Slow travel is inherently green and helps support sustainable travel. Staying in one place for a long period of time instead of continual travel, and cooking with local ingredients reduces our carbon footprint because any way we look at it, travel of any kind is carbon producing and we should attempt to minimize our carbon footprint. Even something as simple carrying a reusable water flask and a hot/cold cup is an important practice.
We saw the world travel carbon footprint reduce dramatically during the pandemic with the restrictions of travel but are now at 95% of the pre-pandemic flight levels. The travel industry is growing and will continue to grow so it is important that every traveller do everything possible to reduce their carbon footprint.
The various components of the travel industry are working steadily to reduce carbon footprints and are accepting their responsibility for their impact on the environment including more efficient jet engines, LEED certified buildings, and composting and recycling. Larger resorts are looking holistically at their impact on the environment.
Recently, we stayed at a resort in Mexico which is very active in this area. Most notably, they reuse their water and have incorporated its water treatment lagoon system into the resort’s design which
also supports habitat for fish, amphibians, iguanas, birds and small mammals and plants. They recycle 74% of their waste which is 20% higher than Switzerland, the highest recycling country in the world. They are producing electricity from 12,000 solar panels along with the LEED reduction of electricity from the use of LED bulbs and sensors, alongside other programs they are following to continue to reduce their carbon footprint.
Additionally, their staff is trained in sustainable practices and they have fourteen full-time environmentalists monitoring environmental measurements throughout the resort, alongside the hatching and release of over a million sea turtles, the protection of over a dozen endangered species, and the conservation of the100 acre Bird Island at the mouth of the Ameca River. We had the good fortune of having a fabulous view of this island for several weeks. Each day we watched the tide ebb and flow down the Ameca River bed with numerous bird species throughout the day. I find pelicans the funniest and most interesting birds. They are huge with such a funny look with their downward pouched bills and offset eyes. They fly in precise squadrons skimming along the ocean just inches off the water. When the wave comes, they rise in unison a corresponding height and then back down. They dive from a dizzying height and slice into the water to fish. After fishing, they roost by the dozens close together at the top of
tall trees with exposed thick branches. I watched them with my binoculars, chuckling at their funny looks.
In the early morning, the cranes, storks and herons feed on the river while the tide is out and the sandbars are exposed. As the sandbars are covered, the terns and gulls take to the water while above the large frigates and buzzards soaring effortlessly on the updrafts as the land heats up during the day. They all, along with hawks and pelicans, would soar up so close to our balcony that you could touch them. The hawks would even perch on the balcony rails.
The resort has a variety of small mammal trails. Iguanas are seen frequently as are butterflies and beautiful songbirds. One day, I hope all resorts will be this green.