by deborahmclaren on May 1, 2009

Travel Turkey in a gentle, environmentally and health conscious, earth honoring way.  All the fruits and vegetables you cook are organic.

Turkish Cuisine Tours

Visit  traditional villages, cook with local women, participate in daily life with donkey rides, organic farming, folk dancing and other activities. Visit ancient sites and centers of Anatolian civilizations which spread from Neolithic Matriarchal to Lycean, Hittite, Byzantian, Roman and Ottoman.

Turkish Rice Pudding (Sutlac):

All Organic Ingredients:
6 cups of milk,
1 cup of sugar,
1/2 cup rice,
1 tablespoon of rice flour or corn starch,
3 – 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Wash the rice. Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add rice to water, when rice is cooked, drain it. Place rice and milk on heat when mixture begins to boil add sugar and stir slightly turn the heat down. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Make a paste of the rice flour with a little amount of water and stir into milk mixture and continue stirring. Simmer some more.

Turn off heat and add vanilla extract. Pour pudding in individual bowls and let cool.

Sprinkle with cinnamon serve cold.

Posted in Buy-local, green travel, travel, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2009 Geotourism Award Competition Announced

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 8, 2009

Nominate your favorite Geotourism changemaker.

Are you a savvy traveler, alert to the unique quality, history and character of the places that you visit?

National Geographic and Changemakers invite YOU to be at the centre of the next big change.

Join National Geographic and Ashoka’s Changemakers in the global search for innovative ideas in tourism that celebrate the distinct destinations of the world by honoring culture, cherishing history and enhancing the environment.

Nominate someone who inspires you and mobilize the globe to care for the destinations you love.

Tell us about your Geotourism hero and we’ll do the rest. Fill out the form below and help us to spread the word!

http://www.changemakers.net/en-us/nomination/browse/16599

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spring Solstice with the Mayans!

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 6, 2009

We’ve just returned from our Yucatan adventure. I’ll write some short reviews over the next few days. First, for anyone interested in heading there for the Spring Soltice on March 21st, you may want to visit the HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT & YAXKIN SPA, which claims to be “Mexico’s Best Green Jungle Resort and Eco-Spa Wellness Destination.” I wouldn’t disagree!

C.H. is run by 99% Mayan people from local villages. The Hacienda is owned by 4th generation Mexicans who have dedicated their lands and business to improving the land and culture of the Maya. The grounds are a bird sanctuary, set in a lush tropical forest. The restored cottages were originally built for the Carnegie Institute archeologists who were investigating Chichen Itza starting in the early 1900s. Organic foods are grown in their garden and used in their delicious recipes, based on traditional Mayan foods.

At first I was concerned that they advertise Mayan ceremonies as part of their experience. However, I learned that the staff has helped create and promote the work of the local Mayan Elders Association and the Maya Foundation In Laakeech. These organizations are dedicated to preserving Maya culture, creating healthy opportunities for their people, and sharing culturally-appropriate customs and ceremonies with visitors that help them protect the lands they are making a living on.

More from their website:

Both Jose Santos and Lorenzo Tamay have worked since their late teen years at Hacienda Chichen with a high dedicated service attitude to the guests and an eager personal commitment to learn and grow spiritually in the traditional Mayan holistic Cosmovision of their ancestors. Their commitment to the Maya Foundation Board of Trustees has helped them become the Hacienda Chichen’s Maya cultural spokesmen. They work together preparing the many Mayan rituals performed at the Sacred Maya Ceremonial Site use by the Holy Elder J-Men, or Wiseman, while they continue their training to become Elder J-Men themselves.

In their work as Mayan cultural representatives, they continue promoting the Mayan language, culinary arts, and holistic spiritual understanding of the Mayan healing traditions. Their dedication to preserve their ancestors Mayan cultural legacy has help co-workers see the value of their ancestors Cosmovision and spiritual believes. In August 2008, Jose Santos Tamay represented the Maya Foundation In Laakeech in the 8th International Mayan Encounter dedicated preserve the Maya Culture & Traditions, specially the language and rituals, this three day convention was held in Jolom Konob’ (today the town of Santa Eulalia, Guatemala).

Learn more at Hacienda Chichen.

Posted in ecotour, green travel, Mexico, sustainable tourism, sustainable travel, Uncategorized, Yucatan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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