It is impossible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honourably and justly, and it is impossible to live prudently and honourably and justly without living pleasantly 

Epicurus (341-270 BCE)

unfortunately (?) there is no such button!unfortunately (?) there is no such button!Ecoclub is a global travel professionals' community, established in 1999, long before the social network era, with the aim of connecting and supporting all those who share our vision for a better tourism for all! We cover eco (sustainable, responsible, green, ethical, creative, slow, community, volunteer, pro-poor) travel, news, events, jobs and opportunities and support over a thousand active Members worldwide, including leading tourism & hospitality practitioners and academics.

Fully supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, inspired by Epicurus' Principal Doctrines, Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid theory and the Global Greens Charter, 22 years later we still believe that a better Tourism for All can contribute to a better World for All, with more freedom, fewer borders, social and other divides, less exploitation, oppression and violence. Examples and good practices of this better Tourism pop-up every day, so we try to promote and propagate them - Join us

ecosunThe Four Ecoclub Criteria are: 

1. Minimise your Environmental Impact.
2. Respect Human Rights, Labour Rights and Animal Rights
3. Meet Real Local Needs and help Eliminate Poverty & Injustice. 
4. Increase Knowledge & Intercultural Understanding.
 
Our four criteria broadly correspond to Epicurus' "pleasantly-prudently-honourably-justly" and the four pillars of the green movement worldwide. 
 

ecosunThe ongoing quadruple crisis (environmental/climate, socio-economic, humanitarian-refugee, pandemic) is of no recent historical precedent in terms of endangering our presence, let alone our well-being, on this planet. While technological and medical progress has allowed the human population to grow, despite hundreds of treaties and fanfare, progress is agonisingly slow, as it has generally been in human history, in terms of reducing poverty and improving conservation, social justice and human rights. Our problems (and our solutions) go all the way back to the dawn of the Anthropocene, to the first agricultural societies where accumulation, surplus, debt, money, markets and human-made pollution first emerged and have since been inextricably linked to the basis of human civilization. Beyond -isms, the truth is that there is no blueprint or one-size-fits-all solution that could be applied globally without resulting in mass starvation, mass violence, totalitarian excesses and wars. It is not realistic for 7.5 billion people to retreat back to the countryside, the forests and to a nomadic-mode of survival - nor should they, in the first place, as cities can be the most eco-friendly environments, saving space and resources. There is no need for doom and gloom and guilt, collective or individual, however. The prevailing globalised, socioeconomic system can be improved if we identify and collectively agree on implementing, on a global and local scale, a few key changes. These include how money, energy and food are produced, distributed and stored, and, in the light of the Coronavirus crisis, how affordable, quality health, education and housing can be accessible for all, and how work can be redefined, re-organised and remunerated. This process, this great transition to a low-carbon, fairer and happier world, is already underway. To speed up the process we need open-minded leaders, governments and businesses and, above all, active citizens that help each other. Mutual Aid, as explained by the great philosopher, human geographer and zoologist, Peter Kropotkin, has been and remains a key driver of evolution and progress, even if all else fails, during turbulent and chaotic times such as the ones we are experiencing and far worse ones in the million years of human history.

Mutual Aid, along with Ecology, Sustainability, Democracy and International Solidarity can help us move forward in the 21st century. We need Synthesis and practical innovative solutions rather than ideological sectarianism, endlessly stating the problems or panicking, ignoring the problems and doing nothing, or proposing impossible or violent paths. Based on the experience of the last 200 years, it should be clear to any savvy and rational observer that an economy and society fully controlled either by the state or by powerful private monopolies results in one or other form of totalitarianism and barbarity. Essentially, a free and fair and happier society for all can be created to the extent that all sorts of oppressors and exploiters, public or private, can cancel each other out, so that there is no extreme concentration of power or wealth, there are checks and balances at all levels, there is a free press and a free speech culture, a genuinely free market, a social welfare system and equal opportunities for all, vibrant trade unions, independent professional and business associations and networks, a genuine respect for all types of minorities, and, particularly relevant for Tourism & Hospitality, a genuinely welcoming culture towards foreigners, known in ancient Greece as Xenia. The European Union, which managed to put an end to recurring wars on the continent, may be failing in terms of its inhumane immigration policy, but is otherwise a very interesting and promising political, social and economic model.

A peaceful path towards real progress can only be voluntary and gradual and be based on scientific facts and technological progress. We should not be afraid of what neo-luddites dismiss as "technofixes" but endorse green technology and try to reduce its environmental impacts (yes, it does have such). For example, we should effectively encourage green aviation (and trains) rather than just protesting about air transport emissions, or, undemocratically, advocate less travel and staycations for the masses. We should improve tourism planning, management and marketing, rather than blaming the ghosts of Overtourism and 'irresponsible' tourists and holiday makers for all evils. Our Ecology is not a political-religious dogma or messianic cult, but an ongoing scientific research project about improving human living conditions while preserving the environment. We need, on the one hand, to constantly identify and oppose ecocidal aspects and actors of the global system, and on the other hand, to recognise and encourage ecological trends and best practices. A better Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure can create quality, meaningful & pleasant jobs where no other options exist and, as importantly, open hearts and minds, increase mobility between nations and within societies, re-distribute wealth peacefully, effectively and more equitably between and within countries without further harming the planet. We do not advocate less travel or more expensive travel for the privileged few. Please keep travelling! We consider Mobility, Leisure, Travel and Tourism as basic Human Rights and thus advocate a better tourism for all!

The mutual-aid tendency in man has so remote an origin, and is so deeply interwoven with all the past evolution of the human race, that is has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history.” - Pyotr Kropotkin, Mutual Aid, A Factor of Evolution

We have no time to waste, yet this will probably be an Ultramarathon. The transition to a fully-civilised, peaceful, global socio-economic system and the full humanization of humanity (if it is ever to arrive - it could be that some cosmic accident or human-induced blunder puts an abrupt end) could take another 10,000 years (since the first agrarian societies emerged) or even another 4 million years (since Australopithecus afarensis walked upright!). However, we should remember (Lao-Tzu) that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and (Cavafis) that "when you set out for Ithaca ask that your way be long...". The simple truth is that, apart from inertia, nothing really prevents us from helping each other today and every day, from "living prudently and honourably and justly" and thus "living pleasantly", today and every day. As there is so far no evidence of supernatural beings, deities and extraterrestrials that could come to our 'rescue', the survival and future progress of our species is up to each one of us. Ecoclub, as a latter-day, virtual Garden of Epicurus, aims to unite truly progressive, open-minded citizens of the world who share the above ideas and are active or would like to become active in Ecotourism/Sustainable Tourism or related sectors. Since 1999, Ecoclub has been a most genuine example of the sharing economy: we share resources, information, knowledge, ideas and opportunities with each other!

ecosunOur Logo: The colour (teal) is one of a few colours named after an animal (a duck, the common teal, whose eyes are surrounded by this colour). The smiling sun symbolizes a pragmatic, positive, non-violent, non-sectarian, non-dogmatic, philosophical attitude to life which combines the Epicurean "LATHE VIOSAS" ("ΛΑΘΕ ΒΙΩΣΑΣ" = get through life without drawing unwarranted attention), "ATARAXIA" (ΑΤΑΡΑΞΙΑ = tranquillity) with MUTUAL AID, the will to assist each other, solve real problems, "to get up again and start over", rise up every day, in a peaceful, daily revolution in all our individual and collective dealings; it also symbolizes solar power - renewable energy in literal and figurative terms and light - the light of science, enlightenment. 

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ecosunAncient Greek Writing Tablet, Red figure Kylix by Eucharides, 480 BCE (U. of Pennsylvania Museum)Ancient Greek Writing Tablet, Red figure Kylix by Eucharides, 480 BCE (U. of Pennsylvania Museum)Recommended Reading: