Thursday, January 04, 2007

Being a Conscious Consumer Abroad

It's the time of the year where many of us are going abroad for vacation, and I'm no exception.

I'm heading off to Costa Rica for 10 days on a class trip. We'll be looking at how the country has managed to make conservation into a profitable industry through ecotourism, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and partnerships with for-profit companies from North America and Europe. Doing so makes Costa Ricans -- from politicians to farmers -- realize how important it is to conserve the unique and diverse natural resources the country holds, hopefully allowing these resources to be around for hundreds of years to come. (If only we could do this here!)

As a tourist from the U.S., I'm very aware of my role in a country that's struggling with immense poverty. I'll uphold my pledge of responsible tourism with the awareness that my individual behavior reflects on my school and my country.

Being a Conscious Consumer doesn't stop at the border!

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