Will Sustainable Travel change the way we move Post Covid-19?
The Covid-19 crisis has raised alarm for the environmental scientists all over the world. The virus has made us realize that travelling is a privilege, not a right anymore. But we can earn the right if we are able to make a responsible switch to adapting to the sustainable travel methods in the future. The pandemic has shown us how interconnected the people and the systems of the world are and how a single disruption at one place can affect the entire economy, all at once.
For ensuring the good health of mother Earth, which we all have an equal right over and duty to protect, it is even more significant to think about travelling methods that do not add up to the existing environmental wreckage that the air traffic has been known to cause. In order to make travelling environment friendly, we must all aim at reducing the carbon footprint, opting for longer trips per year rather than going on five-six short ones to keep the overload in check continuously.
As per the CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association Shannon Stowell, — “Overtourism is just another form of overconsumption.” He added, “I’m fine seeing the tourism numbers lower overall and for the quality of tourism to increase, where people understand the destination better and have a positive impact on it versus overcrowding and pollution and wildlife habitat loss — which are all outcomes of too much tourism.”
Another thing that should be encouraged as a part of sustainable travel is using slow and self-dependent modes of travelling. One can enjoy local beaches and save carbon budget for a more impactful trip too. In case we are flying to some other part of the world, we can purchase carbon offsets. Some airlines, including JetBlue, have now adopted offset programs for reducing the environmental impact of travelling.
As a traveller, you can put in some effort by making only little changes to your planning while keeping in mind the aim of sustainable travel. That will do the trick and bring balance. The business class seats that we mostly tend to choose for our comfort actually lead to increase in the carbon footprint since the extra legroom per seat means less passengers per plane. Instead, we must opt for seating arrangements that are compact.
It is important that we as travelers realise the environmental impact of our choices. The best way to go for sustainable travel is to look for those tour operators and travel agents that offer a transparent sustainability plan.
Sustainable travel has been a topic of great debate and concern ever since the Paris Agreement necessitated the Governments all over the world to keep a check on their carbon emissions. The ongoing pandemic has reinforced a sense of mindfulness in humans by encouraging us to appreciate what we already have and to protect it for the future as well.