Not having enough money to spend on holidays this year has made me think about giving some of that money to charities. I know that there aren’t actually that many opportunities available for the type of holiday I am wanting. Charities rarely have room in their busy budgets and government funding makes it difficult for them to offer the kind of holiday I am looking for.
New Zealand has some way of offering that type of holiday. Our country has a unique and important place in the world community. More than half of our population is New Zealand born, and we have a real commitment to the environment and sustainability. That commitment is one we are proud to show – through our travel dollars and our environmentally progressive practices.
If you think about what it would mean if your money was invested in a responsible manner, it would be a lot easier to have a meaningful impact on the world. Travel is a special blend of investing in people and efforts both with our natural environment and with worthwhile community goals.
New Zealand is one of the most environmentally progressive countries in the world. Our abundant use of sustainable resources have paid dividends in returning a portion of our population to sustainable economic levels. Our government structured a fairly progressive economy based on the concepts of venture capital and private business. The country’s competitive dollar and our commitment to environmental protection, enabled our firms to do business all over the world, while employing a large share of our population in the process.
It’s probably fair to say that we’re an a little ahead of the economic curve in these regards. The United States and Europe have decades of history that they are willing to lose if they can finally tame the environmental beast. That is, if they can Finally get serious about actually accomplishing climate change.
Travel is a great way to experience new places and to get to know cultures and beliefs that are different than your own. It’s also a great way to experience the wonders of our world. For the eco-entrepreneur, looking at ways to make travel greener is part of becoming a responsible traveler.
Look at ways to reduce your carbon footprint while you travel:
1. Buy local. The more locally grown food you buy, the less your carbon footprint will be. If you can’t grow your own local produce, check with the farmers in your area or do your own research on farms in your area to see what they grow that would suit you.
2. Take public transportation. If you are flying, consider taking a regional rail line. These provide inexpensive rides and you can also take a bus with a local community college. These ways of traveling don’t have to be as expensive as you might imagine. Local rail lines often have programs to help travelers get discount travel cards.
3. Avoid taxis. According to Visituel.com, taxis take 17% more carbon dioxide emissions than flying. A cab ride is also a distinctly less pleasant way to travel compared to traveling by bus or train.
4. Walk. Even if you’re not walking a whole lot, every little bit of movement puts you in harm’s way. Whether you’re walking on the street, taking a cab, or renting a bike, your movement puts you in the center of all the transportation chaos.
5. Ride a bike. If you’re not usually a fan of riding a bike, try a bike that’s a little bigger and a lot more light. Lights on a bike make it easier to see and move, they make it feel as if you have more control and thus give you the feeling that you can slow down or stop at a moment’s notice.
6. Choose a hotel with a gym. If you are visiting a city where the people of all ages reside in small apartments or houses, you’ll find that most streets are shared by families and friends. Thus, you’ll have a chance to see firsthand the condition of the roads. When you visit a hotel that isn’t on the well-known streets, you’ll be able to see first-hand how people live in that city.
7. Hike. The invaluable benefit of taking a walking tour is that you’ll be able to see and experience the sites in which you are typically only able to view photos and videos. You’ll be able to fall in love with the sites and learn the stories that provide the background to the photos.
8. Rent a car. If you own a car, you can drive yourself around the city and gain an understanding of the traffic patterns, meet new people, and examine the traffic signs. At the end of the day, you can come home with a feel for the city and all of its inhabitants. If you rent a car, you’ll also gain an understanding of the parking spaces and the best places to take a taxi.
9. Plan your budget. No matter what, you’ll need money when you get there.