“Live better with less“: this credo is that of minimalism, a way of life that advocates a return to the essential, by voluntarily reducing our possessions. With “decluttering” as its keyword, minimalism has slowly taken its place in travel world – especially in travelers’ bags. So does minimalist travel mean travelling with a lighter backpack? Yes… But not only!
Based on our convictions, ecology deserved a prominent place in our reflections on the journey. A privileged space, mixing travel and ecology – two seemingly contradictory themes that are close to our hearts.
With travelers becoming increasingly aware and committed, some do not hesitate to brandish the label “responsible travel” to attract a wider audience: after all, in the absence of an official definition, it is not surprising that the concept of “responsible travel” is being used for anything… and everything! How do you unravel the real from the fake? How can we be sure to face greenwashing – those misleading marketing methods that use ecological and ethical arguments to create an image that does not reflect reality at all? This is what we will try to see here, based on specific examples.
While today we have no difficulty in estimating our carbon footprint thanks to the multitude of online calculators (particularly for transport, housing and services), it becomes much more difficult to find reliable figures for more alternative travel modes… Using the few resources available and the expertise of Clément, an energy engineer, we will try to detail, in this post, the calculation methods to estimate your carbon footprint while hitchhiking!
During our trip, we asked ourselves several times this question: “Should we boycott over-frequented places?” Indeed our way of traveling tried to be the more responsible possible, but is it really responsible to visit a place that suffers from mass tourism? We wanted to put our thoughts here, bringing both our personal and documented lights on the subject, in order to bring out some answers… but especially solutions!
A recent study shows that global tourism is responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions (4.5 Giga Tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2013 are directly attributable to tourism). A figure that would not be ready to decline, since tourism is growing by + 4% per year… According to these scientists, transport, shopping and food are the main factors contributing to this pollution. Fortunately, today there are plenty of simple solutions, easy alternatives to reduce our environmental impact while traveling – so we can still enjoy traveling without getting annoyed by doing more efforts or feeling guilty!
No need to draw you a picture: traveling without flight means using all the other means of transport at your disposal. It also means traveling by land and sea exclusively, to give up traveling half of the globe in a few hours. This is also the type of travel we have adopted since few years, choosing to stay grounded. Why, how? We, as grounded travelers, are always delighted to answer all your questions!
After graduating as an engineer, Clément, Julien’s little brother, undertook (also) a world trip by hitchhiking with a friend. On the road, Clément developed a reflection on transport and ecology, a subject that is close to his (and our) heart… Not having a blog but things to say, we wanted (with his blessing) to share his thoughts, giving him total freedom of speech – for a result that reflects its author: punchy, scientific and totally offbeat!
When we left our Parisian life back in 2016, we also said “goodbye” to our routine of eco-friendly city dwellers – a shame, you tell us, when we often went on flying trips . We admit it: we didn’t question ourselves about our flights impact and then, as we read somewhere “driving cars pollute more than flying”, or “we pollute less by flying once a year than our neighbor who takes his car every day”. Fake news, truths?… After two years on the road, we wanted this time to be sure: studies reports, calculators, calculation methodologies… We screened all the data found to make them speak – and tell you why we stopped flying!