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, the eco travel network, was established in 1999 with the aim of uniting and supporting all those who share our passion for an ecological and socially just tourism! Fully supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, inspired by Epicurus' Principal Doctrines and Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid philosophy, we combine knowledge and science-based realism with the drive to improve Tourism so that it contributes to building a better world for all, with more freedom and justice, with fewer borders, class divisions, violence, exploitation and oppression, that respects human, labour and animal rights. Examples and good practices of this better, fairer & happier world already exist and new ones 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 ecological movement (ecological sustainability, grassroots participatory/economic democracy, social justice, peace and non-violence.)
 

ecosunThe ongoing quadruple crisis (environmental, 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 in terms of reducing poverty and increasing 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 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. The prevailing globalised, socioeconomic system can be peacefully transformed if key changes are introduced in how money, energy and food are produced, distributed and stored, and, in the light of the Coronavirus crisis, how quality health and education can be accessible for all and how work can be redefined, re-organised and remunerated. For these changes to occur we need open-minded 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 progress.

Mutual Aid, along with Sustainability, Democracy, Social Justice, Freedom and International Cooperation - in one, euphemistic perhaps, word "Common Sense" - can help us move forward in the 21st century. We need synthesis and practical solutions rather than endlessly stating the problems, ignoring the problems or proposing impractical or violent paths. The boogie, that goes by the name of "Capitalism", is to blame for some but not for every evil on the face of Earth. Calls for "System Change" are often a product of ignorance, laziness and agoraphobia and a lame excuse for inaction in terms of detecting or inventing the practical solutions we need today!  "Capitalism" plus "Liberal/Social Democracy", without ignoring certain barbaric elements that need fixing, has proven to be the winning combination so far and is certainly preferable to "Capitalism plus Police State", Dictatorships, "Dictatorships of the Proletariat", absolute theocracies, narcostates and failed states. Essentially, a free and fair society exists to the extend that public and private "oppressors" cancel each other out, there is no great concentration of power or wealth, there are checks and balances at all levels, as well as a free press and a free speech culture, a social welfare system and vibrant trade unions. The European Union Model, for all its "bureaucracy", is a close and civilised approximation of this.

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 and advocating staycations. We approach Ecology not as one more -ism, an ideology or a semi-religious dogma, not in the context of a we-know-it-all political party, but as a rational, scientific, ongoing, research. 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. We believe these include Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure that can create quality, meaningful & pleasant jobs where no other options exist and, as importantly, in opening hearts and minds, in greater mobility between nations and within societies, in re-distributing 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. On the contrary, we consider Mobility, Leisure, Travel and Tourism as human rights and thus advocate a sustainable, democratic travel for all!

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. Ecoclub, as a latter-day, virtual Garden of Epicurus, aims to unite truly progressive and 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. Ecoclub is also a genuine example of the sharing economy. We share resources, information, knowledge, ideas, opportunities and we also share the costs of maintaining Ecoclub through very reasonable fees. 

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: