Being a tourist and exploring everything our mother Earth has to offer is a unique, life-shaping thing. However, in burning desire and craving for all those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we often forget to give our gracious host and parent something in return. Tourists often forget to treat mother nature with the respect she deserves. One of the main things in which we show our bad manners is transportation. So, let’s stop for a minute and let our planet spin carefree while we educate ourselves on sustainable transportation in tourism.
How far has it already gone?
Not all of us have the “luxury” of being the heart of the scandal for recklessly flying private jets every other minute (Elon Musk, Taylor Swift, and the rest of the gang – we’re looking at you). However, we all have a way of contributing to the general poisoning of air, soil, and water by transport. And we often do it when we travel. The unbeaten pollution is by far – traveling via car. When your motor burns diesel or gasoline, it contributes to almost a third of all emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.
What are greenhouse gases?
When we say greenhouse gases, we mean:
- carbon dioxide
- nitrous oxide
All of these contribute to damage to ozone in the finest layers of the atmosphere, and, as a result, we get rapidly progressing climate change. Basically, we’re making our mother Earth warming (and us with her) every day, more and more.
What are we doing?
Since scientists have recognized the cries of this planet for a very long time now and have cried themselves and fought for a change, governments worldwide have had to adopt specific regulations to try and decrease the emission of harmful gases. For example, EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency) has contributed to the fight for a healthier environment with several effective programs. EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) created a joint rulemaking that established GHG emissions and fuel economy standards for the largest sources of greenhouse gases from transportation – such as automobiles, light trucks, and heavy-duty trucks.
What can you do?
Even though it may seem like there’s not much, you can do, that is utterly wrong on so many levels. The main mantra of applied ecological sciences is “think globally, act locally.” That means that if every one of us started taking action ‘in our own backyard,’ the world could be positively different in no time.
Travel with friends
We’ve all had a moment in life when we just want to take a month and get lost somewhere far away on our own. But, if you want to get on a road around the continent, it might be better to consider doing it with a friend. Besides being a fun experience and a good thing for your wallet (you can split the gas bill), traveling with friends is a quite good eco-conscious option of traveling. If you all went on the same trip, just in separate vehicles, the emission of gasses would be so much heavier. Instead, you can all go sustainable glamping somewhere in the wild and have the time of your lives.
Carefully calculate your time on a plane
Planes have become our best allies in the exploration of the world’s wonders. However, flying is not quite an eco-friendly thing to do. The burning of liquid petroleum into the air is the reason why the public has been shaming celebrities for recklessly flying private jets recently. Gass emissions from planes in the air are an enormous threat to the ozone. So, if you decide to take an exciting journey of going around the world, try planning it in a way that would require the least amount of time spent on a plane.
Choose other ways of transport
Sometimes, all we actually need for a great adventure is a good old bike. For example, if you want to really explore the wonders and culture of Europe (and gain a little muscle in the process), you can take on the challenge of traveling through it via bicycle. It doesn’t have to be an infamous Tour de France. A lot of adventurous spirits these days get on a bike in Spain, then travel in a zig-zag manner through Europe to Tuscany, for example.
This kind of travel is amazing, because it’s slower, so you can admire every part of the road properly. It’s a great way to discover hidden gems you would never see if you stormed through it in a fast car. Also, having to rest a lot along the way helps you meet a lot of different locals and truly meet the spirit of that area. Yes, some of the mainstream tourist attractions are wonderful. But, ten Eiffel Towers can’t compare to all the experiences ‘behind the curtain’ you would gain in this way of eco-friendly traveling.
Water suffers too
It’s important to note that there are more sustainable ways of using water on our roads as well. For example, when in Venice, instead of using scooters and conventional taxis to go where you want, make a more eco-conscious choice and go on a romantic ride through a canal in a gondola. Also, in Greece, instead of using boats to reach some hidden beaches, you can go with your friends on a pedal and do the same thing.
Try sustainable transportation in tourism for yourself
We understand that old habits die slowly and that we’ve all traveled recklessly for a long time. But tourism is all about gaining new experiences. And, once you try some of this sustainable transportation in tourism options, you might find that you like it even more than the conventional way of traveling. Besides unique experiences and a bigger wallet you’ll be left with, you’ll leave the Earth just a tiny bit healthier for yourself and generations to come.
Cover image: Photo via Canva PRO
Author’s bio: Angelique Green is a traveling consultant currently working at roadwaymoving.com. Besides staying true to her last name when it comes to eco-consciousness, she loves to share her experiences via blogs she writes. Her passion is going on travels via bicycle around the globe with her husband – their biggest challenge was a recent trip from Switzerland to India!