It’s true that learning is a lifetime process. As an active traveler, I have come to realize that I am fortunate to learn a lot of things through various means. One thing traveling has taught me about (and is continuously teaching me) is the concept of “ecotourism”.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” This “take only pictures, leave only footprints” approach also is termed by others as ethical or responsible travel, and green or nature travel. With these terms and definition at hand, I don’t totally consider myself as one but I am trying my best to be one.
And so when I met the owners of a unique hostel in Panglao, Bohol, who are both advocates of ecotourism, my interest in becoming ecotourism conscious was brought to a higher level. My conversation with Mari was one of those that reminded me of how much impact can I do as a traveler.
As someone who is conscious of his travel spending, it has dawned in me that we really do not need much money for us to become a more eco-friendly traveler. And one action I frequently do is by staying at a hostel. I’ll save for another post the reasons why I love staying at hostels. In the meantime, here are some ecotourism tips that I believe will help us travel-enthusiasts to travel more sustainably AND responsibly.
*How about PACKING LIGHT: While most people know that a lighter baggage means saving money on check-in baggage fees, not everyone is aware that lighter load also means increasing the plane’s fuel-efficiency. This is one thing I had to remind myself every now and then because I used to pack really heavy! Now, I make sure I pack items that are light weight, quick drying, easy washing, and fewer clothes.
*SAVE ENERGY, SAVE WATER: Make sure that when you leave your room, you turn off everything that consumes energy from your AC, TV, lights, gadgets and the like. When taking shower, turn off the water outlet while shampooing your hair, or brushing your teeth. I love that Moon Fools have these little reminders randomly posted in their hostel.
*My mother mountain taught me to LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS, all the time. This is to avoid harming native flora and fauna. Also, bring your own trash bag (especially during hiking and long travels). This is a very simple way of maintaining the outdoors/ nature beautiful.
*BE ONE with the LOCALS Take time to immerse yourself in the local scene by talking with the local people, and experience their culture — be it arts, food, music, and the like. Respect the differences you notice, respect their practices, and their laws. Also, support local goods and crafts. That way, you are also helping their community.
These are just some of those that I do whenever I travel. And I am glad I share most of these insights with Moon Fools Hostel’s staff and owners.
Moon Fools Hostel caught my attention when I was looking for a place to stay at prior to my Bohol trip. It wasn’t there yet when I last visited Panglao in 2015. Without much information about this hostel, I relied on my instinct that it’s probably one of those few accommodations I’d love. And boy I was right… The moment I entered the hostel, I already knew that it was my kind of hostel – an eco-friendly one.
I was happy to have had a great conversation with one of the owners, Mari. That is when I have learned that she and her husband are very passionate about the environment. So it isn’t surprising that the materials used in the construction of their hostel are mostly recycled. It is very admirable as to how they have made use of recycled materials from their curtains (coffee sack) to pillowcases, bedsheet, plastic cups turned into plant pots, lamps from old jars, and even recycled wood materials turned into chairs and tables. Moon Fools Hostel shows that the very essence of recycling is re-using.
My stay at Moon Fools also comes with a simple breakfast that you get to prepare on your own. It usually consists of oats, raisins, mallows, some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg plus your choice of drinks (coffee, tea, or chocolate). Plus bananas too!
I also like the fact that they have these little ecotourist reminders all over their place – from the bathroom to the dining area. The local staff of Moon Fools is the usual endearing and respectful Boholano people. During my 2-night stay, I have noticed that I was the only Filipino. Most of my roomies were Europeans, and the other visitors I got to know were Koreans, Chinese, and Australians!
And oh, you’re probably wondering why Moon Fools… Mari told me that they have this fascination for full moon and the stars that is why various moon artsy stuff is seen inside the hostel, And I agree when she said that we are all over the moon about something or foolish at one point in our lives. I like that!!
What else to expect with Moon Fools Hostel:
- All rooms have air conditioning.
- Free WiFi is available from the lounge area to the rooms.
- The hostel offers airport shuttle services at an extra charge.
- The hostel has a shared communal bathroom.
- A 24-hour convenience store, a cafe and a restaurant are found on the 1st floor of the hostel.
- There are motorcycles and bicycles for rent.
- Water sports facilities are also available.
Moon Fools Hostel
Address: Ester A. Lim corner Hontanosas Road, Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol.
Contact Number: 0925-588-9868
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: Moon Fools Hostel
Don’t worry guise, the hostel is conveniently located along the main thoroughfare. It is a good 5-10 minute walk to the beach and various cafes, restaurants, ATM and the like.
If you’ve stayed at Moon Fools, how was your experience? I hope you had a great time as much as I did.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.