Travel and ecology

Travel Ideas

Family travel and ecology: how to reconcile the 2, for travel lovers like you and me! Tips from Voyages et Enfants family blog.

So what a solution! I don’t have the perfect solution: perhaps that of being the most ecologically responsible at home and taking this way of life in your luggage, to more sustainable destinations, by reinventing travel!

So I proposed to several mothers to share their experiences to show you that each of us can act at our level ! The is absolutely not to make you feel guilty or to show you that we are perfect far from it, but just to share a reflection that “works” many of us! Attention long article because the testimonies on ecological gestures are very precise!

At summary

  • The complexity of tourism
  • Ecological gestures to practice at home
  • But then why travel?
  • Gestures to transpose on a trip
  • Ideas for sustainable family tourism

The complexity of tourism and sustainable tourism

Yes, traveling pollutes, especially if you often take the plane. No reason to doubt it! Every plane flight that we take pollutes and in no way helps the world! The plane, but also cruise ships (tankers) pollute a lot!

Let’s be aware that it is impossible to offset our impact. Whatever we do in our daily lives, it is not enough to sufficiently reduce the impact of our trips! Let us be convinced that we pollute and assume, because indeed we are not the biggest polluters: big companies are much worse! States should show the way more precisely.

The shame of flying “flygskam” also took me over, because we abused it 4 or 5 years ago ! However, I could not travel any more! For various reasons which I will tell you about below!

I don’t want to give you a point on the numbers, but it’s
impressive!

However, tourism has played an important role in getting people out of a standard of living very low whether at the other end of the world, or at home, in the Hautes-Alpes, where without skiing and its overcrowded resorts, manufacturer of artificial snow, there would be nobody on the territory because of too harsh living conditions in the late 60s!

So, how to ensure its ecological double bias and
traveler… Combine our daily actions and our travels…

Ecology and me everyday

I believe that ecology has always been around me, as a little girl, raised in the great outdoors in nature, near rivers, long before it was fashion or a serious problem! When I was very young, my parents took me to a wilderness campsite in the Alps under the tent, the my father’s watchword was: “we start from the place where we bivouac by making it cleaner than what we found”… I can tell you that, around my 8 years old, it made me grumble to pick up other people’s waste! But so, we never had any worries about our wild bivouacs.

Then, during my first trip of 6 months in couple and in backpack, I became aware of having all the material comfort and maybe even too much! We have chosen to live in a more minimalist way. We lack nothing, but many things were offered to us, or bought from time to time …

We have been on the zero waste road, rather minimalist, we are trying to dry toilets right now we are buying 90% of our second-hand items. after a long reflection to measure its usefulness, we collect the water from the showers, our house is low consumption, we try to favor local producers. We do the best, without being perfect and without wanting to convince everyone. But, our carbon footprint is still large, weighed down by travel…

How? ‘Or’ What know your ecological footprint? It’s on these
different sites that I have reviewed, which must still be
improved for the future well-being of our children…

The sites and calculators:

But then why travel?

When we make all these efforts why reduce them to nothing, by going on a trip… Because the trip shapes youth as we say…

To discover new cultures:

No doubt, I like to travel – not to leave myself to land on a beach at the other end of the world – but to meet a new culture, to marvel at all the differences that we discover on the way (the garbage cans in Argentina had a lot of fun for us, the shape of the mailboxes, the differences between road signs!), rave about beautiful landscapes, and especially make brief or long meetings, which shake us up in our beliefs, or on the contrary which prove to us that we are all the same…

To bring out our ecological fiber:

Quite frankly, these are all these trips that created the family that we are; the inequalities between the peoples, the Asian countries, the open garbage cans of our western waste, have made us move more quickly on the question of preservation of the common natural heritage. In Europe, all these problems are much more hidden!

To share intense moments with family:

Each trip brings us closer, the children and we, we share the good times, the most difficult moments in the event of a hassle, we discover ourselves far from our usual comfort. It is a strength and highlights of our family, which always make us laugh afterwards by remembering it.

To meet the other:

its similarities, its differences … to learn not to judge, not to feel above ..

So how do we travel while being concerned about the world around us?

What solutions to combine travel and family ecology: Ecological gestures to take in your luggage

As said above, it is by making all these gestures that we advance
in discovering our impact during our travels … So,
when going on vacation, let’s not forget all these efforts and
let’s pursue them to reduce our impact and to discover
his gestures to other populations …

– Buy local – family travel and ecology # 1

By example, buy local! It’s important at home, but also
abroad ! In South America, we avoided at
maximum large Carrefour supermarkets
(except in case of serious
lack of cheese!) to buy from the local population,
directly to small street vendors! Our tourism there
brings them a direct source of income! And it’s
the opportunity to chat and learn more about how they
to practice agriculture, cooking!

– Save water – family travel and ecology # 2

We avoid taking every night a hotel with a large swimming pool, in a desert region or in a state of drought. We spend less time in the shower, because often it’s hard to fill water supplies.

In 4 × 4, in South America, we wanted 16l for 3 days to shower and wash the dishes! And we were clean and so were our plates! That puts things into perspective, and now we are also monitoring our consumption at home!

– Favor less impactful transport # 3

We stop flea jumps by plane inside the country, we
take public transportation. These are also where
great meetings!

– Pay attention to the greenwashing of ecolodges # 4

This are often large hotel groups, who can afford to
create eco-lodges in the middle of the desert with a swimming pool!

In our family, we prefer less comfort, but closer to the locals, to live like them! And if we choose a more comfortable hotel, we avoid the seed chains…

– Preserve places and fauna – travel and ecology # 5

Do not touch anything: no animals, no monuments, and not going off the trails when you visit a place is extremely important.

Because of this non-compliance with the elementary rules often displayed up and down and across, sites become inaccessible or ultra controlled with quotas like Machu Picchu, or at the temples of Angkor! Well think that the rules we break are by millions of other people. Our little gap is nothing in itself, but multiplied by millions is the destruction of an eco-environment.

– Reduce your waste – tip # 6

Knowing that certain places are invaded by plastic waste brought back by
sea ​​waters, no need to add more! We take with
our zero waste pack: one bottle per person, bags
reusable for shopping, its stainless steel straw if really
you can’t live without it, its sandwich packaging. And especially
his trash bag to put his waste and that of others than
we can also pick up.

Often abroad, the bulk of many products is not
accessible; we therefore prefer packaging that can
recycle locally: paper packaging, cardboard
can burn easily. In a word: the least plastic
possible! We take our reusable shopping bag; In
South America, people always asked us why we don’t
didn’t want their plastic bag, we explained to them and often
they told us it was a very good idea! And some have
says they would too.

– Choose non-polluting products # 7

For his shampoo for his shower gel, we favor brands including
the components of their product do not harm the environment.
We try to leave with solid soaps, sunscreens that
have no impact on corals, ocean fauna …

Warning : our kids lost our solid shampoo supply in less than 3
weeks, then it was only possible to find these products
I recommend for the rest of the trip! So we tried to
find the most neutral soaps possible for the future.

– Traveling light # 8

Each kg on board the aircraft impacts its consumption … The less you have
luggage, the less polluting the flight…

Of ideas combining family travel and ecology for sustainable tourism
and responsible

Well after all these suggestions, here are some ideas for tourism
responsible and sustainable, that is to say traveling with
awareness of its impact on
the environment and on the local population and trying to make the
better for
respect them, in a fair and united way

– Traveling on foot – towards sustainable family tourism # 9

This is sure this is not
really not like that we will be able to go far, or so in 5
years like my friend Ludovic Hubler, who has been around the world!
But, all long-distance walkers say this is really a
ideal way to be closer to the premises.

If not, choose a small corner of France, or a place accessible by
train, to discover the surroundings:

  • the tour of the Vanoise
  • discover the Calanques
  • we are thinking of trying an easy crossing of the Ecrins park

– Opt for the bike – Travel and ecology # 10

Of many families have already taken the plunge! Again, this
often happens in France, but also in Holland – Netherlands, in
Germany, etc. destinations where bike paths are
majority to circulate there safely with your children.

– Change mode of transport – sustainable family tourism ideas # 11

By deciding to go with horses, donkeys, in a caravan, you’ll set off on a new adventure, which needn’t take place thousands of miles from home.

And if the means of transport was part of the trip … By taking the
bus to cross France, it’s an opportunity not to drive
and take the time to see the landscape… Stops in
cities to visit can be very exotic, going to the
looking for his hotel at the last moment like when we are in
backpacker fashion abroad.

Our items:

  • in a caravan
  • houseboat

– Leave by car (full) and otherwise carpool # 12

When we are more than 3, the car is still more economical. AT
4, it is less polluting than flying and if it remains
a place in the car, we take people in carpooling and
hitchhikers!

What funny encounters we did in South America, to take
the shepherds on the roads of Argentina, Peru, Bolivia!

– Reduce your plane flights and relearn how to dream # 13

The the biggest impact we have is on our flight numbers!
So let’s reduce them to the maximum!

By example in 2020 we voluntarily decided not to take
the plane. Our projects are to make road-trips in France, even
in border countries (good to see depending on the exit from
Covid 19 crisis! Here again, we are far from being
perfect, it will be with our 4 × 4, which is in much better condition than
our car !

A idea could be to book a big plane trip a year
on 2 only, as before when the ticket prices were worth
something else. This is what we did before,
until the blog frenzy, Instagram prompted us
to fly up to 4 times in a year! In
taking a step back over the past 2 years, we have
glimpses that we no longer enjoy the preparation and the dream
driven by a long wait of 2 years for example. Yet it is
at that time that we enjoyed much more the preparation of the
trip !

– Think outside the box – travel and ecology # 14

Getting off the beaten track is go where tourism is not too developed. But it is not necessarily chasing the sensational and the unusual. Make a 1er bivouac in the middle of nature, under the stars 50 m from home maybe an incredible memory…

Go off the beaten track, it is to discover things or places with less interest, but whose authenticity will make them charming. For that, discover different travel guides: the Tao guides.

Our stay at Col d’Ornon this winter allowed us to meet many people who like us want to reconcile their tourist activity, but also their pleasant living environment.

Choosing a small road, rather than a national one, allowed us to meet with the cacique (mayor) of a Bolivian village and to exchange our visions of the world, making it the meeting that most jostled us of the trip !