Title

Environmental Impact Labeling and Certification of Consumer Products in Recreation and Tourism

Date of Award

1-2-2009

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

Harold Tyus

Keywords

Consumptive Use; Ecotourism; Environmental Certification; Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics; Non-consumptive Use; Recreation; Recreation Products; Sustainability; Tourism

Abstract

Environmentally sustainable ecotourism implies non-consumptive resource use. However, human use of natural systems almost always has an impact. Some of this impact is related to the use of recreation and tourism products. Unfortunately, the ecotourism industry generally has not been proactive in promoting wise use of these products. For this capstone project, I evaluated labeling and certification of selected ecotourism products, reviewed published information about them, and interviewed industry professionals about their use. Only 14 of the 20 products evaluated displayed consumer labeling and of those, only two promoted environmentally sustainable use. This suggests that most ecotourism product labels are inadequate. Better product labeling and certification of vendors can help the ecotourism industry reduce its environmental impact.

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