Okay, feel free to completely ignore this because it’s just a rant. But in the news at the moment is a story about the recently disgraced Prince Harry giving a lecture about his new company / initiative to encourage sustainable travel.
I, and Price Harry’s father who has been banging on about how we should look after the planet for decades, see this as him being just a little (!) late to the party. (Actually, that’s not fair. I can’t truly speak for Prince Charles but I bet that’s what he thinks, right?)
It really goes without saying that many people, ordinary people, have long been concerned about the effect their travel might have on the wellbeing of the planet. But it’s not just ordinary people – we have all been encouraged and guided by companies and organisations that have offered sustainable travel, advised travellers and funded or developed initiatives and whole movements.
For the duration of my lifetime, and it’s been a pretty long one so far, planet-friendly travel has also been a budget way to travel; something that has interested most people at various times of their lives. For example, haven’t we all stayed in a self-catering apartment, campsite, caravan or similar and shopped locally?
By not putting our money into the vast coffers of chain hotels, chain restaurants and chain grocery stores we’ve been helping local communities by spending our money with them.
By enjoying the experience of shopping in local markets, far more fun when you’re on a trip, we’re buying local produce and avoiding avocados flown in at a huge carbon-footprint-expense. We all know this, we’ve all known this for years. This is one of the reasons why companies that offer live-like-a-local accommodation and sustainable adventure tours are so very popular.
There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of websites outlining the problems the planet faces today – mostly from responsible and authoritative organisations. And not far behind that number is that of all the apps that we can use to recycle, re-use, re-distribute, connect, discover and generally make sure that we don’t harm the planet when we travel.
There are plenty of sites out there that can calculate your carbon footprint, recommend restaurants / accommodation / tours from companies with an ethical attitude towards the planet and if you simply type ‘sustainable travel’ into Google there are millions (literally) of results. (Example – a great site). Amazon positively groans with books on the subject (see below), social media alerts us constantly about how careless travel can impact the world and even the dreaded airlines are making stringent efforts to reduce their own (large) impact on the problem.
So although I should grudgingly admire the disgraced prince for his ‘initiative’ it honestly is rather late in the day, isn’t it? And shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted…
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.