Climate change affects us all and yet not enough is being done about it in our society.
Those who once had a nice holiday in Southeast Asia may not be able to do so again in the future, because sea levels are already rising here by about 5mm per year. This is also due to the fact that the increasing tourism is putting more pressure on the groundwater abstraction by hotels, which causes the groundwater level to sink further. The demand for sustainable travel is growing.
But tourism has an even greater impact on the global climate change than one might first think.
For most people, a holiday begins with a long journey. This can consist of a long car journey, train journey or even a flight. However, aeroplanes emit immensely high amounts of carbon dioxide, which is not at all beneficial for the climate. It would be better to travel by train, or simply to avoid long journeys. Domestic flights in particular can be easily replaced by trains or long-distance buses.
Once you have arrived at your holiday accommodation, you will enjoy a large hotel complex with a large, heated pool, or in late winter, a snow-making system. Here too, unnoticed, harmful things are done for the climate, as a lot of carbon dioxide is emitted.
Snow cannons are also very resource-intensive. For one hectare of artificial snow, more than 4,700,000 litres of water are used in one season. This has two consequences for the global climate change. First, the amount of water needed for the snow cannons is usually extracted from groundwater, and secondly, the amount of snow with the associated melt water deeply affects the water balance.
Case of Maldives
Island states like the Maldives are also increasingly suffering from mass tourism and climate change. The country will probably be one of the first to be submerged by rising sea levels.
The Maldives is therefore already doing something to combat global climate change. The people there are to stop using fossil fuels and there is an eco-tax for the environment.
In addition, the Maldives offers tourists the opportunity to help directly with coral conservation, such as planting corals with marine biologists or supporting rearing programs.
Many hotels in the Maldives generate their energy sustainably via photovoltaics and have their own water filtration systems.
Choose your travel carefully
So if you want to travel in an ecologically sustainable way, you should think carefully in advance about where you want to go – and above all how. As some travel companies do more to combat climate change than others, it is important to be clear about which travel provider you choose before you travel.
There are also beautiful places to discover in your home region. Especially now, in times of the coronavirus pandemic, most borders are closed, which invites you to explore your home country.
If you still want to travel to a distant location, you can offset the emitted CO2 emissions directly and compensate via a company that is committed to climate protection. Many travel companies or even airlines now offer this for every trip.
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