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Adjusting Travel to be Green

KateL57

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  • Added on: April 9th, 2008
I have a hunch that annie's theory that in practice it is rare for people to cut back is right.

Although I think of myself as traveling a lot, before this year (transport between US cities) it was rare for me to take more than one return flight a year, although it was sometimes across the Atlantic. So while I do make an effort to recycle, conserve, and so on in my normal life, I can't say I've cut back on travel to be green.

There's some kind of term for this (something like zero sum? but not), but I also think that just seeing the world we are interested in saving via travel is important too. Obviously there are cases where one form of transport is clearly better than another for the environment, but I think seeing the world and taking a flight can also broaden people's perspectives about the environment, and also let them see how people in other countries conserve, etc.
Make cay, not war - Kesmen

Craze_b0i

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  • Added on: April 10th, 2008
quote:
I think seeing the world and taking a flight can also broaden people's perspectives about the environment, and also let them see how people in other countries conserve, etc.


Well that all sounds nice in theory, but as a rule most travellers travel for personal enjoyment - not to learn about conservation. Besides, with modern day mass-media you don't need go all the way to somewhere like Brazilian rainforest in order to become aware of environmental issues.

I think whatever way we try and justify it the fact remains that flights are bad for the environment.
"Let's see if we can enjoy this recession. i enjoyed most of the previous ones."
- Zoomcharlieb.

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KateL57

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  • Added on: April 10th, 2008
Well, yes Smile

But I still think being in a place, even if it's only for your own trip and you're not thinking about conservation, still just makes you a little bit more connected.

Compared to people who never fly/never leave the country in some cases, I think people who do travel may well have more appreciation for what is being conserved.

But I guess after a few flights the effect doesn't just keep increasing...
Make cay, not war - Kesmen

linds

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  • Added on: April 17th, 2008
Craze_b0i and KateL57, I think both your theories are right. It’s important to travel, for many reasons, but one of them is to have a greater understanding of a place and its people, this encompasses everything about that place including its conservation methods. When people travel they pick up these things by proxy. Sure people can look things up on line/use mass-media, but where’s the affinity?

When people travel they learn not to be so racist or bigoted, to be happy with what they’ve got, that the world isn’t all about them and their wonderful country. It makes people think. It humbles them. It teaches them more than any form of mass-media could. Is that not worth one long-haul flight a year?

Sure, everyone is well aware that flying is bad for the environment but it has to be looked at in relative terms. There are a lot of things that are far, far worse. Look at some industries and their effects, especially in the US and Australia, or the oil and gas industry, methane produced by the over-production of cattle for our selfish needs, the cruise liner industry; all these produce effects much more harmful than flying. It's just that the arguement about air travel is de riguer and some say many governments are happy to leave it that way so the bigger problems aren't more closely scrutinised.

But in saying that, I strongly believe that the frequency of flights per day should be cut because at the rate we’re going there’ll be no more air space in a few generations. I think the key to everything is moderation. If all flights were cut to once or twice a day instead of the ridiculous 12 available in some cases, everyone would still be able to do their trips at some point without there being a devastating effect on the environment. But then pigs might fly before that happens. Airlines are just too greedy and people too demanding. God, it’s a never-ending vicious circle, eh?

Sooooo, to get back to the original post: Have you ever changed plans to be green?
I apply it to whatever situation I’m in. Depends where I’m going and how much time I have available but more often than not I plan green rather than change plans to be green.

Check out The Man on Seat Sixty One for alternative travel ideas around Spain anniebananie.

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Craze_b0i

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  • Added on: April 18th, 2008
Linds I agree with a lot of the points you make. Yes I agree that a lot of other things harm the environment too and it is the responsibility of governments to cut those emissions.

However I think the reason flying gets highlighted is that it is important for individuals to contribute as well as govenments.

btw. I LOVE The Man in Seat Sixty One, he rocks. Smile
"Let's see if we can enjoy this recession. i enjoyed most of the previous ones."
- Zoomcharlieb.

my travel website

thegoodlife

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  • Added on: April 19th, 2008
Virgin Airlines seem to be pretty invested in using Biofeul. Maybe that will lighten the consience alittle.

marcvanopstal

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  • Added on: July 11th, 2008
It would be best if tourists would encourage the local people to think about their environment. But at the same time I believe they will think easier about it if they can earn some money via tourists. Otherwise they have to think about how to get food first...
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Founder of http://www.12visitme.com, where tourists and volunteers can help people in development countries via tourism


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