The UN’s World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts.” The idea behind it is to ensure that future generations can visit and enjoy a given destination. It includes supporting local economies, social development, and environmental conservation. It can involve such practices as hiring people from the local area, recycling waste, and/or selling locally produced products at gift shops and restaurants.
Ecotourism is a related but narrower concept that stresses biodiversity and environmental protection. The ecotourist also wants to learn about plants, animals, and indigenous cultures as well as protect them.
One book on sustainability snarkily advised, “Stay on your own continent.” Unfortunately, there’s a large element of truth to that. The farther you travel, the more energy you will use. As environmentally friendly as biking and walking are, you can only use such methods to travel relatively short distances.
A staycation can be a very environmentally friendly option, especially if you live in a big city like New York that has a good public transportation system. Not only are there probably attractions you haven’t seen, but you likely know where they are and the best way to get to them. Your main challenge will be to sort through the possible attractions to pick the ones with the best environmental practices.
What if you need to go on a business trip, or you have your heart set on going to Hawaii? Unfortunately, traveling overseas is, so far, not environmentally friendly. As of 2015, airplanes are the world’s fastest-growing source of carbon dioxide emissions. A round-trip flight between Los Angeles and New York produces about two tons of carbon dioxide per passenger. Someone driving a Prius would have to drive 10,500 miles – or the equivalent of two round trips between Los Angeles and New York – to produce that much carbon dioxide.
Cruise ships are also problematic; a big one can use as much as 250 tons of gasoline every day. They can also produce about 80,000 liters of sewage every day – and the less responsible lines have been known to dump their sewage in the ocean. A Japanese company called Peace Boat has been working on a more sustainable cruise ship called the EcoShip that will be at least partly powered by solar and wind power. It will need 50 percent less electricity and emit 30 percent less carbon than conventional ships. It is scheduled to take its maiden voyage sometime in 2020.
Overland transportation options include cars, buses, and trains. The best choice depends on the distance traveled and the number of passengers. City-to-city buses like Greyhound, for example, can be a surprisingly good choice. While the bus itself may get a pitiful six miles to the gallon, it can carry upwards of 50 people, and city-to-city buses are typically at least 70 percent full. Trains can get as much as 56 mpg and are therefore another good choice. The main problems with driving a car are that people tend to drive alone, and they don’t always choose cars that get good gas mileage. Driving a car can be a good choice if the car is a fuel-efficient hybrid and you’re traveling with other people.
Traveling with a tour company has advantages. They make all of the hotel and transportation arrangements; you just have to meet them at the appointed time. Some are ecotourism companies that stress sustainability. Such companies follow practices like hiring locals as guides, reducing waste, and conserving water and energy.
Intrepid Travel, which was established in the late 1980s, might be the grandfather of the eco-tour companies. It is also one of the largest and offers itineraries in over 120 countries. Like many such companies, it emphasizes “small group” expeditions. Not only does this provide travelers with a more personalized experience, it also reduces the amount of resources used during the tour. Small groups also enjoy easier access to smaller restaurants and sites, and they have an easier time interacting with locals. By contrast, a big group of 40 or 50 people is limited to places that can accommodate their numbers.
Some companies focus on specific places. Rainforest Expeditions takes people on tours of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, and it works with locals to protect native species. Undiscovered Mountains concentrates on the French Alps. They make a point of hiring locals as guides and instructors. Similarly, they work with independent hotels who support the local economy by buying food and other goods from local suppliers.
Green hotels will often be certified as such. They may have earned LEED, Green Leaf, and/or Green Seal. Such hotels will have often used recycled materials in their construction. They will also conserve energy and water and have recycling programs.
The organization Green Globe certifies companies that run sustainable accommodations. Its website includes a directory of its members that are organized by region and country. Clicking on a specific hotel, lodge or resort will take you to a page filled with information about that particular accommodation – including how it earned its certification. A hotel in Madagascar, for example, is the world’s first hotel to run solely on solar power.
When we think about the impact that our life and habits have on the environment, transportation needs to be up there with the other most important aspects that need to be considered. It’s something we can’t live without, but we often don’t do enough to make it as environment-friendly as it could be.
Luckily, the situation is changing for the better. More and more people are actually becoming aware of the carbon footprint problems and are trying to do something to minimise the negative effect. Also, we are helped by numerous new inventions in the field that are making it possible for us to travel much greener than before. So, what are the most popular choices for such transportation nowadays?
If you haven’t already switched to an electric car, it might be the time for you to do so. Not only will you not create any poisonous gases, but you’ll also be able to reduce the amount of noise that traditional cars with internal combustion engines make.
Many governments are encouraging their citizens to purchase such cars by subsidising their purchase, allowing free parking and introducing more charging stations, so that you shouldn’t worry about running out of energy on the road. Even if you are driving a hybrid car, you’re helping the planet, but for even better results you should really think about an electric car.
Multiple occupant vehicles
If you can’t afford a hybrid or electric car for some reason, you could at least take carpools into consideration. The fewer cars on the street, the less polluted the environment, which is why multiple occupant vehicles are gaining popularity around the world.
Travelling to work with colleagues or sharing a car with friends for a night out is a great way of both reducing the transportation costs and preserving the environment. So, if you want to do your part in helping us keep our planet as clean as possible, you’ll definitely think about this option as well.
One of the traditional, yet highly beneficial ways of travelling is cycling. To begin with, you don’t create any toxic gases. Next, you keep your body in great shape, which means you’ll be able to stay healthy for much longer. Finally, in places where traffic jams are a common thing, using a bicycle often means that you can get to the destination faster than by car.
You could also consider electric bikes as a mode of transportation. They often have a speed limit set at 20 mph, but are extremely efficient and useful, especially in urban areas. Even if your battery runs out of power, you can peddle your way around other vehicles stuck in traffic.
Green public transportation
Green trains and hybrid buses are some of the cheapest eco-friendly transportation options. The former feature hybrid locomotives and use electrified third rail, overhead lines or devices that store energy like fuel cells and batteries. They are also quite fast and safe.
The latter boast lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. A diesel generation creates energy that is stored in the battery. This efficient form of transport is already present in many cities all over the world and you can hopefully use it where you live.
Probably the most obvious choice, walking is not only good for the environment, but for your health as well. Unless you live really far from school, work or shops, there’s no reason why you should walk to those places. Replacing a short drive with a walk is not only cheaper in terms of saving money you’d otherwise spend on petrol, but you’ll also get a good workout, which means you won’t need to spend additional time to go jogging, for example.
It’s clear that green transportation has many benefits and that they are not only related to the environment, but your health, too. It helps us preserve our planet, it saves you quite a lot of money and it can also have a great effect on your health. So, there’s no reason why you should go green when transportation is concerned.
The countries leading the way in electric car charging points
Number of electric car charging points created in the last 12 months
Is it time you went electric?
The number of electric vehicles (EV) in the world hit a new record in 2016, accelerating past the 2 million barrier, as prices fell and manufacturers launched new models. This proves that countries around the world are at the forefront of stimulating EV deployment but where are all the EV charging points?
We’ve analysed data to discover the countries who have introduced the most charging points in the last 12 months and therefore leading the way in EV deployment.
The UK government recently announced a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel engine cars from 2040, amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide are posing a major risk to public health. The government claim that the ban must take place due to the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality is having on the general public’s health.
Petrol and diesel cars are amongst some of the worst generators of nitrogen dioxide, which causes many serious health issues to the public, such as long-term exposure decreasing lung function, increased risk of respiratory conditions and increased response to allergens.
Not only does nitrogen dioxide affect us, it also effects the world around us. Due to the intense levels produced by the millions of cars in the world, nitrogen dioxide causes devastating effects such as acid rain, smog and ground-level ozone formation.
In a desperate effort to reduce these effects, the government hopes that the ban of petrol and diesel engine cars will lead to a switch to less harmful electric vehicles and increase in use other forms of alternative transport.
Select have looked into the road leading to 2040, to see why this is happening and if the UK will be ready for the switch.
For a lot of people, shopping for a new car brings two major things to mind. First, how can I be eco-friendly and reduce my personal carbon footprint? And secondly, how can I do that without breaking the bank? The truth is, the real key to lower costs and lower emissions rests not with the sticker price or the model specs. The answer to both of these concerns is tucked away in a vehicle’s gas mileage capabilities.
Facts and figures pertaining to fuel economy are publicly available thanks to the EPA.
A quick looklook at this information will confirm something you may have already guessed: Hybrid and Electric vehicles consume less fuel than other vehicles by a pretty wide margin. However, at the current time these vehicles are known to carry a hefty price tag, so many shoppers are looking for other ways to save on money and gas.
In the realm of conventional gas run vehicles, not all are created equal. Gas mileage can vary greatly from model and make, and especially by the manufacturing year. Older vehicles tend to use much more gasoline while many newer models can reach fuel efficiencies of above 35 MPG on the highway. For that we can thank federal mandates which have driven innovation in the auto industry leading to lighter components, better engineering, and other smart technologies.
While all manufactures seem to be trying to increase fuel efficiency across the board, it also appears that each brand name wants an especially affordable and efficient vehicle on the market. The top six most efficient vehicles for under $20,000 currently on the market are the Honda Fit, Chevy Cruze, Mini Cooper, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fiesta, and Mitsubishi Mirage.
As car nuts will note, this shows us that smaller and more compact vehicles are often better on gasoline consumption. However, for some people driving a big truck is a necessity for their line of work. Luckily, the industry-wide raising of standards has made big changes even in the truck and SUV sectors. Many modern trucks with six or eight cylinders will even cycle down to three or four cylinders respectively while cruising the highway – often without the driver even noticing.
Still, you can take actions to minimize the environmental impact of your truck by reducing wind resistance. This can be done by temporarily removing your tailgate when it’s not needed, or with the addition of a truck bed cover . Either of these fixes will lower the drag on the rear end of your truck, and improve your gas mileage instantly.
Beyond gas mileage, one enormous automotive environmental impact people tend to forget is the negative effect of junking old cars . Especially if you own a recently manufactured vehicle, keeping it on the streets will be infinitely better than letting it rot in a landfill or junk yard. And as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking appropriate precautions such as finding some custom fitting floor mats will not only ensure your vehicle will remain in good shape for your own use, but it will make it easier to resell to another loving driver when you need to move on.
Driving a personal vehicle is essential for many Americans. However, burning tons of gasoline and spending piles of money is anything but essential. With smart shopping, full tires, and a couple of light modifications, you might be surprised how far one tank can get you these days.
CarKeys.co.uk have put together a retro video animation on how far electric cars can actually drive on a single charge – challenging the front runners in the EV market against each other.
It's a fun animation that offers something different, they have even gone with the Tesla theme and hidden their very own Easter Eggs within the video.
Tesla Motors first came onto the car scene with the release of the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car capable of 0-60 mph in between 3.7 and 3.9 seconds (challenging the likes of 2017 Audi R8 V10) and breaking records at every corner.
CEO Elon Musk has long been promising to change the world, creating affordable electric cars for the everyday person, planning trips to Mars and even developing AI in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.
Tesla and Musk have pledged to produce 500,000 cars a year by 2020 and have fully autonomous cars capable of doing everything in the near future. But many people know virtually nothing about Tesla or Musk, except that they produce electric cars. Here’s 10 Insane Facts About Tesla Motors and Elon Musk from Stanley R Harris.
Recent years have seen electric cars go from being somewhat of a niche area to a real contender to traditional petrol or diesel engines. This infographic takes a look at how the rise of electric cars will continue into the future, as it is predicted that they will account for over one third of all new car sales and exceed 400 million by 2040.
China is one of the main reason for the estimated increase in sales of electric cars as they currently have the largest expanding market.
One key point of this predicted rise is the falling cost of the batteries, which are expected to have dropped by 4/5ths by 2030.
Luxury electric cars, such as the Tesla, are dominating the figures, however, other manufacturers are aware of Tesla's success and are following suit. The infographic looks beyond the BMW i series and includes some of the most innovative Tesla vehicles that should be on the market within the next few years. It also includes one of the most secretive cars, the Faraday Future, which has received $1 billion of American investment to date.
Looking forward it is possible that the car manufacturing market could be challenged further from the likes of Apple and Google with Giant Baidu and Dyson UK also showing a keen interest in expanding into the electric car market.
Composite materials are the new hot thing in the market. As you already know, Tesla Motors have a few different models of electric cars, and Toyota has their hybrid models. The future is looking more and more electric, but there’s an important issue that needs to overcome – battery life. Namely, Tesla models can go around 320 miles (515km) maximum without recharging their batteries (this is, of course, the extreme example, you shouldn’t risk going that far without charging).
Composites are great materials which will most likely revolutionise the way cars handle storing their energy.
Introduction to composite materials
A composite material is a material which is a combination of more than two materials that don’t lose their macrostructure, which enables us to design a material which is better than any of the materials that it is made of. For example, Aluminium Composites are used as insulation or as facades of buildings. This means that Aluminium Composites are stronger yet lighter-weight than the constituents.
Detail information about composites – Polymer & Ceramic
Polymers are efficient in storing energy and are a potentially great choice when it comes to this use. They are popular due to their lightweight, dielectric strength which is high, and scalability. Unfortunately, the polymers that are in use today aren’t such a great choice when it comes to hybrid and electric vehicles. The polymer, which is called BOPP, has issues with operating in high temperatures, thus requiring extra cooling equipment, which in turn increases the vehicle weight and price. However, there is a new polymer which is being developed! The polymer has a ‘sandwich structure’ and it aims to solve all the problems that the BOPP has.
Ceramic is used in combination with polymer composites as a filler material. It improves power and energy density, and it protects from dielectric breakdown. It’s only a matter of time before these composites are perfected and become commercially available, replacing the current standard that we have today.
How composite materials are used for energy conservation
Composite materials are mainly used in car bodies because they lower the overall weight of the vehicle which increases fuel efficiency. This also applies to electric and hybrid cars. Composites are also used for energy conservation because they aren’t difficult to make, are better than the materials which they are made of, and are energy efficient. Constant advances are made in this field, and we’re in for a bright, green future. Organizations like advanced composite materials Asia are constantly researching and developing this characteristic of composite material.
The conclusion is that composites are taking the world by storm – just look at how many sales Tesla Motors made with their vehicles. Of course, if it weren't for these electric modes of transportation, composites wouldn’t be as prevalent as they are now, but their popularity and efficiency will only keep growing. More and more cars will come up with this kind of composites, and we can say that it will change the automobile experience in near future.
In recent years, due to the global climate change, and the effect it has on our planet and society, ecotourism really took off. And one of the best places to experience the full potential of this sustainable branch of tourism is Africa. It may be the “cradle of society”, but, with more than three decades on the market, it can be said that Africa is also the cradle of ecotourism.
Led by South and Southeast Africa, this branch of tourism caters not only to its eco-friendly clientele, but also improves the local communities’ way of life, without harming the environment. So, with this amount of potential backing ecotourism, the safari experiences on offer in South and Southeast Africa, are definitely worth checking out.
A Real Safari Experience
Anyone who makes their next journey Southern Africa, needs to go on a safari. The savannah grassland covers almost one third of this part of Africa, and hosts an unmatched variety of mammal life on the planet. Ever since national policies changed in favor of conserving animals and their environment, guns were replaced by curious people who wish to experience nature at its best. Whether, you want to see the Big 5 in their full glory, or experience one of nature’s spectacles – the great migration, crisscrossing the terrain with a professional guide, without impacting your setting will be an experience of a lifetime
Due to its biodiversity this part of Africa is a photographer’s dream. Whatever your focus, whether you are into landscape or wildlife photography, or people, Southern and Southeast Africa has it all. If you are a fan of creatures, big and small, look no further than the animals of Kruger National Park. At its southern tip, it borders on Swaziland, and there are still Traditional Zulu villages. There you might immerse yourself in the culture of this amazing people, and take some spectacular snaps of their traditional dress. And for landscapes, a tour along the vast Zambezi river system, and the endless surrounding grasslands will give you color changes and hues during the evenings you won’t forget.
A Kids’ Dream-Come-True Adventure
With ecotourism, kids can also journey into safari adventure the, and experience the wildlife of Africa. A real dream come true when you are a child, they will see all their cherished animals in their natural habitat, but also have a chance to learn about environment conservation. Mind you, wildlife parks are free ranged, so you can provide them with interactive games, in-between sites, keeping their impatience down to a low. The people over at Poptropica suggest jungle based educational games can satisfy any child’s entertainment needs, so you can enjoy wildlife without all the racket.
Another interesting tour kids will enjoy are wildlife sanctuaries, where they can see and touch their favorite creature, and learn about the man-made dangers they face in the wild. And during the evening kids will be dazzled by native campsites, traditional dance around the fire, and sleeping under the stars of the savannah.
An Underwater Adventure
Africa is not all about the savannah, and an enticing experience awaits anyone who wants to dive into an adventure off the coast of Mozambique. Due to the Indian Ocean’s warm currents, this part of the ocean hosts a variety of Technicolor wildlife that will be a unique underwater dive. Numerous secluded islands off the coast, and coastal caves give welcome breaks to your scuba dives. Because tourism itself impacts the environment, tours are often changes so that it leaves room for natural recovery. This also provides another source of income to the local community, and has seen fishing villages in recent years turn to tourism and conservation of the underwater wildlife as a source of income.
This amazing experiences offer much more than a simple holiday. They become adventures of a life time, allowing you to immerse yourself in what Africa knows best, without damaging the environment, animals, or people, you find so spectacular.