Saturday, March 29, 2008

Taking Time Off Part II: Vacationing

Photo by Katie

First things first: Next time you take a commercial flight consider buying the carbon offset. While I'm not really convinced that carbon offsets for consumers are a good solution to the problem of global warming, I think that they do push the issue that there are consumers willing to spend more when there is an additional environmental benefit. 

Next, when you're ready to plan your next vacation, think about what you want to get out of it, not just where you want to go. Do you want a cultural experience? Just get some rest? Personal growth? To see something that might not be around for long? To see something that has been around for a very long time? Or do you want to get closer to your family?

If you think of this rather than just the vague idea of a vacation or a destination, you won't be easily trapped in an unsatisfying and non-green vacation.

What you want to get out of your vacation is a very personal thing. Even if you don't have the ability to spend much time in your daily life connecting to your core values because you are working at a job that minimizes those values, when you  are on vacation the whole time can be used to reinforce and reconnect to those values.

I love to go away because I can really rest at night when there are not animals waking me throughout the night and I don't have to worry about the clutter of the house. But I don't have to travel far to get that feeling. If you're in New York, take a day trip to Fire Island and get that feeling. You can camp there too, but you have to call to get the permit. It's a beautiful barrier island with a lot of sandy soil loving vegetation. Very much like Cape Cod.

Ecotourism is a double edged sword. Especially in nations without strong park systems like the U.S. Bringing tourists to environmentally sensitive areas of a chance to encounter rare biology can really be trouble, but when the process is managed well it offers economic incentives to locals who can protect the area, and would otherwise find different ways to profit from it. Going on a safari of some sort just has such mystique. And this can preserve open space and habitat for native species. Check out for a greater look into ecotourism it's been around since 1994 and has a large collection of original material as well as links to other guides and operators.


Russell said...

It seems green travel is on every blogger's mind now adays! If you feel moved, calculate your flight's carbon footprint using our flight calculator.
- Russell

Junio said...


Thanks for the info.

Your organization seems quite promising for those who want to buy carbon offsets.

Could you tell me more about the Chicago Carbon Exchange? I think that the other offsets are sort of easy to understand, but why would a polluter join something like the Carbon Exchange. My understanding is that in the U.S. the government doesn't make carbon caps, so what is the incentive to join?