Last week I was at the ITB Berlin, which is the world’s largest travel trade show. Personally I am not much into the field of tourism, but I discovered my interest for concepts or ideas concerning a sustainable way of traveling. Have you ever asked yourself: What can I do to reduce my personal carbon footprint while traveling? Or how can I support the people, which are actually living and working at the destination? What about the nature there – could it be also my job to protect it even if it might not be my home?
Well, generally I suggest traveling with a sense of logic. Meaning that if you for example fly from Shanghai back home to London with the knowledge that you will also fly to Sri Lanka some days afterwards, just try to fly directly from Shanghai to Sri Lanka. This is just an example, but you get the point right? Try to avoid unnecessary routes. Especially if travelling by plane.
Recently I discovered some new programs, which are targeting mainly CO2 compensation. Atmosfair is an organization focusing on airplane passengers who want to reduce their flights’ emissions. How does that work? Well, you can pay a certain amount of money to the organization, which is connected to the amount of emissions you create with your flight. Atmosfair then uses the money to built renewable energies in mostly developing countries where otherwise nuclear power plants would occur. I know that CO2 compensation is more a Plan B, because it is not fighting at the source. But still, it is better than nothing especially until there is no sustainable technical solution for airplanes. So, check it out! The Deutsche Bahn (German train company) created a concept for environmental friendly traveling. For 1€ more you would travel emission free by train, because the power for the trains comes from renewables.
Personally I like to eat, stay and buy local. It is the best way to get in touch with the citizens and to get to know the culture of the place. So, check out hotels run by locals and not by the big international companies – then money is more likely to stay in the country. Also if you eat mainly local food items you can be sure that a tomato was not shipped all over the world. Additionally you can support the people directly, which is the same for developed countries and developing ones. Traveling to another place implies to adapt to another lifestyle in a way that includes to get used to the local life.
Climate change is an international challenge with global consequences. Therefore everybody should try to do his/her part wherever he or she might be. There is an easy example to show that the environmental system has not boarders. Here you can find a video from NASA where the flow of CO2 is shown.
We all have to face future. Why not starting collaboration in a way that everyone respects the environment internationally?