20 Best Small Ship Cruises for Your World Travel Bucket List

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Cruises have gotten a bad rap lately: One recent scientific study found that air quality on a cruise ship deck was “worse than the world’s most polluted cities.”

But not all cruise companies feature gigantic cruise ships carrying 5000+ passengers. In our eyes, small ship cruises are much better for travelers, locals, and the environment alike.

The best small ship cruise lines typically have less than 300 passengers, a lower guide-to-passenger ratio, and expert local guides. These small luxury cruise ships have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a more intimate and immersive travel experience.

Some small luxury cruises focus squarely on nature and wildlife, while others focus more on the history and culture of a destination. But

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10 Tips for Finding Ethical and Sustainable Fashion in Morocco

Usually, when I write up a guide to ethical and sustainable shopping in a city or small country, I simply list conscious fashion stores that curate a selection of designers that are working to preserve traditional craft and use more sustainable materials.

But, Morocco is different from most other countries.

Take the coffee shop culture… or lack thereof. Out of every single one of the 25 (mostly developing) countries we visited around the world, Morocco was the only one that hadn’t been invaded by Brooklyn or Australian-style Third Wave coffee shops, with their marble countertops, subway tile and palms. Maybe it’s because Morocco’s traditional decor is eminently Instagrammable just on its own merit, without needing to slap pink neon signs

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25 Awesome Plastic Free Products (for Plastic Free July & Beyond)

Led by the Plastic Free Foundation, Plastic Free July is a campaign launched in 2011 to encourage people to refuse single use plastics and limit their plastic waste.

Started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and members of her local government in Western Australia, the annual challenge is now undertaken by millions of people around the globe each year.

The result is more and more people wanting to reduce plastic waste, seek out plastic alternatives, and move towards plastic free living.

The question is, how do we use less plastic when practically everything we buy seems to be made from plastic or comes with plastic packaging?

How much difference can we as individuals make when there’s already a massive patch of plastic pollution in

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Top 15 Things to Do in Tenerife (Canary Islands)

Located off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canary Islands is a volcanic archipelago consisting of seven major islands. Though once considered a remote playground primarily reserved for the rich and famous, the islands have become a more accessible destination over time.

Tenerife is the Spanish archipelago’s largest and most populous island, measuring 785 square miles, with a population of approximately 920,000. It’s also the area’s most visited destination, attracting around five million tourists each year.

The island is divided into two distinct sections, with the 12,198-foot volcano of Teide National Park in the center. In the north, you’ll find the capital, Santa Cruz. The island’s south side is more popular with travelers because it’s both sunnier and warmer, with

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Weekend Reading: Did Nike Not Get the Plastic Beads Memo?

Hi readers,

It was a quiet week over here at EcoCult.  I traveled to Germany to participate in an expert workshop to future-cast sustainable fashion. It was cool the way they set it up: we were asked our opinions on various sustainable and ethical future scenarios, whether they would improve the industry, and what would help us get there, or potentially hold us back. Then we voted on each others opinions, and in each subsequent session, dove deeper into the pieces we found the most interesting or important. For the final session, I was paired up with a guy from B Corp Brazil, and we explored how a true circular economy and extended producer responsibility could come about. I’ll link

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How to Reduce Carbon Footprint With Carbon Offsets, Carbon Credit, & More

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As the world nears the climate change tipping point, learning how to reduce carbon footprint is becoming increasingly important on both a personal and collective level.

While politicians wrestle with the question “What is climate change?” and debate the causes of climate change, most people can clearly see the harmful impact these changes are already having on the environment and seek out sensible solutions.

In the meantime, while we each strive to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint, the planet is getting hotter, its storms more severe, its animals and agriculture more endangered, calling humanity’s future survival into question.

The negative effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced every year. In 2019 we’ve already seen

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50 Fascinating Facts About Giraffes

Lanky, awkward, affectionate, and endearing… you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s not intrigued by Giraffes. These evolutionary marvels, which get their name from the Arabic word Zarafa (“one who walks swiftly”), are statuesque wonders of elegant beauty.

Native to Africa, Giraffes roam throughout the continent’s sub-Saharan regions. Giraffe habitat primarily consists of open savannahs and grasslands where they can wander around freely, peering out into the distance to see if any predators are lurking nearby.

As a herd, these herbivores migrate to areas rich in shrubs and deciduous trees. The climate they live in is very warm, experiencing dry and wet seasons. Giraffes adapt to these changes by being able to consume a variety of different leaves and twigs

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The Perfect Women’s Packing List for Vienna, Austria

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you click through to buy something, I get a small percentage of that sale. I only recommend brands that I truly love and that are ethical and/or sustainable. 

Vienna is a beautiful, classical city, and as such, requires beautiful, classic clothing. Stylistically, it’s a whole world apart from gritty Berlin, or even its surrounding post-communist neighbors. It’s more like a cross between France, Italy, and Scandinavia. (I guess that’s because it culturally and geographically is in the center of these countries?)

While you’ll want to dress comfortably enough to walk around and see the sights, you’ll also want to be able to gain entry to a music performance held a baroque

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The 15 Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica (Resorts, Hotels & Eco-Lodges)

My love affair with Costa Rica began more than 20 years ago, in the early days of ecotourism. It was only my second trip outside the US, and the first where I learned about the importance of environmental and wildlife conservation.

We explored much of the country’s central and western regions, from the Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest to the Nicoya Peninsula and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (on the northern border with Nicaragua). 

We saw countless animals, from cute, cuddly Coatimundis and Sloths to every type of tropical bird, butterfly, and frog you can imagine. By the time an orphaned monkey climbed on my shoulders at Caño Negro, I was madly in love with the country.

In case you

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The Best Vienna Stores Selling Sustainable and Ethical Fashion

I’ll be honest, there are a half dozen sustainable fashion stores in Vienna, and not all of them are in here. It’s just that not all are created equal. Some are leftover from the last decade, when sustainable fashion was uniformly blah and for hikers and hippies. Some supposedly ethical stores are filled with synthetics from Asia. 

Instead, I would like to direct you to the very best sustainable fashion stores in Vienna, full of sleek, modern, wearable items that will garner you compliments instead of a raised eyebrow. The list is short, but that just leaves you more time for cultural activities!

This store is filled with men’s and women’s everyday basics and famously eco-friendly European fashion like

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40 Fascinating Blue Whale Facts (From Size & Diet to Conservation)

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Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet, but that doesn’t adequately convey the amount of space available for aquatic animals to roam. Where land animals are limited by gravity, marine animals can go from coastal shallows to trenches the depths of which humans have barely begun to explore.

So it’s no surprise that the planet’s largest creatures, whales, are ocean-dwelling. In terms of the world’s largest animals, the competition isn’t even close.

The next largest animal of any species, the Whale Shark, is pint-sized compared to the five largest whale species. Clearly the only way to describe the marine mammal’s immensity—46 feet long, 15 tons— was to name it after whales.

African Elephants, the world’s

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20 of the World’s Biggest Waterfalls (By Continent)

Despite R&B legends TLC’s classic admonition not to go chasing them, waterfalls remain among those magical natural features that can put a given destination on millions of people’s world travel bucket lists.

You’ll find waterfalls on every single continent. Countries like New Zealand and Norway are known for the volume of waterfalls they offer. Argentina/Brazil and Zambia/Zimbabwe are known for the sheer size of their waterfalls, while Japan’s falls are renowned for their beauty. Even ice-cold Antarctica has a famous waterfall!

While most of us have a particular image of what a waterfall looks like, there are actually many types of waterfalls. Waterfalls can form cascades, horsetails, plunges, cataracts, fans, squares, and even be frozen. Each type is different, and each

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The 100 Best Inspirational Travel Quotes to Spark Your Next Adventure

I was a voracious reader when I was growing up, typically reading two books a week on average.

My lower-middle class family didn’t have the money to do much in the way of traveling, outside of the occasional camping trip in North Georgia. Both my parents worked, and my dad worked multiple jobs to support his family of five.

The furthest we ever traveled was a trip to visit my godparents in Virginia when I was 14. So instead I read books about travel and adventure long before I had the financial means to start taking adventures of my own.

It was the written word that originally fueled my travel dreams, from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Books to

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The 18 Best Brands Making Ethical, Sustainable, Recycled Backpacks for Work, Travel, or Hiking

There aren’t too many items I use more than my backpack. I take it to my coworking space every day, use it to pack up extra clothes and toiletries if I’m taking a short weekend trip, and when I go for a day hike I throw in my huge water bottle, trail mix, bug spray, and sunscreen. Surprisingly, I’m still working with an eight-year-old grey Jansport right now. But the zipper is broken and I don’t know if it can be fixed, so might soon be in the market for a new ethical, sustainable backpack!

Here’s what to look for in a high-quality, sustainable backpack

Quality and durability: A backpack is first and foremost functional. So whether you’re taking it

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Your Perfect Women’s Packing List for Lisbon, Portugal [With Sustainable Picks!]

There’s a lot of pressure to pack well for Lisbon. That’s because every corner you turn down is ripe for a romantic photo of you. Whether it’s posing under the trees bursting with purple flowers, leaning against a pink or sherbet-orange wall, traipsing down a cobblestone street awash with a golden glow, or posing on the balcony of a 19th-century summer palace, you need to bring your fashion game.

At the same time, Lisbon is a very walkable city — more walkable than bikeable or taxi-able, even — so you’ll need to bring your walking shoes for those steep cobblestone stairs and hills that wind up through old town.

Some places you could shop ahead of time that would help

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10 Famous Underground Caves for Your World Travel Bucket List

Underground caves are mysterious and mesmerizing places to explore.

From marble caves,  glow worms caves and those formed from glacial lagoons, to a cave of crystals, prehistoric rock art and ancient Mayan burial sites, natural caverns come in an incredible range of attractions.

From the Rio Secreto cave in Mexico to Patagonia’s Milodon Caves, each one we’ve visited during our travels has been more unique and fascinating than the last. 

10 BEST UNDERGROUND CAVES ATM Cave or Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (Belize) Waitomo Glowworm Caves (New Zealand) Skaftafell Ice Cave (Iceland) Patagonia Marble Caves (Chile) Mountain River Cave, or Hang Son Doong (Vietnam) Fingal’s Cave (Scotland) Naica Mine or Cave of the Crystals (Mexico) Chauvet Cave (France) Hastings Caves (Australia)

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13 of the Best Ethical and Sustainable Sandals Brands

I used to have a million pairs of cheap, low-quality sandals in my closet that would be worn out after just one summer. I would have to buy new ones every. single. year. Since then, however, I’ve matured and I’ve found that part of living my best life is buying beautiful sandals that are comfortable and will last several summers. And there are now quite a few amazing brands making ethical and sustainable sandals that are not only high-quality, but beautiful and affordable too.

What to Look for in a Sustainable, Ethical Pair of Sandals

Quality and durability: A timeless pair of well-made sandals should last you a while—at least more than just one season! That means no flimsy straps

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Top 15 Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala

Having thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama, taking a Guatemala vacation was high on our bucket list. So when Juan Rivera of Beast Wildlife Adventures of K’uk Tours  invited us to spend 10 days on a customized Guatemala adventure, we leapt at the opportunity.

We’ve long been fascinated by Guatemala history, from the ancient and modern-day Maya peoples to the mingling of indigenous and colonial influences after the Spanish conquest led by 16th century conquistador Pedro de Alvarado.

Our action-packed itinerary gave us time to explore ancient Mayan settlements such as El Mirador and Tikal (posts on both coming soon). We also visited Guatemala tourist attractions such as Lake Atitlán, the charming small town of Flores,

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