Each time you take a flight, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. You can help neutralize this through "carbon offsetting" -- paying someone to reduce their CO2 emissions by the same amount you've added. Carbon offsets can be purchased in the U.S. from companies such as Carbonfund.org (www.carbonfund.org) and TerraPass (www.terrapass.org), and from Climate Care (www.climatecare.org) in the U.K.
Although South Korea is not particularly eco-friendly, the nation has been making more effort toward green living. Cities now have recycling (city dwellers are required to sort their trash) and buses with reduced emissions.
The municipality and national government have launched several efforts to make South Korea more environmentally conscious. Programs like the preservation of wetlands in places like Upon-eup, Junam, and Suncheon-man provide sanctuary for migrating birds as well as maintaining natural environments friendly to other wildlife. Unfortunately, the more they create awareness of certain areas, the more people come to visit, making it not so friendly for the birds and other animals there.
The good thing about South Korea is the country's extensive national park system (http://english.knps.or.kr). The government-run organization maintains the scenic mountains and the fragile environments of its islands and coastal locations as well.
In Seoul and other cities, the government has launched a bicycle program, building more trails and providing a standardized bike-rental program.
Another form of eco-tourism the Koreans are trying out is hands-on experiences and tours of organic farms throughout the country.
Although South Korea has no organized dolphin or whale-watching opportunities, 41 different species of these marine mammals can be found off the coasts of the peninsula. For information about the ethics of swimming with dolphins and other outdoor activities, visit the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (www.wdcs.org) and Tread Lightly (www.treadlightly.org).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.