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An eco-friendly, adventure-filled trip to New Brunswick

Posted on Tuesday July 02, 2019

An eco-friendly, adventure-filled trip to New Brunswick

Are you concerned about the carbon footprint of your upcoming vacation? With its spectacular sightseeing, lush nature and endless outdoor activities, New Brunswick can help you achieve your eco-friendly travel goals. Here are a few suggestions for a staycation that you’ll be talking about long after you return home!

What exactly is eco-friendly travel?

Eco-tourism, ecological travel, solidarity travel, ethical tourism—many terms are used to describe travelling in an environmentally conscious manner. There is no official definition, but (most!) people agree on certain key principles. Ecologically responsible travellers seek first and foremost to minimize the environmental footprint of their travel and their impact on the places they visit. This approach guides their choices of transportation, accommodations and activities. Travelling by car or bicycle, avoiding cruise ships, eating local and camping are all excellent options in this regard.

Avoid flying and use land transportation (consider cycling!)

Deciding not to go south for a week at that inexpensive, all-inclusive resort may not be the easiest choice, but you don't need plane tickets to take your vacation to new heights! Have you ever considered a cycling vacation? Besides being ideal for connecting with nature, cycling allows you to take in the landscape and sights like no other transportation mode can. It’s also by far the most ecological way to travel! Our province offers all kinds of cycling options, from mountain biking in Edmundston and interprovincial adventures on the Petit-Témis bike trail to cruising flat, beginner-friendly trails along the idyllic Petitcodiac River, exploring the Acadian Peninsula by bike and much more. Don't necessarily want to invest in a road bike? Several bike rental shops, including the La Bikery cooperative, provide everything you need for your big adventure.

Visit our many parks (SUV not required)

Not into joining the line-up on Mount Everest? Baffled by images of tourists in SUVs parked around a lone rhinoceros on the African savannah? Why not visit one of New Brunswick's 11 national and provincial parks instead? No excuses, as no matter where you are in the province, there is always a park less than an hour away! And they all offer breathtaking, unique natural landscapes, from the long, soft sand dunes of Kouchibouguac National Park to the stunning ocean views and high tides at Fundy National Park to the forests providing habitats for countless animal and bird species at Mactaquac Park. And in addition to renewing the soul, using these parks helps support the preservation of these local ecological treasures.

Go camping to reduce carbon emissions (not to mention for the adventure!)

Hotels account for about 1% of global carbon emissions. Camping, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to commune with nature while significantly reducing the carbon footprint of your vacation. If the thought of sleeping in a tent doesn’t appeal to you, book a yurt or a micro-cabin instead. These are also excellent options if you’re travelling with seniors seeking a little more comfort.

New Brunswick’s parks are generally well-equipped with facilities that young parents appreciate, including playgrounds, cooking shelters, clean restrooms and showers, and activity options for rainy days—in short, all you need to keep your little nature explorers happy on their first trip!

To find out more and make campsite reservations, visit the Tourism New Brunswick website. The province also boasts an impressive number of municipal campgrounds, many of which offer views and camping experiences to rival the province’s parks. Alternatively, should you decide to stay at a hotel, you can calculate the average footprint using the calculator so you can offset your emissions.

If you decide to go camping, don’t forget to pack reusable items such as plates, cutlery and cups. In addition to reducing waste, you'll be the coolest family in the park!

Eco-tourism in everyday life

Observing nature is probably the eco-friendliest activity out there! Why not plan a few activities near home to get closer to nature?

  • The Neguac Bird Sanctuary is the eco-tourism destination of choice for bird watching and learning more about the region's fauna and flora. Its interpretive panels are designed to ensure the whole family has a fun experience.
  • The Hopewell Rocks and that park’s small interpretation centre showcase the phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy’s high tides, which reach up to 14 metres twice a day. A true natural wonder!
  • The Green Book of the NB Get Outside! program is an excellent tool for finding inspiration for your outings and ensuring they’re a hit with the entire family.

Eat local: It's fresh and responsible!

Eating local is one of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint wherever you go! If you’ve decided to explore our beautiful province, you’ll find countless options for locating healthy local products, including:

  • La Coopérative de Caraquet—an economic, social and community driver in its region, this co-op offers a wide range of fresh local products. It’s the logical destination for stocking up on provisions at reasonable prices!
  • The map of BUYLOCALNB local farmers’ markets, created by the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick in partnership with the provincial government, is your go-to tool for buying local. Printed copies of the map are available at all farmers' markets as well as provincial tourist information centres.
  • The Buy New Brunswick initiative can also direct you to countless specialty food stores, small farms and small-scale producers offering a huge variety of foods that are sure to be a feast for your taste buds.

Offset the ecological footprint of your trip... for the next generation

Numerous companies and environmental groups make it possible for travellers seeking to offset the ecological footprint of their travel to do so easily, such as TreeCanada. Use the Carbon Footprint Calculator to calculate the environmental cost of your vacation so you can choose the wisest options for you.

If you’re planning a trip next winter and a sun destination just sounds more appealing than a traditional Canadian winter, keep in mind that several countries, the pioneering Costa Rica among them, offer eco-friendly vacations. In this way you can enjoy a unique nature experience knowing that the profits from your visit will be reinvested into ecosystem preservation. Bon voyage!

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