Monday, June 17, 2019

Is Travel Bad?

Recently there was an article on travel shame (#travelbadly) and it made sense to me.
You see I grew up in Terminal C at San Jose International Airport, I was keenly aware of the deicing of planes to the size of one tire because of my father. I also knew the tireless and thankless work many airline employees do.
I loved that terminal there was a play area and restaurant you could find me in with my mom patiently waiting for dad.
I don't know how many iterations the Terminal C went thru before being demolished but I can honestly say I loved the luggage carousel the most.

Yet, I know the cost of a seat to the tank of gas on the plane. The fact that airlines are bottomless hole doesn't even touch the new age of software malfunctions.

Wait, I am getting off track ....back to traveling and is it bad.

I honestly had to review my last five years of traveling. I have only flown two times in total. I pack relatively light and I generally am doing some event where volunteers are appreciated at.

Though, because I drove or spent the night in the hotel my carbon footprint I can see where I am doing it wrong. The emissions from taking a bus or renting a car are nearly 1 to 2 meaning taking a bus my emissions are mitigated by the other passengers versus driving privately I am nearly tripling my footprint.
Then there is the hotel
Does it use Solar power or is it on a grid?
Lobby plants require soil, fertilizer, water and human.
Those towels have to be bulk washed in hot water to prevent diseases.

The restaurant does it use paper straws versus plastic silver ware?
That is just the hotel!! Remember a majority of my travel involves wine lots of wine so there is the farmer, the grapes, the warehouse full of wine barrels, the tasting glasses!

You can imagine my footprint is huge ( nearly $100. )
Back to my Dad and Terminial C you see one lesson I learned was to pack my trash and leave it behind better than the way you found it. 

If you look at the waste from one hotel in a vacation destination you will find a need for improvement. 
So, to lessen the impact, here is some tips:

  • Don't buy travel size but reuseable containers for your soaps and cleaners. 
  • Pack your lunchbox seriously, you can save hundreds when you just have a small cooler with your favorite water in a reuseable container. 
  • Next, you don't need a new outfit but you can find one at your destination's vintage store for a lot less than a new item. 
  • Donate your vacation to a volunteer gig participate with organizations like One Brick to New Orleans in October. 
These and many more ideas make travel less bad and improve your carbon footprint. 
Just take a minute to rethink how you travel. 

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