Filed under: Green education | Tags: BMUN, BMUN WTC, ecotourism, green travel, international environmentalism, travel tips, World Tourism Committee
Hi everyone, I’m Rachel Whyte. I’m on the sustainability staff, and am here today to share with you an interesting new trend in world travel, known as eco-tourism. I like to think of Berkeley Model United Nations as not only an amazing MUN conference, but also as a convergence of global thinkers, visionaries and wanderers all in one place. In fact, I bet that between all of our students, faculty members and members, we have traveled to most of the 192 member nations of the UN. So when I heard that we were creating a new World Tourism Committee, I thought that this was probably the most relevant committee to our current lives. For example, while I might not be working for the World Health Organization this summer, I will most definitely be flying to Guatemala to visit my Aunt Maritza.
In honor of my trip and the creation of our new World Tourism Committee, AND in further celebration of BMUN’s going green, I have decided to share with you some ways in which you can make your summer’s travels a little easier on the planet.
Environmentally friendly travel, better known as ecotourism, is defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as, “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people,” and in its purest form, ecotourism should try to minimize the cultural and environmental impact of its operations as much as possible. These operations can come in many forms, ranging from hotels to travel agencies to tours. On a global scale, ecotourism is the fastest growing branch of the tourist industry. Although this may seem as like a great development, some of these new operations are using techniques like green washing to appear ecologically friendly, when in reality they are far from it.
Intrigued? Check out the International Eco-Tourism Society’s Five Easy Steps to eco-friendly travel.
Here is another website I found helpful: The Discovery Channel’s Planet Green travel tips.
And just in case the articles are not cool enough, here’s a quiz! Take it to find out if you are a “green globetrotter…”
Filed under: Green education, Recent news | Tags: berkeley model UN, berkeley model united nations, BMUN, charitable cause, kiva
I am happy to announce that BMUN 57′s charitable cause at this year’s conference will be Kiva!
Kiva is a micro-finance lending platform that connects donors to real individuals in need of funding for projects of economic growth. The money thatwe collect at the conference is going to be divided into three parts, which we will distribute to people in three different countries. We’re going to emphasize individuals who are pursuing sustainability and environmental activities, in coordination with our recent efforts to “go green” this year! Some examples of who we might fund include a rice farmer in Cambodia, a farm supplier in Nicaragua, or a plantation producer on the island of Samoa.
There is a chance that the delegation that your high school is representing may be donating to someone in that very same country! But the very best thing about this year’s charitable cause is that the money you donate will double its impact every year, because the money exists as a “loan” to the entrepreneur to whom we lend, and when the money is paid back to BMUN’s charity account, we get the chance to re-lend it to someone new next year! We chose this organization because of the fusion between sustainability and internationalism.
Be sure to check back to this blog after the conference to learn more about the people to whom we will donate! You will be able to see their pictures, check out their profiles, and learn what they are using the money for. Can’t wait until you know? Check out Kiva.org right now and see what kind of entrepreneurs are out there!
We hope that you’ll consider donating a small amount during the conference in order to support our cause this year. Looking forward to meeting you all soon!