How Travel Affects the Environment
Are you damaging the planet as you explore it?
This is a million-dollar question that no one wants to talk about. I mean, who doesn’t love visiting new places, appreciating cultural diversity, seeing wonders of nature, and just trying out new things?
Knowing all the awesome perks of travelling, it can get really controversial talking about its impact on the environment.
Notwithstanding, this is the reality of things today and we have got to face it at some point.
It’s no news that mother Earth is dying because of the activities of the very same inhabitants she seeks to protect. Before you argue that you’re a bonafide member of the Green movement, living cautiously and sustainably, let me quickly point out that tourism accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
A quick glance at the carbon dioxide emission of each form of transportation. According to the European Environment Agency.
- Plane (88 passengers) 285 grams
- Bus (12.7 passengers): 68 grams
- Average car (4 passengers) 55 grams
- Train (156 passengers): 14 grams
- Small car (4 passengers) 14 grams
What if I boycott air transportation?
That’s good thinking. Since air travel contributes 2% of all man-made carbon dioxide, according to a study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Wouldn’t it be helpful if we all use other means of transportation?
I wish I could say yes to that. As a travel enthusiast, this particular topic weighs heavily on my heart. But we have got to face the truth. And there is no better time to do so than now before we have no place to call home.
An in-depth study revealed that transportation, in all its types, is harmful to the environment. Simply put, air travel, ship cruising, trains, vehicles, and bikes all contribute to the staggering amount of our daily greenhouse gas emission.
Even worse, the study uncovered that some activities in the tourism industry (besides travel, of course) are also detrimental to the environment.
Come to think of it, when we travel, we tend to be less mindful of the things we use. At least we try to be cautious at home. Maybe because of bills or whatnot. However, travellers have the habit of throwing all care to the wind. You find them using more plastic and paper than they would at home. From plastic straws to take-outs, paper towels and a host of other non-sustainable products. Travellers tend to prefer convenience over sustainability. Maybe because we’re all on a break while on vacay or a business trip?
The way out
Whilst experts are yet working on a cleaner solution to travel the world without destroying it, we can extend a hand to help curb the awful impact of travel on the environment before a solution pops up.
First, we can start by opting for more sustainable options. From something as insignificant as straws to takeouts and towels, we should be mindful of the options we opt for.
If possible, boycott hotels, restaurants, and airlines that do not encourage sustainable living. It may not seem like much, but you would be doing a lot to help the environment.
And as sad and basic as it may sound: don’t leave rubbish behind. It’s annoying when there’s no bin provided but it’s 100% better and 10000% worth it to take it with you until you find an appropriate place to dispose of the trash you;ve created.
Brownie points if you take some extra of people who aren’t as mindful as you!