Reducing our Travel Footprint

Combat Climate Change

Understanding

What is Climate Change

Whilst climate change falls under many areas, including Conserve and Protect our Natural Environment, thought it deserves its own category and focus, as there is much we can do at individual level to help contribute in reducing climate change.

Climate change is the long term change in the average weather patterns across earth, which over the 20th century the globe’s increase in climate temperature and weather patterns are primarily driven by human activities. Such human activities include burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas to produce electricity), which produce carbon emissions. These carbon emissions (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions), made up predominantly by Carbon Dioxide CO2, along with Methane CH4 and Nitrous Oxide N2O, release gases into the atmosphere during transportation, electricity production, industry/manufacturing, agriculture, and forestry. These emissions trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, raising the planet’s average surface temperature, hence a major contributor to climate change.

Every person contributes to the world’s carbon emissions

Some people contribute more than others depending on where they live or their living behaviours and personal circumstances. Most people are unaware of how they contribute to climate change, and are not sure how they can positively impact the combat of climate change. 

Mother Nature no longer completely controls the weather, we humans now contribute to our weather conditions and patterns.

Being Conscious

Why Care?

You may think who cares if the climate changes, either it won’t impact where I live, or I’ll likely be gone by that stage. 

Start to think of future travellers like yourself

If the planet overheats, it will cause the destruction of plants, meaning reduced supply of food items. You still may think you’re not impacted too much, yet how would you survive if we all had less availability to coffee, wine, beer and chocolate, as without the raw ingredients of coffee beans, grapes, barley, cocoa beans, these raw food staple items we take for granted will be in reduced supply, leading onto higher demand across the globe, which in turn will mean higher purchase prices too. 

Increasing temperatures have a higher likelihood to change our weather patterns, leading to heat waves, droughts, fires, flooding, landslides, water supplies, food security, the list is endless. All weather events can impact a vast range of destinations whether they be cities, rural villages or coastal areas.

Continual changes in weather conditions will have a negative impact on communities, as it will increase the need for people to move home and townships to seek for resources they require to live, especially those countries that are less developed and are more reliant on basic resources of water and food crops to survive.

If our global temperature increases, this could affect your annual snow trip, as the snow capped alpine regions melt you’ll be skiing on man made snow instead of natural snow, or your tropical holiday to the Maldives may be void as the beach lounge could be now underwater with increased sea levels.

Animals and insects will be pushed out of their natural habitats, as we require more land to meet our increasing meat consumption, leaving a hole in our biological ecosystems. Losing the smallest of insects in our ecosystem has a domino effect, which down the line means we humans are impacted.

Tourism accounts for 8% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions (Lenzen study 2018)

An increase from a 2008 UNWTO study that had the future at 5%. A strong confirmation that people are travelling more frequently as it becomes more readily available. The truth is tourism is a large contributor to climate change, due to high greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry. With airline tickets reducing in prices over time, opening opportunities for more people to travel at a reduced cost, the higher travel demand the more flights airlines add.

Our transportation method is a major contributor to our climate

Although climate change is on a massive scale, everyone can play their individual part to reduce human’s impact on the climate. As well as making changes in our lives now. We can collectively make a positive contribution to our climate.

Change in Habits

How can I Help?

The first step of reducing climate change is to

understand your carbon footprint

To guide people on their impact and learn of your current carbon emissions, there are many tools and calculators to use to determine your contribution. The global average carbon emissions per person is 4.8 tonnes (based on 2017 data). How do you compare?

https://co2.myclimate.org/en/offset_further_emissions 

https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx 

Once you are more aware of your contribution to global emissions, then the next stage is to 

make conscious efforts to combat it

It may require changes in your living standards, how you travel or how you eat. Yet the planet is relying on these positive changes to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

It could mean more planning up front for your trip, choosing an alternative transportation method, even though it will mean your trip is longer in time. It could mean cutting out the fast food chain in the cities you rely on, instead looking for a local cafe to grab a bite.

Once you open your mind and gain awareness to your carbon emissions generated, then the journey begins to live a sustainable future, for your life now and your future generations who want to travel just like you.

Being more conscious of your trips, how long you travel for, the modes of transportation you take, how often you travel and overall how you can travel with more awareness to ensure a sustainable and healthy planet.