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Is there such as thing as green travel?

Travel Forums General Talk Is there such as thing as green travel?

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1. Posted by Kayla1 (Budding Member 44 posts) 7y

Hi,

I'm just wondering how people have balanced the desire to travel far and wide with being environmentally friendly?. I've just come back from australia and feel terrible about my carbon footprint, and insisted we (me and my partner) offset the carbon from the flights we took.

I understand the benefits of travelling overland, and admire people who do this, however you need alot of time to do it this way.

Anyone else in this space right now like to share some thoughts?.

2. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member 178 posts) 7y

A cycling / walking holiday, with train journeys to and from your start and end points. OK, even rail travel is not green, as trains are electric or diesel powered, and neither are ferries, strictly speaking 'green' either. My idea of a 'greenish' holiday would be getting a train to somewhere in mid-Wales, say Machynlleth, which you can get to directly from Birmingham and using that as a base for day trips. Alternatively getting a train down to one of the south coast ports and getting the ferry across to Normandy or Brittany for a bit of cycling and walking. In both cases one should also stress supporting local B&Bs rather than chain hotels, so as much of the money you spend stays in the community where you are visiting.

3. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Honestly, I used to worry about it a lot. But what's the point anymore?? The politicians ain't doing a thing, whilst prentending they really care and it's all "Up to Us - with their help and advice" - so why should I?? I used to be so concerned about how I could contribute to helping poor Mother Earth get things running in the right direction again, but now - as much I still care, my efforts are worthless. If there's something I can do - and it's not going out of my way, then of course I will. But if it means going off track for more than a few minutes - nah!!

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I understand the benefits of travelling overland, and admire people who do this, however you need alot of time to do it this way.

Not necessarily.

Unless you got a lot of time and money or travel for business there is little chance that you'll see all of the world. So you got to make priorities.

Say you are going to India - if you go there go there for as long as possible, not just for a week as one of my friends did (she found very cheap flight tickets, but only got 1 week off work). If you are getting one week off go to a destination that is closer to you.

It does make a difference whether you fly everytime you can get an extended weekend (because you happen to live right next to London Stansted and can get cheap tickets with "Roachair" ;) ) or whether you fly once a year or less. Plus you can donate money to charity, a number of airlines have an "offset carbon footprint by donating XXX EUR" button. I don't recommend clicking that button (how would you check where it goes?), but I would think about donating the suggested money to charity of my choice.

5. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 7y

I think there's a lot more you can incorporate into a 'green' lifestyle, rather than how you get to and from your destination.

The foods you eat, the clothes you wear, the things you buy, the activities you do would also contribute towards being green or not. eg. eating fresh fruit/vegies and not packaged foods, not relying on heating, buying hand made goods, doing walking tours instead of taking the bus, etc. Travellers are also big users of public transport, so this in itself is a lot better than a taxi or driving a car.

Yes, air travel is a big issue, the carbon offset is designed for those who are conscious of environmental impact while travelling. I'm also not sure how well its administered, but I would say airline companies would be subject to a lot of scrutiny about it if they did do anything wrong with the money.

I don't think its a case of doing one little thing here and there and feeling happy about it - it's more a case of incorporating a more sustainable lifestyle in the long term thats important! To many of us travelling is a time where we like to splurge and enjoy ourselves. I don't think people would want to sacrifice key things of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday in order to be green. In my opinion it should start in your daily life at home, of course its great to make a few conscious decisions while you travel (eg. like I mentioned above), but not if it's totally going to change your dream holiday.

6. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 7y

The myth that commercial aviation is such a major culprit when it comes to the 'carbon footprint' is just that - a myth. I already knew that the greenhouse gases that result from aviation is tiny, but was curious were the rest is coming from, so googled for more info. Here are some basic numbers how much various activities contribute to so called greenhouse gases:

ALL forms of transportation: 13.5%
Agriculture: 17.4%
Deforestation: 18.3%
Powerplants: 25%
Residential households: 10%
Industry: 10%
Commercial buildins: 5%

In the 13.5% of all forms of transportation, 'road transportation' takes up 10% (and private cars the bulk of that) and commercial aviation a minuscule 1.6%. It's estimated that the carbon footprint of one single car is equivalent to be six times that of an air passenger (based on how much an average car is driven each year). The "greenest" way of transportation: rail (i.e. leaves less of a carbon footprint).

The simple fact is that commercial aviation has been extremely successful in improving technology for each new generation of airliners and jet engines, and it's getting better all the time. For some reason there are certain people who have an agenda against aviation and are perpetrating the myth that it's such a bad thing, from an environmental point of view, to fly. As can be seen from the numbers, it's just plain silly to concentrate your criticism to aviation since there are other much more important issues to deal with. I learned a long time ago that if someone is constantly being very one-sided (calling something, or someone, all bad or all good), time to question their credibility and motives. No such thing as all bad or all good!

When it comes to commercial aviation, seems to me we also need to take into consideration what good comes out of it. First of all, money is spent whenever we go someplace. Depending on our views, we may not necessarily think that some of the jobs that are created in other countries and cultures as a result of this is a good thing, but then again, our views and values are probably different from the people in those places anyway, and for the most part this income from visitors from abroad has been a good thing. I live in Hawaii, and the number #1 industry here is tourism. I can see firsthand how the money spent here by visitors benefit a large number of businesses and people - directly and indirectly.

Then, there's another aspect, which is much more difficult to measure: increased understanding between people of different countries and cultures. With more and more people, all over the world, having the financial ability to visit other countries and interact with the people in those countries, and maybe also nurture cross-cultural friendships, the large scale impact of this is difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Personally, I would like to think that we are moving in a direction when increased understanding on a global scale will lead to fewer conflicts between different cultures/countries. Just think of the possibilities if everybody on the planet was free to travel and visit other countries! Thinking back to the most recent time when no one really had this option (except a VERY few rich people), adds an interesting perspective to history - that would take us back to the 1930s. That also happened to be a time when a handful of criminals were able to grab power in a few countries and throw the world into the most devastating conflict in the entire history of humanity. Would they have been able to do the same if air transportation had been in the 1930s what it is today, some 70 years later? This is obviously a very complicated issue, with a multitude of (generally unanswerable) questions, but I'd like to think that an educated and well travelled population at that time could have made a difference. And the simple fact is of course that we have been able to avoid World War 3. Maybe more because of just plain dumb luck, but then again, we will never know how much of a role air transportation has played in this....

Just a few thoughts on a sticky Hawaiian Wednesday evening!:)

7. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

A statement was released in Brussels earlier this year - saying that cows produce as much gas as aircraft. Then why can't we all have a cow in our kitchen to cut down on gas bills??

8. Posted by tleb (Full Member 117 posts) 7y

Quoting Redpaddy

Honestly, I used to worry about it a lot. But what's the point anymore?? The politicians ain't doing a thing, whilst prentending they really care and it's all "Up to Us - with their help and advice" - so why should I?? I used to be so concerned about how I could contribute to helping poor Mother Earth get things running in the right direction again, but now - as much I still care, my efforts are worthless. If there's something I can do - and it's not going out of my way, then of course I will. But if it means going off track for more than a few minutes - nah!!

But as long as everyone has this attitude nothing will change. It takes leaders going in a different direction, building momentum, knowledge and numbers to finally get the rest of the herd turned.

Planting trees and composting and using more efficient appliances yadda yadda yadda is the biggest impact the average person can make. We can't and won't all start rallies and movements, but personal responsibility is the only way true change will start. Governments won't force the issue until the people force the governments. That is how governemts are SUPPOSED to work. They aren't supposed to be saving us from ourselves.

I would love to see the out come of your cow heated home. You wouldn't even need it in the house if you could work out an effective hose system..

9. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member 178 posts) 7y

Quoting Redpaddy

A statement was released in Brussels earlier this year - saying that cows produce as much gas as aircraft. Then why can't we all have a cow in our kitchen to cut down on gas bills??

So you'd stick a pipe up its arse and connect it to your cooker? 'Tis true of course that bovine flatulence is one of the major causes of global warming; combined with the deforestation of land to be used for cattle grazing provides an excellent reason as to why animals should not be bred for food. Go veggie

10. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Whats that concert to save the Earth???

and the pop stars with their Private jet... those ads that tell you this AIRLINES have a JACUZZI in bussiness class.

It seem like saving the earth is only for the poor, who can't afford tickets to a NATIONAL park, with a UNESCO world heritage status.

So we are doomed? I think the rich will only care, when resort islands like the MALDIVES atoll will face oblivion. Nations will start to panic, when a city like MACAU will sink.