Climate change is real. It has been named one of the fundamental threats of the 21st century. In Nigeria, you feel the changing seasons. It has rained heavily and nonstop recently. I even lost track of seasons because it all seems muddled up and one cannot tell one season from the other anymore.
Human activities, associated with the use of fossil fuel which emits greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, cause the atmosphere to trap heat which in turn causes global temperatures to warm up at record speeds. The resultant effect is melting ice sheets and the rise in sea levels.
It is no secret that airplanes are also heavy emitters of greenhouse gases. They contribute significantly to climate change. It has become profoundly important to adopt a more eco-friendly approach on any trip we may embark on. When you travel, bear in mind that sea levels are at a record high; and your actions, if not changed, will have dire consequences in no distant future.
Gretha Thunberg the 16-year-old climate change activist in an emotional address at the United Nations days ago said, “People are dying, people are suffering, entire ecosystems are collapsing, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
She made significant points in her speech, and I will be outlining ways by which you could save the planet by making eco-friendly travel choices.
Bicycles, walks and green transportation solutions
Taking regular walks or riding a bike will reduce your carbon footprint. Cars, trains, commercial airplanes or cruise ships are notable emitters of CO2. Whilst the world is still heavily dependent on commercial airplanes for long haul travels, individuals must ensure to commute short distances via carbon-neutral means.
France, for example, plans to more than triple the share of cycling in transport. They incentivise their citizens to commute to work by cycling. Other countries must do the same to decrease earth warming temperatures. For a trip around town, decide to use bike share apps like Mobike. You can rent a bike and take a seamless tour.
Avoid single-use Plastics and drinking straws
Plastics are environmental pollutants. They pollute the environment at each stage of their production cycle. They also put our sea life at risk. One single plastic has a lifespan of 12 minutes and according to research, about 49% of garbage at the seas comprise of plastics. Many countries have placed a ban on single-use plastic bags or water bottles and introduced reusable plastics as an alternative.
Statistics reveal that an organic cotton bag will be reused 20,000 times to have the same effect on the environment as a single-use plastic bag. Therefore, as an eco-friendly alternative, purchase reusable shopping bags, water bottles or cotton tote bags and this could reduce harm on the environment.
By conserving water you reduce the consumption of chemicals used to treat the water and pump water. As the Earth’s temperature rises, evaporation increases, which can contribute to drought. You can preserve water taking showers, not baths. This way you limit your shower time to 4 minutes. Secondly, treat and reuse water for multiple purposes. By doing this you are conserving water for an eco-friendly impact on the planet.
Eco lodges, Hotels and AirBnB
Choose instead to reside in eco-friendly lodges and hotels. Apps like Eco-BnB provide an array of choices and at affordable prices too. You could select hotels powered by hydro or Solar, or better-still immerse yourself in the beauty of an organic tree or farmhouse.
Leave eco-friendly suggestions
Suggest to your favorite brands to adopt eco-friendly measures. Nigerian brands have fared really badly in this regard. Most importantly, patronize brands and corporations that shine a light on climate change. By patronizing green brands, you influence change and force other brands to adopt the same practice. Global brands like IKEA or HNM making their production methods greener and these brands must be encouraged to do more.