Climate-neutral trips are in vogue this year. As more and more people are getting aware of climate change, travellers are doing their bit by making sure their adventure trails don’t hurt the planet. By Tanvi Jain
Climate change is for real, but many don’t realise it. Despite multiple warnings from environment experts and horrifying news articles, people are still not taking it seriously. Busy ruining the planet, they don’t realise the amount of damage they are doing to the planet and causing trouble both for the current as well as the future generations.
However, there are still some who have started taking climate change seriously. Many who are aware of the horror are travelling way more consciously than ever before. A new trend that seems to gain popularity in the coming year is climate-neutral trips, where travellers try to make up for the damaged environment by avoiding as much contribution to carbon emission as possible.
1. Catalonia, Spain
The first region to obtain the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification, some of the major tourist attractions of Catalonia include its renewed cultural and environmental areas that used to be coal, lead and salt mines. Walk in the fossilised footsteps of dinosaurs in the old open-air coal mines of Fígols-Vallcebre Fumanya, which is now a designated palaeontology site. Cardona Salt Mountain Cultural Park, another mine that shut in the 90s is now a cultural park where tourists can take guided tours and learn about its geology.
2. Pangulasian Island, Philippines
This island’s wide-reaching nature conservation programme overseas coastal cleanups twice a month and takes measures against illegal fishing, ensures the installation of eco reefs and morning buoys and works towards conservation of turtles. The efforts put in by locals to save the environment makes this a perfect eco-escape for travellers.
3. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
World’s foremost destination for wildlife viewing, Galápagos Islands are an isolated group of volcanic islands, which are taking climate change seriously despite being one of the most sought-after tourist spots. Many of their carbon-neutral hotels like the Pikaia Lodge is made of easily recyclable steel. Its walls are covered with lava stone and furniture is made from sustainable teak. It even has its own reforestation programme and utilises water from rainwater harvesting systems. A trip to the Galápagos Islands comes with its own environmentally conscious credentials.
4. Arosa, Switzerland
An Alpine resort village in the Schanfigg Valley, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, is home to first ice battery heated hotel — Hotel Valsana. It works by reusing surplus heat energy. Many other hotels also provide electric car charging facility. This village is famous for lakes, ski slopes and trails offering a wide variety of hiking tours and snow sport activities.
5. Lake Garda, Italy
The largest lake in Italy is known for its crystal-clear water. It’s directly connected to Milan by rail. A stay at its Lefay Resort and Spa will take you in a carbon-free zone. The property has been designed in such a manner that it allows minimal heat and energy dispersion, and the roofs have been covered with vegetation to reduce pollution and promote flora and fauna. Lefay Resort and Spa has also been given the Ecocert Ecological Spa certificate, which is an inspection and certification body established in France in 1991 to develop environmentally-friendly agriculture.