Two-side Effects of Traveling on Ecology and Environment

pabbler Sep 28, 2020

    Traveling is an inspirational term for most of us. Being either a recreational activity, a free time choice or an economic task to earn money, traveling causes global mobility and changes on the Earth. No matter what purpose urges your travel challenge, you will have some impact on ecology and environment.

Energy consumption by people and vehicles cause carbon dioxide emissions as well as heating, air conditioning and waste production by hotels and accommodation facilities. The term carbon footprint is used to trace the amount of carbon release to the atmosphere.

Transport Carbon Emissions on Rise

Tourism facilitated on air, sea and land transport have a negative impact on all transport emissions by 22% in 2016, with an increasing trend towards 2030, as United Nations defined. That’s why green tourism is needed to enhance the cooperation all over the world. In order to tackle rising tourism emissions, countries encourage alternative ways of public transport such as bicycles. In Hanoi, a popular tourist destination in Vietnam, you can see flourists who ride a bike, yet wearing a mask to protect themselves against high level of air pollution.

A collaborative research in 2018 assessed the ecological effects of entire supply chain in tourism. Sectors such as transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, souvenirs, clothing, cosmetics and other goods were monitored in 160 countries. The metadata published in Nature Climate Change  revealed that global tourism activities produced 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, being much more than the previous estimates. Figuratively, tourism-related emissions increased 15 % (CO₂-e) to reach 4.5Gt. More surprisingly; transport, shopping and food were described as the largest sources of carbon footprints left by tourism industry.

Cruises and Aviation as Emission Sources

According to IATA reports, 2018 emissions from aviation were counted to be 665 million tons of CO2. The amount was produced by 4,378 million passengers travelling globally. It is not surprising that the highest air travel emissions were recorded during summer months as high volumes of holiday travels occur on the Northern Hemisphere. Compared to aviation, cruise ships were also recorded to have 21 million tons of CO2 emissions. Equating to one third of air transport emissions, marine transport seems to have less release, yet carbon intensity per emission still getting higher on cruise travel.

The acceleration was also observed in 2020. The World Tourism Organisation Report  notes Asia and Pacific regions with intense transport emissions. Probably, the most remarkable figure is that the Middle East, Africa and Europe seem to produce 60% of overall tourism emissions due to busy international air transport activities.

Miraculous Recovery of Nature

What expects us is an inclination in climate change statistics. Certainly, ozone layer depletion will be triggered by higher rates of spray, deodorant use and fossil fuels. However, the unpredicted COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown cause recovery effect on ecological systems. Dolphins and swans are observed to go through Venetian canals to the city corridors. Venice has also been detected to have the clearest season since 1960. Two weeks after quarantine, extinct bird species, which had disappeared 136.000 years ago, was seen on isolated islands and Singapore. Self-treatment in lake water has been observed on Kars highlands.

Thus, ecological recovery and re-evolution of natural species arouse excitement for Pabbler users and travelers. The one and only positive impact of Coronavirus was -regarding the minimum transportation usage and mobility of human beings that the nature shows signals to say "it is not late for the Earth to revive".