With the world facing its most potent adversary yet in climate change, it’s time for us to be mindful of our travel choices and their impact on Earth. Follow the first installation of our 25 Green Trips series that you can take inspiration from and do your bit. By Shikha Pushpan & Rashima Nagpal
1. Go Fly-Camping In Kenya:
Fly-camping originally involved walking safaris with minimal shelter in the form of a fly camp, which offered intermittent rest. Today, some operators have reworked the concept by adding luxuries to the camps. A boutique eco-lodge located in the wilderness of the Chyulu Hills in southern Kenya, Campi ya Kanzi is built on a 2,83,000-acre reserve, Kuku Group Ranch, that belongs to the native Maasai people. The lodge is an attempt to help the community preserve its land, and the Maasai people have been involved in every stage of the project. As part of the fly-camping experience, guests enjoy a short, scenic flight in a bush airplane, soaring over green hills, lava forests, and herds of hartebeest, to reach the fly camp in Motikanju Conservancy. During the day, a Maasai warrior helps you track elephants; at dusk, a glass of wine accompanies a cackling bonfire; and a starlit three-course dinner finishes the experience, after which you tuck yourself under a Maasai blanket in a tent illuminated by a kerosene lamp. Local is as local does. From INR 57,500.
2. Travel To The World’s First Fully-Organic State:
Though Sikkim was declared ‘fully organic’ in 2016, it was only recently that the feat was recognised by the United Nations and the tiny Indian state rose to the top of the bucket list of responsible travellers. Sikkim has already been awarded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Future Council, and IFOAM–Organics International for its groundbreaking policies on organic farming, and for promoting agro-ecological and sustainable food systems. First-timers visiting the state can rest assured that every meal they feast on is healthy, thanks to the total ban on use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The northeastern state is endowed with ample natural beauty—be it the snow-clad upper reaches of the Yumthang Valley or the forested slopes of Dzongu. And getting here is now easier than ever before, with a new airport perched at an altitude of 1,371 metres in Pakyong. Conscious travellers should attend the Sikkim Organic Festival hosted in January every year. Here, local farmers showcase their organic produce and highlight eco-friendly farming methods.
3. Take a Road Trip In A Green Corridor:
While electric cars are yet to make it big in India, several countries, such as the US and Canada, have electric-car corridors in place to encourage sustainable transport. One such initiative is the 240-kilometre Vermont-Quebec corridor that connects Burlington with Montreal, with scenic countryside views and scores of charging stations along the way. If a guilt-free road trip is on your mind, you can start your journey from the Canadian province on a rental electric car. Evoto EV Car Rentals offers luxury car rentals with charging cards accessible at every station along the corridor. The corridor has been extended to Boston recently, with plans to eventually go all the way up to Washington DC. Green trips never looked better.
4. Take A Car-Free Holiday In Austria:
Did you know that the transport sector in India emits an estimated 258 Tg of CO2 per year, of which nearly 94 per cent is contributed by road transport? Given the meteoric rise in the number of private vehicles, automobile emissions contribute a large cloud of air pollutants in metro cities around the world. Why not give this alarming trend a break and go car-free during your next holiday? Alpine Pearls is a luxury tour operator that curates ‘green itineraries’ in countries like Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. The intent is to use eco-friendly modes of transport, such as electric buses and cable cars, and devise the itinerary around activities that do not contribute to emissions. For instance, guests travelling to Hinterstoder in Austria can look forward to activities such as canyoning, kayaking, horse-riding, and more. Adventure junkies can sign up for paragliding and hiking trails.
5. Be A Sport In Grenada:
A destination’s strength lies in its people. Thus, a journey that adds something of value to the locals is always more responsible than one that just skims the surface with visits to major attractions. Love Volunteers runs a sports programme in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada that aims to alleviate potential health and social issues among locals by engaging children and teens in sports. It welcomes adult sports enthusiasts from across the world to train the budding generation of Grenada in an active and fit lifestyle. During a two-week-long stay with a local family, you get an abundance of pristine beach time and teach football (or one of several other sports) to the children in local schools. As you inculcate in the kids the values of a good sportsperson, you learn about the region’s rich Caribbean culture and return a more aware globetrotter. From INR 74,445.