Unexpected Ways Travel Is Becoming Greener
The shift towards greener travel is obviously great news for the planet. The push for the creation of new eco-resorts, as well as upgrading existing ones to have greener credentials has enabled more travelers than ever to choose an eco-friendly holiday. These resorts are able to give their customers all of the amenities that they would be used to in a top-class resort, but without such a cost to the planet.
Whilst this is the most obvious route for green travel to take, there are a lot of other ways that travel has become greener. Some have been cleverly implemented, whilst others have come about more or less by accident. We’re going to take a look at some of the more unexpected ways that travel is becoming better for the planet.
One of the most interesting changes to come about recently is the invention of virtual travel. To appease those who’d lost out on their holidays, the travel industry came up with the solution to offer virtual travel. They enabled people to visit landmarks from all over the world without leaving their own living rooms.
The idea wasn’t such a new one, the online gaming industry has been helping people to enjoy gaming for decades at sites such as Ignition online poker, without having to head down to the local casino. Using this logic, famous museums such as The Louvre and The Grand Museum of Egypt were able to digitize their collections and allow people to visit them by logging in online.
The reason that this is so good for green tourism, is that people have continued to do this beyond the pandemic. Being able to log in to The Louvre’s online collection and get right up close to an incredibly detailed digital copy of the Mona Lisa, enables art fans to study the brushstrokes in a way that they simply couldn’t in person.
People are beating the queues, getting a superior viewing experience, and totally removing the carbon footprint of traveling to the museum or landmark. When you consider the huge amount of carbon plane travel emits, virtual tourism could be saving millions of tonnes each year.
Whilst we’re on the subject of plane travel, it’s worth pointing out that looking to abolish it simply isn’t a viable option. That means that the travel industry needed to come up with a way to reduce the impact of the carbon that it creates. We all know that carbon is sequestered by trees, plants, soil, and the ocean. We can’t make more ocean, nor can we dump that carbon into the sea, so planting trees and preserving grasslands are the best things we can do to sequester the additional carbon created by the aviation industry.
Carbon offsetting is exactly this: People pay money to companies that specialize in planting trees and looking after wild grasslands. Every time you fly, you are given the option to pay towards a carbon-offsetting program to reduce the impact of the emissions that your flight has created.
Some companies like Intrepid Travel have even made steps towards creating totally carbon-neutral travel packages, accounting for flights, car travel, food, and drink, as well as activities in their calculations. Programs like these still can’t remove carbon emissions, but they can negate the impact that they will have.
Much as everybody likes to have a good moan about hipsters, we’ve got a few things to thank them for when it comes to food and drink. Getting a great coffee is possible just about anywhere now, but more importantly for the environment, so is getting really good locally produced food. Food miles make up an enormous percentage of the carbon footprint of what we eat and drink.
When a cow in Brazil is fed on soybeans that were grown in China, shipped to a neighboring country to be slaughtered, then packaged back in Brazil and put on a plane to be flown to and sold in the UK for consumption, its carbon footprint is absolutely enormous. However, that same cow could be raised in Brazil on well-stewarded grasslands, slaughtered locally, and cooked in a local restaurant.
Not only would it be more delicious, but its carbon footprint would be hugely reduced and as the person paying for and enjoying the meal, your money would be going to the local economy. This not only helps the planet but helps to foster an environment where local businesses can thrive and the need for greener farming is naturally perpetuated. Whilst hipsters might have coined farm-to-fork eating, it’s catching on in mainstream travel, which is brilliant news for the world.