Would You Travel Less to Save the Environment?

Reader Contribution by Staff
article image

The recent PBS series National Parks: America’s Best Idea has drawn some great attention to our nation’s protected wilderness areas and, hopefully, has reinvigorated our appreciation of the parks in the process. Along those lines, as pointed in Don’t Be a National Park Bagger (from Utne Reader, MOTHER EARTH NEWS’s sister magazine), it also elicits some important questions about the environmental impact of travel and about how we travel, specifically, the impact of taking fewer but more engaged trips versus that of taking many more cursory trips.

From carbon footprints to added wear and tear on everything from trails to monuments, travel of any kind leaves its mark on the environment, a point that’s been discussed in MOTHER EARTH NEWS and, even more so, in travel-oriented blogs such as Vagablogging and World Hum. The difficulty of balancing the environmental effects of your travels with a desire to see and appreciate firsthand the natural and manmade marvels of the world isn’t an easy task, and is an issue that’s inspired numerous blog posts, articles and passionate discussions on travel forums and other online communities. What do you think? Would you travel less, or otherwise change the way you travel, out of concern for the environment?