Bret Love is a Freelance Journalist and the Editor In Chief of Green Global Travel, an Ecotourism Website with a special focus on travel, indigenous cultures and advice on how to live a life of travel while balancing the concerns of mother nature. In a former life was a journalist and editor in the US music industry (insert jealous statement here). Along with his wife Mary, they have turned their passion for travel, sustainable tourism with their talent for writing into a harmonious marriage that is Green Global Travel.
Mary and Bret of Green Global Travel
The story behind Green Global Travel is inspirational. The journey has been a long one, though always shining through was your dedication to Ecotourism. Why the passion for sustainable Ecotourism?
There's a few reasons behind it. #1, because we love nature/wildlife and indigenous cultural experiences, and exploring those things is our favorite thing about traveling. #2, because there's so much globalization going on in the world today that cities can be somewhat homogenous-- Western culture has influenced developing nations more than we'd like-- and ecotourism allows you to connect with the "real" heart and soul of a destination, helping you discover what makes it unique. And #3, perhaps most importantly, because I have an 11-year-old daughter who is very curious about the world, and the economic impact of sustainable ecotourism is likely the only way to ensure that the wildlife and indigenous cultures are still around for her to experience 20 years from now.
It's inspiring to see those with a dedication and passion such as the one you two share. The topics of sustainability and Ecotourism fit into the broader scope of climate change. As a fellow American and traveler, how do you address this issue with a public in denial and political body lacking the will or foresight to outright address these issues?
We try to blend education and inspiration with patience and persistence. In the grand scheme of things, environmental conservation and ecotourism are still incredibly new fields. The term "ecotourism" has only been around a few decades, and only in recent years has it become a buzzword. So, while it'd be nice if everybody jumped on the bandwagon right away, expecting them to do so is unrealistic. But we passionately believe that "Green" is a better way to travel, and a better way to live. And, as we're learning more about it and sharing that knowledge with our readers, hopefully they'll share it with their friends and family and start building a grassroots movement. I think we'll see a gradual shift in the public's cultural consciousness as people realize that sustainable energy and living isn't just the best way, but the ONLY way our planet can continue to thrive.
It the rest of the western world and broader world in general, they take prudent measures to move their societies along the path of sustainability. Since you have traveled the globe extensively (sustainably I hope) do you have any insights as to why there is this disconnect with the US?
I think Americans, and our politicians in particular, are incredibly resistant to change. There's this notion that the way things were in the good ol' days is the way things should always be, but that doesn't really jibe with what science is telling us about the planet's remaining natural resources. Also, there are BILLIONS of dollars tied up in oil, coal and other unsustainable energy sources, and many people who benefit personally from our continued reliance on those energy sources are in positions of power, whether within the government, lobbyist groups, or the major corporations that are pulling the strings of legislation. Let's face it: Change is not in their best interest! So unless the 99% of the people in this country who need jobs and affordable sustainable energy push Congress to move in that direction, I don't think our civic leaders are in a rush to change things anytime soon.
Your empire continues to grow over at GGT. You are staffed with minions (sorry, I mean interns) and have taken under your guidance some great travel writers such as Caz Makepeace, Diana Edelman and Mariellen Ward with your Bloggers in Residence mentorship program a few months back. I hear talk of a sustainable Death Star in the near future. To put these and other rumors to rest, would you care to talk about any future endeavors you'll be involved
LMAO... well, I see us as much more like a Rebel Alliance fighting against the Evil Empire of corporate greed. We started our Bloggers In Residence program to try to help some of our favorite people get a leg up on their freelance careers, while at the same time building connections with like-minded individuals who wanted to work together towards a common goal. Whether it's the Business of Blogging and Travel Bloggers Give Back Facebook groups or the Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Writers Alliance we're in the process of forming, it's all part of our central mission of helping to save the world, one story at a time. In my mind, helping folks is just good karma. As far as our long-term goals, we'd eventually like to launch a non-profit arm designed to help fund environmental conservation and cultural preservation projects all over the world.
One last question. While certainly not the only male travel writer out there, can you explain why the field is so disproportionately dominated by the fairer sex? Aside from the obvious reasons of higher functioning prefrontal cortices and heightened social perception.
To be honest, I've never really thought about it! Perhaps there's more of an emotional connectivity for the average reader with the work of a woman, but I don't really know. Personally, my work was inspired primarily by men of adventure: I grew up reading Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and National Geographic; loved Indiana Jones and the Crocodile Hunter; and later got into the work of Jon Krakauer, Sebastian Junger and Anthony Bourdain. Those are the influences that made me want to do what I do, and I hope we can inspire our readers, both male and female, to embrace their own love of adventure.