Tourism And Climate Change

By: E Cho

During the last decade or so, there has been a lot of talk about climate change and the adverse effects of rapid technological development. For about a year or so now, climate change has taken the forefront in the political arenas as well and more leaders are talking freely about taking care of our planet. What we all do need to realize is that action needs to be taken starting right from the individual level. During the last few years, economy airlines have opened a new door for people to venture out and travel to all the different parts of the world. This has resulted in a windfall for many developing countries but has a serious draw back attached to it. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, commercial aircrafts contribute between 3 to 4 percent to the overall human impact on climate change

Tourism is a great industry, not only for the economies of countries but also for the traveler. Climate change is real too and is already showing itself in the melting glaciers, shorter snow seasons and unpredictable weather changes. There are ways in which we can minimize our contribution towards global warming. Here are a few tips for environmentally travelers.

• It's nice to see far off lands and different culture but its worth considering the idea of exploring your own continent or county first. May be by the time you are done venturing your close by destinations, they would have come up with a 'green' source to take you farther away.

• If you do need to travel to a destination by plane; try exploring the country through less harmful means of travel. Take trains, buses or a car instead of taking domestic flights. Bicycles and own two feet are also a great way to explore, get an up, close and personal feel of the culture and meet the locals.

• There are organizations, businesses as well as charities, which help off-set the emissions caused by your journey for a contribution to their cause. Normally a one way flight from New york to Miami will result in 0.39 tonnes of CO2 emission and the cost to offset this CO2 will be around 6 dollars. These organizations can also help you become carbon neutral in other areas of your life like household and car etc. For more info visit sites like www.climatecare.org Mostly, these organizations either arrange for tree plantation or invest in sustainable energy and energy saving projects.

With close to one billion tourists traveling around the globe each year, the need is to find ways to bring our vacations in line with ecotourism. Plan your trip thoroughly and try to find locations that offer green travel opportunities, look for hotels that follow the basic rules of environment friendliness. Use public transport for sightseeing trips etc, or hire a hybrid car if you have to. Choosing a green destination would only make sense if it comes without the tag of heavy carbon emissions, not only from our trip there, but also in the way we choose to stay there and venture about. Travel and enjoy your travels as well, but make sure you leave only your footprints behind and not a long carbon trail.

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