Apr 22, 2008
April 22nd is Earth Day. Cross posted with my personal blog, with a wish to spread goodwill.
Much as I love to travel, a part of me is always feeling guilty about the footprints left by us travellers. Let's admit it, travel is hardly anything environment friendly. The least we can do is to try to minimize our footprints, or if possible, go Carbon Neutral(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon'neutral).
It would be nice to scribble some tips and then forget it, but it is much better to say what I am trying to do myself. Here are a few things I have been consciously trying to do, things that have happened by themselves and things that I hope to do someday.
* Not to drive. I have cut down on driving trips drastically. Three years back, nearly every trip I made was in my car. Now the passion of driving has weathered down; and I am also consciously cutting down on my driving. Even within the town, I don't take the car out unless I have absolutely no choice. I even use a bicycle now for short rides around home, which were done with a car earlier. And if I remember correctly, I haven't made a driving trip since last August.
* Not to Fly. Flying is one of the least fuel efficient ways to travel. From the usual habit of flying everywhere(when I travel to North), I have started taking trains. It it not entirely successful, the basic reason being that train journeys require lot of planning in advance. And my return journeys are usually open, which makes things more difficult. When I travelled to Rajasthan this February, I managed to take the train to Delhi. But when I was ready to return, I could not find seats in any trains, forcing me to fly back. But abstaining from flying is not entirely by choice. Since I have not been working 9 to 5 these days, I try to keep spending to minimum.
* Simple things - like behaving properly in environmentally sensitive regions is something I have been doing for a very long time now. Things like dispose garbage properly, take care of your consumption, avoid being noisy in the jungles or burning wood, etc. I once stopped consumption of tea(once part of my daily diet) and switched over to coffee(which is also destructive, but to a lesser degree), when I was disturbed(see http://travel.paintedstork.com/blog/2006/12/impact-of-tea-estates.html) by seeing sprawling tea estates in erstwhile thick jungles of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
* Some thing that I strongly hope to do in the next few years is to go Carbon Neutral. The strategy is simple - buy land and start growing trees there and do little else. A few people have been doing this already, and this is a project I am very keen to do once I have some extra money in hand. And then, as and when there is surplus money, expand the periphery of the forest. I am not sure when I can begin on it, but hopefully in less than 3-4 years from now. Ah, I can just imaging my private forest and going there birding every morning, makes me smile.. :)
* Another thing I hope to do, but don't know when and how I can start - to volunteer in our National Parks and surrounding villages in projects aiding conservation. I nearly teamed up with folks at Eaglenest(See http://travel.paintedstork.com/blog/2007/03/about-vacation-for-conservation.html) last year but had to drop out due to some constraints.
Comments for Blog Post:
Earth Day Post
By arunchs| Posted on:25 Apr 2008
Partha and 'hit the road' - Thanks for the comments
By pOLo| Posted on:25 Apr 2008
Great efforts on your part... kudos man.
By Partha| Posted on:24 Apr 2008
A very sensitive post and yes well timed. The basic message I really vibe with is that to create a change around you, bring a change in yourself. Sure you can't control the world,but definitely you can make your own rules. I'm still at toffee wrapper stage too :) And I try to be environmentally sensitive. Its nice to go through
By hit the road| Posted on:23 Apr 2008
Very impressive content. At least there is someone who is making an effort to save the planet. I contribute to the cause by not littering around, I mean that toffee wrapper stays with me for days till I don't find a bin. I even force others to do the same. I also avoid using plastic bags. Want to do more...like you, rather need to do, maybe slowly but definately. And I envy your private forest :)
By arunchs| Posted on:22 Apr 2008
Uriah, I do understand that somethings dont seem practical. Like I said myself, some of the things I have mentioned were driven by necessities than willing gestures. Anyway, the idea is to do all that we can. Thanks.
By Uriah Heep| Posted on:22 Apr 2008
much of what you said didn't sound very practical to my ears... but it's good you wrote on this topic... the more we have people writing to create awareness on such issues, the stronger the current against environmental abuse grows.. I am with you on this, with intent :) and I am sure there must be a lot of other guys reading this blog and relating to what's been said in it.. cheers!
By Mukesh Miyan| Posted on:22 Apr 2008
Well timed Arun and very relevant message too.. if at least half the travellers could think like you.