7 Must-Read New Eco Travel Books

green travel books opener photo

Photo via joiseyshowaa @ Flickr

Tired of the same old trips -- beach in the summer, mountains in the winter -- and longing to put a little more green in your next big vacation? These seven new eco travel books are the best new resources on the market for the perfect eco-vacation, from volunteering on game reserves or tracking gorillas to staying in the poshest green hotels.

1. Eco Chic

eco chic hotels book photo

Photo via Amazon

Travelers who aren't interested in roughing it can turn to Eco Chic, a collection of hotels, lodges, shops, spas, and restaurants that, according to the publisher, "cherish and protect our biosphere."

Written by Pascal Languillon, a sustainable tourism expert from the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute; Tan Mei Zee; and Kate O'Brien, Eco Chic helps you figure out where to sleep, eat, drink, and play -- from safari resorts and rainforest suites to city hotels and mountaintop rooms -- without sacrificing style for sustainability.

2. Ecotourists Save the World

ecotourists save the world photo
pamela brodowsky author photo
Photo via Amazon/PlanetSave.com

For a more hands-on approach to your next trip, look to Ecotourists Save the World, written by Pamela K. Brodowsky and the National Wildlife Federation: The book highlights 300 different programs from around the world -- including the Fur Seal Project in Alaska, the Adriatic Dolphin Project in Croatia, and the Open Minded Project in Thailand -- that concentrate on wildlife conservation.

From working on game reserves in South Africa to surveying birds in New Zealand, you'll find volunteer vacations for the whole family.

3. Sustainable Sailing

sustainable sailing photo
Photo via Amazon

If your idea of true relaxation involves hoisting the mainsail and setting out for some time on the water, then Dieter Loibner's Sustainable Sailing can help you keep the ocean -- and the rest of the Earth -- clean and healthy for the next generation.

The book details the environmental challenges that modern-day boatbuilders face (and the solutions they've come with) and helps weekend warriors make their own ships greener by conserving water, making energy-efficient equipment choices, and trimming waste.

4. GrassRoutes Guides

grassroutes guides seattle photo
Photo via Serena Bartlett GrassRoutes guidebooks focus on the Northwest U.S. right now -- the most recent editions cover Seattle and Portland, while older guides detail San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley, and Northern California Wine Country -- but upcoming titles will help travelers navigate trips to New Orleans, Brooklyn, and California's central coast.

GrassRoutes author Serena Bartlett puts together the kind of suggestions you'd get from your most in-the-know friends (the best restaurants, coolest clubs, most central hotels) with a green twist: Each listed business meets criteria for local ownership, and you can also look for environmentally-friendly business practices (like recycling and using green energy) and Fair Trade products.

5. Australia's Best Eco-Friendly Holidays

australia best eco holiday photo
Photo via Amazon

The land Down Under offers plenty of green travel options -- and in Australia's Best Eco-Friendly Holidays, you'll find more than 1,000 of them.

Focusing on "where and how to travel in Australia with minimal impact on the environment," author Ken Eastwood combines jaw-dropping photography with listings organized by state -- and includes destinations that aren't part of the typical itinerary, like Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, and Antarctica. Feeling overwhelmed? Each chapter comes with a top-10 list that helps you narrow down your sightseeing.

6. Destination Wildlife

destination wildlife photo
nwf logo travel photo
Photo via Southwest Blend

If you want to see the world's most fascinating creatures -- without actually doing the work suggested in Ecotourists Save the World, then Brodowsky's second effort with the National Wildlife Federation, Destination Wildlife can give you the how, when, and where.

Divided by continent, the book gives international travelers all the tips, information, and contact information they need to track gorillas, kayak with whales, camp with wild horses, and otherwise experience the best of both worlds -- human and animal -- without endangering either.

7. Green Earth Guides

eco books traveling naturally photo
Photo via Random House Green Earth Guide's Traveling Naturally series -- which won a TreeHugger Best of Green award this year for its Spain and France editions -- helps you track down the must-know spots in each country, from farmers markets and health food stores to public transportation stops and bike rental companies.

Their goal is to help you live the green life you have at home no matter where you are (and in case you're not planning to visit France or Spain, look out for future editions that cover Italy, Switzerland, and Britain).

More On Green Travel
How to Go Green: Travel & Outdoors
New Green Travel Ideas for Tourists
Best of Green: Travel and Nature (Slideshow)

7 Must-Read New Eco Travel Books
Tired of the same old trips -- beach in the summer, mountains in the winter -- and longing to put a little more green in your next big vacation? These seven new eco travel books are the best new resources on the market

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