Bear Canada Rocky Mountains
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Your Input is Requested in the Environmentally Friendly Travel Forum on FlyerTalk

Air your concerns about air and other ecological topics.

Travel is many things to many people: a chance to discover different cultures, sample unusual food and beverages, and enjoy experiences which are difficult to do at home are only three examples of how visiting different places around the world can simultaneously be educational, exciting, and fun…

Your Input is Requested in the Environmentally Friendly Travel Forum on FlyerTalk

Garbage on road near Hurghada
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…but what impact does travel have on the environment? How mindful do we as frequent travelers need to be with regard to ensuring that the natural aspects of our planet are preserved and kept healthy for future generations?

Initially known as the Carbon Conscious Travel forum when it opened back in October of 2019, the Environmentally Friendly Travel forum on FlyerTalk is dedicated to be the central home of discussions whose topics include the practical matters of carbon offsetting, global emission mitigation initiatives adopted by the aviation industry, and the sharing of your tips and advice on positive steps towards leaving a lighter footprint on the environment.

The scope of the Environmentally Friendly Travel forum encompasses broader aspects of sustainability and environmentally conscious travel. Examples of suggested topics for this forum include — but are not limited to:

  • Recycling in general
  • Eco-tourism
  • Carbon neutral hotel and resort properties
  • Airport Carbon Accreditation
  • Alternatives to single use plastics
  • Overtourism
  • Exploiting animals
  • Preserving cultures
  • Carbon emissions
  • Depleting local water supplies

Air Pollution as One of Many Examples

New York from World Trade Center
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

To be fair, the world has come a long way in reducing air pollution in general over the decades with minimal impact on everyday life — but setbacks still abound, as fine particulate pollution increased 5.5 percent on average across the United States between 2016 and 2018 after decreasing almost 25 percent over the previous seven years.

Furthermore, air pollution attributed to approximately 11.65 percent of fatalities per year around the world, with the majority of those deaths in countries such as China, India, Sudan, and Egypt.

We as a society can strive to do even more to help better clear the air without engaging in draconian policies that would threaten to degrade our way of life: consolidate our travels, drive motor vehicles less often, cut down on smoking cigarettes or quit smoking altogether, use fewer toxic chemicals, and use cleaner sources of energy are only five of countless ways we can make a difference in the quality of the air we breathe.

Final Boarding Call

Sunwapta Falls
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Many articles have been written here at The Gate pertaining to a number of environmental issues — too many to list all of them here — and those articles are meant to provoke discussion pertaining to dealing with issues such as plastic waste, the conservation of water, the reduction in pollution in general, the rampant littering of “contaminated” masks as a remnant of the height of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, and the theoretical collapse of nutrition in the food chain.

I am not what one would consider to be an extreme environmentalist who believes that the ecosystem of our planet should be preserved at all costs — including loss of livelihood and completely preventing progress in our society. Rather, I believe that a balance of co-existence could be struck between the technology which human beings enjoy while still preserving important natural aspects worldwide for everyone to enjoy for generations to come.

Even a minimal difference in a positive direction is better than no difference at all…

…but what does environmentally friendly travel or sustainable travel mean to you? Is it an oxymoron? Do you think about it when you travel? Have you implemented any changes — or do you find it all just background noise that does not really matter? Can individuals actually have an impact on improving our ecology worldwide — or is the whole matter simply considered “virtue signaling”?

You are requested to please participate in this discussion and share your thoughts — and you can also post what you think and believe in the Comments section below.

All photographs ©2015 and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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