Conscious Travel: As I write this article, I have to tear myself away from the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam that is trained on the nest of two eagles in the process of laying and caring for their seasonal eggs. What a fascinating and addicting display of nature that can be experienced without expending any of our precious resources on travel.
In fact, to travel to the scene of the nest would be a waste of resources because the best experience is delivered through the internet. This leads me to think about how we travel for vacation.
There are a number of ways that we can eliminate wasting energy and being harmful to the environment when we vacation is Conscious Travel. It takes a bit of consciousness to be aware of the decisions we can make that are environmentally friendly or at least neutral.
Life is full of choices. Every day we choose when to get out of bed, what we are going to have for lunch, and how to reply to an email. Rarely do go off the beaten path into new territory; most days we stick to the routine.
But if we step back from the daily grind to reevaluate, odds are we’ll discover that there are better options out there. It’s the little things – like if you stop eating oatmeal every morning, you might discover that you love bagels with cream cheese.
Now, apply this to your travel life. When you’re traveling you also have an infinite number of choices – from where you’ll go for your next vacation to what restaurant you’ll try for dinner to which way you’ll stroll down the beach tonight.
When you’re making these choices, stop and think for a minute. Consider all of your options and be conscious of the choices in front of you. If you decide to eat at the local restaurant around the corner instead of the chain down the street, you might discover a new favorite food.
And you’ll make the greener choice by eating locally. Even if you don’t make the more environmentally-conscious choice every time, at least you’ll have thought about it. And consciousness is the key to change.
Green Car rental
My husband and I have made several trips overseas where we have not found the need to rent a car. We have discovered that in some parts of Mexico and the Caribbean everything we need is within walking distance.
When we need to move further from our hotel or condo, we look into taking public transportation. Not only does this help the pocketbook, it also eliminates the burning of gasoline and helps to tone our leg muscles.
Some Caribbean islands are so small you can see people walking with their luggage to and from the airports along the sidewalks.
Ideally, a backpacking trip starts at your front door, but when that is not feasible and you park a vehicle at a trailhead to begin your trek, you are removing yourself from the ability to consume gasoline and electricity for as long as you are off the grid.
If a backpacking trip is included in vacation plans, consider a trek in a forest or wilderness area located in your residential or neighboring state. Not only will this allow for more time on the trail, but will also cut back on the fuel consumed to reach your trekking destination.
Once my husband discovered that a multi-day rafting trip eliminated the need to carry a pack on his back, he was all about enjoying the outdoors on traversable rivers. For some people, the thrill of running a river is in the rapids.
Whether you like a fast pace or a slow meander downstream, once again you have removed yourself from the ability to consume precious fuels and electricity while you are enjoying scenery most of us will never experience.
From staying in a four-star, all-inclusive resort to roughing it on the trail or the river, there are travel choices that we can make that are environmentally conscience and supportive of Conscious Travel.
The key here is to be aware of locations and alternatives that may not always be obviously presented when we research a journey.
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