08 Jan Worldschooling & Ethics – Worldschooling and Environmental Considerations
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The environmental considerations of travel are huge. This segment will talk about the ecological ramifications that our worldschooling journeys might have, as well as some ways we can attempt to mitigate them.
Worldschooling and Environmental Considerations
Because most worldschoolers travel as part of their worldschooling journey, we must take a look at how travel affects the environment. The travel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world (as we’ll talk about in the economic section of this talk).
On a local, national, and international level, tourism is economically and environmentally significant, representing millions of dollars, millions of jobs and affecting thousands of communities.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the three main environmental issues of tourism are: the depletion of natural resources, pollution and physical degradation.
The depletion of natural resources is a growing concern especially in places where resources are already scarce. Water, in particular, is considered a critical natural resource. In general, water is overused in places such hotels, swimming pools and golf courses.
Pollution in the tourism industry comes in many forms: emissions, solid waste, litter, sewage, oil and chemicals, noise, and light pollution. Air, road, and rail transportation are the main means of travel among tourists, and the transport sector of tourism accounts for 75% of total global emissions.
The tourism industry also has many physical impacts on the environment. Ecosystems such as rain forests, wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds and alpine regions are often threatened because they are attractive places to developers and tourists. Construction and infrastructure development can include extensive paving, sand mining, wetland draining, marine development and deforestation. Unsustainable land use practices can lead to sand dune and soil erosion and the deterioration of the landscape.
With the ever-increasing number of tourist arrivals, there is an ever-increasing quantity of global greenhouse gasses being produced by the tourism industry. In 2015 it is estimated that 5 percent of global GHG emissions was attributable to air travel alone.
Since 2009 there has been a steady yearly increase in the number of tourist arrivals worldwide of approximately 4.4 percent. In 2015 there were 1.186 billion tourist arrivals worldwide, of which 54 percent arrived by air (640 million), 39 percent (462 million) by motor vehicle, 5 percent by water (59 million), and 2 percent by rail (23.7 million). As we previously stated, machine travel in all of it’s forms accounts for 75% of the total global emissions. It’s definitely something to think about.
What can I do as an eco friendly, ethical worldschooler?
Here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you make more ethical worldschooling choices. Just by breathing light and awareness, we can enhance our experiences in the world in a mindful way.
- How can I practice sustainable tourism?
- What does responsible travel look like to me and my family?
- Ask yourself, what kind of transport am I taking?
- Am I supporting a development that will disrupt local wildlife?
- How much waste am I producing?
- How are my transportation choices affecting the environment? And can I choose alternatives?
- How can I make more ethical, local food choices?
As worldschoolers, we have the ability to make conscious choices and decide if our worldschooling journeys support local communities and the environment at large.