Alle Artikel in: Sustainability

CO2 Emissions

No question: Travel, especially air travel, causes huge CO2 Emissions. Does that mean you should stay at home? I don’t think so. Many destinations, especially in less developed countries, rely on tourism. If the tourists would stay away, economies would break down. People would not earn enough money anymore. Parents could not feed their children or send them to school. And also the traveler would miss more than a nice holiday. There is a quote by Alexander von Humboldt saying: „The most dangerous worldviews are the worldviews of those who have never viewed the world.“ This means that getting to know different cultures and foreign people makes you more open minded and helps to have a better understanding of the world and the needs of the people worldwide. So if you still want to travel what can you do about your CO2 emissions? If you are going on a short distance trip consider taking the train. You can save up to 73 % of the CO2 emissions you would cause by traveling with your car. Compensate for …

Garbage

‚Waste‘ or ‚trash‘ are huge problems in developing countries. Not so many years ago people simply used to harvest or grow what they need. Back then the few goods on sale were wrapped in banana leaves or similar packaging. After usage the packaging was dumped on the ground. Nowadays most goods are wrapped in plastic. Though there is no working official garbage collection, people still dump their left-overs. Which leads to huge piles of trash. Many NGOs are working on rising awareness among villagers for the trash problem. They are introducing programs, that allow people to collect their garbage and deliver it to a dump site. They also try to build up garbage collection mechanisms. But it is not only about the garbage produced by locals. The NGO ‚Refill not Landfill‚ in Cambodia calculated how many plastic water bottles are used and thrown away by the tourists. The numbers are shocking. With 4.8 million visitors traveling to Cambodia in 2015, staying an average of 6.8 days and consuming an average of 2 litres of bottled water …

Ecotourism

Ecotourism is about uniting preservation, communities and Sustainable Travel. This means that those who offer ecotourism activities should adopt the following principles: – Minimize physical, social and behavioral impacts. – Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect. – Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts. – Provide direct financial benefits for conservation. – Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry. – Deliver memorable experiences to visitors that help raise tourist’s sensitivity. – Design, construct and operate environmentally friendly facilities. – Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People and create empowerment. Still, it is not easy to build up an ecotourism project. Do you want to give it a try? Check out that link and try out the Interactive Ecotourism Game. You will find out that it is not that easy to build up a ecotourism project and that many pitfalls are waiting for you.

Culture

Respecting the local culture of the visited country should be obvious. But for many tourists it is not. Here is an example: When I traveled to Cambodia with my parents in 2015 the newspapers were full of articles about the arrest of two tourists for taking naked photos in the ruins of Angkor Wat. (Read the full The Guardian article here.) The Angkor Archaeological Park is a world heritage site and a holy site to the Cambodians. Behavior like this offends and upsets them and it should be very clear to any tourist that this kind of behavior is inappropriate. Respecting the local culture in terms of Sustainable Tourism also means helping to preserve the cultural heritage. Cultural heritage can be a lot of different things, for example historic monuments, traditional crafts or landforms and nature. So as a responsible traveler you can do two things: – Respect local customs and morals – Support organizations that work on preserving cultural heritage