Friday, 4 December 2015

Travel is good for the soul

A super quick blogpost, as it's easier than trying to abbreviate to a Tweet!

"Travel is good for the soul" is a phrase that rings true to me. I like getting out and about,  having new experiences, seeing new things.

We also know that people are generally content to commute for up to an hour in each direction (whether by foot, cycle, bus, car or train). I suspect that people are unhappy if they don't get some travelling done most days.

How can our desire to travel, and maybe an innate need to get out and about, be squared with reducing our travel-related carbon footprint?

1. Separate 'travel' from 'delivery'.
a) If I walk to a local charity shop and buy a pair of second-hand jeans there, I can cut out a motorised journey to a shopping centre, or a delivery van being driven to my home following my online purchase. The jeans are likely to have been delivered, maybe on foot, to the shop by a local resident from their home, rather than being transported from a manufacturing company overseas to a wholesaler to a retailer, then taken home by me.
b) If some of the food I buy has been grown locally rather than abroad, I have reduced energy consumption on delivery.
c) Ask your cafe to serve you your coffee in washable crockery rather than disposable, reducing in a small way the number of journeys delivering consumables to the cafe and delivering waste to recycling/landfill.

2. Think about what you want to see and why.
Do you really benefit by going to New York as a Londoner? Might you get the same adventures being a tourist in your own backyard? Book a hotel near where you live, do some of the tourist things you haven't done locally, walking and cycling around lots, eat at restaurants you wouldn't normally eat in, join a tourist walk or ride.

Look closer at where you live; maybe get into pavement geology! Might an hour wandering around identifying local trees nurture your soul as much as a trip to Kew Gardens?

3. I'm sure there are loads more things, but as I said this is a quick reply to a tweet. Feel free to add more in the comments section though!