10 Uncrowded National Parks for Your Travel Bucket List

According to its website, Yellowstone National Park gets three million visitors annually. We don’t blame folks for making the trip either: The place is heavenly. But just because Yellowstone, Yosemite and a few other popular parks get most of the foot traffic, it doesn’t mean they’re the only stops that capture this great country in its unspoiled splendor. The following 10 natural wonders (including Alaska’s magnificent Wrangell-St. Elias National Park pictured above) probably won’t ever see a fraction of Yellowstone’s guests. That’s okay. The fewer the visitors, the more of a unique experience in store for you and other clever travelers.

Greensboro with Envy

We’ve been fortunate to explore some of the coolest destinations in the world through Green Global Travel. While all the passport stamping and hour-long drives on graveled roads have their special place, there’s something to be said for the beauty of home too. The good ol’ U.S. of A. offers many of the finest beaches, mountains and cityscapes to be found on the planet. Through periodic road trips on GGT, I’m going to explore more of the domestic destinations that pride themselves on ecotourism. Our first stop: the beautiful, lush city of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Eco News: A Fast Food Giant Shows It Gives a Cluck

In a move Burger King hopes will resonate with environmentally conscious consumers, the fast-food behemoth says it will only be using cage-free eggs and pork in its 12,400 locations by 2017.

“So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” said Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, a group that’s been urging BK and other similar companies to consider animal welfare in their purchasing practices. “Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.”

Perhaps the most interesting element of this announcement is its timing. In March, food industry research firm Technomic Inc. reported that Burger King had sales of $8.4 billion in 2011. By contrast, Wendy’s had $8.5 billion in sales, making it the first time since 1969 that BK wasn’t #2 on the burger ladder to McDonald’s ($34.2 billion).

As if that development wasn’t embarrassing enough for the fast food giant, Burger King also unveiled a celebrity-heavy ad campaign for its new salads, smoothies and other healthy snacks in April. The awkward ad with R&B superstar Mary J. Blige had the blogosphere all atwitter with posts about its racial insensitivity. To smolder the PR fire, the company axed Mary’s commercial.

The company’s new cage-free initiative certainly changes the conversation surrounding BK. The chain uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork every year. “For every cage-free egg or piece of bacon from a gestation-free pork system that Burger King sells,” says HSUS food policy director Matthew Prescott, “animals have been spared lifelong confinement in a cage so small they can barely even move.”

Green Global Travel is all aboard with these new steps, but we’ll save our standing ovation for when the “Home of the Whopper” introduces similar eco-friendly practices for cows being housed in tight confinement and fed genetically modified grains.

Writing on the Wild Side

Green Global Travel is one of the finest conservation and preservation sites on the web. Any day you trek over to GGT you’re bound to find an amazing photo gallery from Panama, an interview with a world renowned wildlife expert or an informative eco news bit. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of GGT since its late 2010 conception. The site recently started an “Endangered Species Spotlight” series and I contributed its first entry on the cute, quirky canine from Southeast Asia called the Dhole.

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