A new trend in vacations is arising, corresponding perfectly with our society's growing awareness for our planet. People are opting to use their vacation time to help those in need rather than indulging in pampering themselves. A wave of vacationers are traveling to places where their time and money can make a difference.
If you're not quite ready to travel to the third world, or you really just need a relaxing getaway, you can still do your part by selecting cleaner means of transportation. The UK's Telegraph suggests, "Off-setting carbon emissions, carefully choosing a carrier, and even avoiding air travel where possible are all ways that we, as tourists, can reduce the harmful effects of tourism."
Always loved animals? Contribute to their protection. Work with an organization like QUEST or Earthwatch (www.earthwatch.org) who help endangered animals. Travel to Thailand for the elephants, the Amazon for pink river dolphins, Sumatra to help orangutans, or study the beautiful butterfly species in Vietnam.
The Telegraph points out, "Volunteers can get involved in all sorts of work from forest clearance, footpath restoration and enclosure maintenance, to observation and scientific monitoring of endangered species."