2011 May

May 2011

Lounging in the pool, staring out into the darkening tropical jungle, I contemplated my difficult choices.  A drink before dinner, or stay in the pool?  Decisions, decisions.  On a small group tour, that was about the toughest one I had to make.

I consider myself an independent traveler.  From my first trip as an adult, backpacking across Asia and Australia, to current jaunts with my family, I like to do it myself.  But a recent trip to Costa Rica reminded me of the pleasures and advantages of small group tours.

I was in Costa Rica for business, so was traveling alone.  I had an open weekend, but only the weekend – I had to be back in San Jose on Monday morning. I decided to maximize my time by signing up for a tour to Tortuguero National Park.  And I, super independent traveler, had a fantastic time.

I have been mulling a recent comment on an older blog entry.  The person wrote “I was told by a wise woman not too long ago (who runs an ecological farm – Permaculture based) that: ‘There is no such thing as Eco travel. You wanna be Eco? Good – Stay Home!”

Is she right?  Is travel itself intrinsically bad for the environment?

There’s no denying that flying is bad for the environment.  Pollution from jets contributes approximately 3 to 5% of annual carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.  By getting on a plane and flying somewhere, you are immediately contributing to that total.

But there are things you can do to mitigate it.