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Travel Tales: Responsible Retreats

Travel Tales: Responsible Retreats

Issue 100 January 2013

Whenever you travel anywhere, you have an impact on the environment. It is reported that in terms of damage to the climate, flying is 10 times worse than taking the train, and CO2 emissions from flying have increased 83% since 1990. 

 

Whenever you travel anywhere, you have an impact on the environment. It is reported that in terms of damage to the climate, flying is 10 times worse than taking the train, and CO2 emissions from flying have increased 83% since 1990. With these figures in mind, we should try and restrict the amount that we fly, or at least offset the carbon emissions from your flight by donating money towards renewable energy projects.

Another way to avoid having a negative impact on the environment is to opt for a staycation. This is where people travel to another part of their home country for a holiday, instead of flying abroad. They became popular during the recession, as people couldn’t afford international travel, but some have stuck with the concept as they had previously ignored the tourist appeal of their own homeland. For example, those of us who live in the UK have many National Parks to choose from for a short break, and each of them has their own unique identity. The Lake District is home to some of Britain’s tallest mountains, and Dartmoor has many archaeological sites that indicate it was home to a community of people during the Bronze Age. In Cornwall, you can find the Eden Project, which consists of two large domes, or biomes, that are home to plants from around the world. Visitors can learn how the different ecosystems operate around the world, as well as the effects that global warming and climate change is having on them. Edinburgh is another place that is popular amongst staycationers, due to the number of festivals and cultural events happening throughout the year. It’s also easy to walk around, with stunning architecture, and offers great views of the surrounding areas.

If you are quite keen on travelling aboard, but want something different from the usual holiday, then you could look into volunteering abroad. This isn’t just for students on a gap year, but can be for young professionals or even some older people who are interested in having a new experience and making your mark around the world. It’s also a great way to meet other like-minded travellers, as well as get to know a local community. 

Volunteering abroad can take on many forms. If you’re an animal lover, you could travel to Kenya and look after rhinos. You will be trained to track the elephants and research their habits, and gain an in-depth knowledge of the animals. No previous experience is needed, and because rhino populations are under threat, the data that you collect will be invaluable to conservation efforts. If you want something a bit more exciting than rhinos, then lions are also a possibility. You will head out into the game reserve and come face-to-face with these incredible predators in their natural habitat.

 

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