I'LL BE ON MY WAY
posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 02:14 AM
"Don't fly, it's bad for the environment". But I love to travel, I have done ever since i can remember. I love the excitement of an airport, watching those huge planes defy all realms of possibility and climb skyward full of passengers and their luggage, flying off to exotic destinations all across the world.
The idea that we should forgo the experience of travelling in favour of staying closer to home to reduce our carbon footprint is distressing for me and a real conflict of interests. Travel to far of lands may seem environmentally indulgent and against the current status quo but as with most things it's a much bigger picture than that. Where you can't take the slow route and 'live the journey' think about what else you can do.
Environmental concerns are one side to a triangle of considerations comprising social, environmental and economical concerns. Travel often discretely exposes us to global issues raising our interest in ecology, geology, anthropology, geography, economics and politics. All these subjects that although taught independently in schools and universities across the world, are all part of the same fabric in reality. Many places, the world over rely on tourism to sustain their lifestyle. Tourism is a livelihood that requires an international market for its products and services. This market may be the tourist that's travelled from far away, but can equally be the consumer that stays at home filling their shopping basket with colombian coffee, and their wardrobe with Primark clothing - they may have reduced their environmental impact by staying home, relying on freight carriers, but without any connection to the world that produces what they consume, their economic and social impact goes unnoticed. I'm not suggesting that we all go to Peru to buy Alpaca jumpers, but travel certainly helps us to think about where products come from and what lifestyle they support.
Make Travel Fair combines Social, Environmental & Economical concerns
In this ever shrinking world, cultural integration is happening everywhere, often destroying traditions and customs at the expense of a more progressive and popular culture. Anyone who's travelled to parts of the world where material possesions are thin on the ground will have learnt that there are other, often longer lasting cultures than our own with plenty to offer that could improve our lifestyle. Protection of cultural diversity and the encouragement of cross-cultural exchange is of the upmost importance if we are to integrate succesfully and live in peace with one another, especially with immigrant populations the highest they've probably ever been.
Next time you think about the carbon footprint of your travels spare a thought for how your visit can help magnify and assist an existing local economy, providing an incentive for places to conserve the environments, wildlife and culture that attracted you in the first place. It's not always about throwing money at the problem, just changing your frame of mind can be enough.
If you are looking to offset you carbon emissions visit our page for more information, or visit our friends at Blue Ventures Carbon Offset - one of the best, well researched carbon offset projects we know of.