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Is travelling selfish?

Travel Forums General Talk Is travelling selfish?

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11. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 10y

Quoting Peter

I think what is more interesting is what you buy on a daily basis. How much of the stuff you buy has had to be shipped/flown half way across the world? Most people have no idea or even any reasonable way of finding out.

I personally feel that buying local is a more effective/useful cause.

It's interesting how often this topic has come up recently though. And it's good to see people thinking more about their effect on the environment.

I'm making up for my emissions by purchasing carbon offsets (in the form of trees) from Greenfleet I'm sure other guilt ridden travellers can do the same where they live ;)

I'm with you on this one, its an issue thats really been interesting me recently as I've had to study it as part of my course. Flying does have a massive impact on the environment but there are an awful lot of other things closer to home that we can be worrying about too and seeing as most of us don't fly frequently or 'irresponsibly' it would seem more appropriate to focus on these aspects of our lives instead.
For instance swapping your lightbulbs , using your car less, recycling, as Pete said, buying local produce....the list goes on...

12. Posted by Peter (Admin 5905 posts) 10y

Quoting mimulus

For instance swapping your lightbulbs

Interestingly, South Africa is at the forefront of this one. They already have plans to ban the import of certain incandescent lightbulbs. Article here

Hopefully the rest of the world takes note!

13. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 10y

Personally, I think that all rainforests should be cut down and the trees turned into disposable chopsticks. In their place, factories should be built. Preferably factories that belch out large amounts of smoke all in the name of making useless items like hot dog makers and foot spas.

All endangered animals should be rounded up and shot. If they are on an "endangered list" then chances are they will be gone in a few years anyway.

Further, travelling on public transport should be banned. People should be provided with an incentive to turn their air-conditioners on and leave their windows open. It should also be against the law to leave your house without first turning on every tap.

Finally, the amount of bubble wrap and other wrapping used on products should be doubled.

Any breach of the above should be classified as a criminal offence.

14. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 10y

Sorry if this is steering away from original topic, but it pissed me off.

I often have to arrange meetings/ transport etc for my boss where I am temping. The other day, I was trying to organise a meeting fo my boss, who is based in Bristol. I told the person who wanted to meet with her (another senior person in same company) that she would probably have to do it by video-conference as the dates Boss will be up in the northern office are all full.

Then the other manager replied, "no, its alright, arrange a meeting in Bristol and I'll fly down" (from Newcastle). For a TWO HOUR meeting! I wanted to say something, and I am going to try and see if they'll do a video conference, but I don't feel in a positiion to argue with senior managers about the damage of this kind of flying.:(

15. Posted by TravelMc (Respected Member 93 posts) 10y

You should say something. You don't have to haul in the soap box and climb aboard it but you should feel able to point out that not only is it not the most envrionmentally friendly thing to do its also a waste of a senior member of staffs entire day. 2 hours before the flight - time to your offices, the meeting, return to airport 2 hours before return flight and then the flight time is going to suck up a whole day which is a total waste of time and money when a video conference would leave her free to get on with her job. Point out that its an enormous expense. The minions who do all the work wont appreciate their bonuses getting sucked up so one person can fly to Bristol for a chat.

Wow - sorry for the rant and I know it went of the environment topic but I jus tcan't understand how management works. Its totally counter productive. If you can put your comments diplomatically and keep them conscise you should definitely say something.:)

16. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

Have a look

17. Posted by Peter (Admin 5905 posts) 10y

Hey Jase,

That's a good one. It puts me at almost half the carbon emissions of Australians, and that's with 4 long haul returns a year! The main clincher was getting 100% of my energy from renewable sources. That costs us a grand total of AU $10 a month extra on our electricity bill. I think it's worth it :)

But it doesn't take into account all the energy wasted by consumption of products. There's such a thing as 'embedded energy', the energy required to produce a product. Industrial polution is far worse than consumer polution and we need to start considering how our products are made.

lol james, I like your philosophy too ;) more power to the foot spas

18. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 10y

I dont think travelling is selfish. I always try to give time out during my trip for the local communities. What I really wonder is what do you mean by intellectually gifted inhabitant?
Do you feel superior to the others, it´s what you mean??

19. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Of course travelling is selfish. What isn't? I certainly don't travel for the benefit of people around me, unless it's to come back a little more enlightened about the world.

If you're talking about the impact on the environment, that's a tough question to answer. Here in North America, we don't really have discount airlines - so most flights overseas are filled to the brim. That's far more efficient and less wasteful than a daily 1/4-full flight from, say, the UK to France (which I've taken, BTW, so I'm not casting blame). And we also have, on average, a whopping 2 weeks off a year. How many times can one visit Toronto and Boston before longing to see a little more?

And is it better to drive around at home for two weeks, or fly overseas and walk it for two weeks?

Honestly, I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that I love to travel - and I love to fly - but I don't own a car or smoke or litter or a whole bunch of other things that are bad for the environment. In a nutshell, it's not so simple a question to answer.

20. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Quoting flo jo

I dont think travelling is selfish. I always try to give time out during my trip for the local communities. What I really wonder is what do you mean by intellectually gifted inhabitant?
Do you feel superior to the others, it´s what you mean??

that's called irony, flo :-)

And tway, I agree that these questions are difficult to answer. But one thing is very clear; you have to do one hell of a lot of driving before you reach the emission level of 1/350th long-haul Boeing flight... I'm sure Snatterand could provide you with the maths; I'll ask her if you want :-)


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