Sustaining Story Friday – We’re Definitely Going to Europe – Can We Travel Green?

Sustaining Story Friday – We’re Definitely Going to Europe – Can We Travel Green?

This week I’ve been writing about spreading good news.  My biggest good news for this week is that my family made the definite commitment to our European summer vacation — we bought the airline tickets this week.

I’m very excited that we’ll be visiting Paris, Salzburg, Herrenberg,Germany and London this summer.  We’re finalizing the exact details of our enchanting adventure. As we plan the trip, I’m looking into how can we be more sustainable and green while we’re traveling.

SalzburgThe big green issue with traveling to Europe is that we’ll be flying by a  jet  that directly spews greenhouse gas emissions into the air.  It’s hard to be sustainable while flying, yet I’m not willing to give up air travel.  I could have bought carbon offsets for this trip, which is probably the only way to make traveling by air a little greener.  I didn’t yet.

I’m trying to think about ways we can be greener as we travel in Europe, while also being gentle to my 83 year-old mother.  Once we get there, I’m debating about travel by car or train.  I’m a little concerned about my mom having to get on and off the trains, and climbing or descending stairs to get to the trains in the stations.  So, I’m considering driving from Paris to Salzburg and throughout Germany up to Amsterdam and then eventually taking the Eurostar to London.  I know  trains are greener, but I also love road trips, and remember living in Germany and driving on the autobahn and loving it. So the car option is appealing.

I was asking someone on the phone today, why can’t we just create a giant Dyson vacuum and clean up the atmosphere from all the deadly greenhouse gases? 🙂  I realize that sounds like a fairly ridiculous idea, but some scientists and inventors have actually exploring this idea in the last few years.  Grist’s article We may have to suck up co2 to prevent planet from frying us, talks about how difficult the situation is now.

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I have faith that some day, hopefully soon, someone is going to find an innovative way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that we’re not really considering.  I believe we’ll create a greener way to fly and cars will get greener perhaps with some help from government standards.  Unfortunately, those innovations aren’t here yet.

Traveling is one of those areas in my life, where I’m not sure how to be green enough.   I’m not willing to give up traveling. Traveling is so helpful to our growth as human beings.  Traveling helps us to care more about other places and other people.  That’s an aspect of sustainability in my view.

So far, the green strategies that I have for traveling to Europe are packing light, staying in green hotels, and creating as little waste as possible while we travel. We’ll take our own water bottles, and walk as much as possible.

If you have any suggestions or ideas on how you’ve gone green on a trip to Europe or elsewhere, I’d love to hear them.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your enchanting adventures!

6 thoughts on “Sustaining Story Friday – We’re Definitely Going to Europe – Can We Travel Green?

  1. This is exciting, Karen! I’ll try to track down a few green hotels in Paris for you. Yes, pack your water bottles. There are many free “Wallace” water fountains all over the city! T.


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