No one has escaped the fact that tens of travel companies have been grappling with the topic of “sustainable and responsible travel” for some time. On the contrary. Here advertising for train travel, there advertising for compensating flights. But how exactly does Globetrotter stand on the subject? And how responsible is Co-Sales Manager Caroline Bleiker personally? She reveals it in an interview with author Rahel Staudenmann.
Caroline, how big is your ecological footprint?
Caroline Bleiker: Smaller than already, if you can put it that way. Because compared to the past, I think much more about our environment today and do something about it. And the name «Greta» certainly has something to do with my rethinking …
You are talking about the global debate about the climate.
Exactly yes, it has reached me and stimulates me to rethink.
Where exactly are you thinking?
For very banal everyday things. When I buy vegetables and fruits, I no longer use plastic bags, but my jute bag. In general, I don’t use plastic bags when shopping. And saving water is important to me. When brushing your teeth, for example.
And how responsibly do you travel in everyday life?
Even if it would often be more convenient, I try to avoid driving. Because I have a general season ticket through my employer Globetrotter, so I often use public transport.
Let’s leave everyday life and go out into the world. When I hear the words “responsible” and “travel”, flying comes to mind. Can I fly responsibly?
Certainly more responsible yes. Basically, the longer you stay at your travel destination, the ‘better’ it is. (For destinations that are more than 3’800 kilometers away: stay at least two weeks or longer. (Author’s note. Source: thetravellingmind.de)
Because it “paid off” in the sense that it caused CO2 emissions. Respectively, the emissions are distributed over, for example, 28 days (one month stay) instead of seven days (one week stay). In other words, the CO2 emissions per day are decreasing.
That makes sense. Nevertheless, the flight is always just as harmful to the environment …
Yes. If you fly, you can take care to take direct flights instead of taking flights with x stopovers. Generally speaking, “Compensating for the flight” is an issue for all things flying.
Doesn’t that just calm one’s guilty conscience?
Naturally. It makes perfect sense though. The only important thing is that the money that is earned through the compensation is used correctly.
Can you explain that in more detail, especially in relation to Globetrotter?
We work with our partner myclimate , whom we trust one hundred percent. At myclimate, the money goes into high-quality climate protection projects around the world. But we cannot influence which these are.
I assume that you compensate for all of your flights.
Let’s stay briefly with the choice of means of transport. How environmentally friendly is the train compared to the plane?
According to the documentation that I looked at, an airplane emits 23 kilograms of CO2 emissions, while a long-distance train only emits around three and a half kilograms. The information is calculated per hundred passenger kilometers.
Once arrived, from my point of view, responsible behavior shouldn’t stop. How responsible do you behave in your chosen travel destination?
I choose accommodations that consciously do something for their environment. So, for example, support the local population or not let the sewage directly into the sea. At the same time, I try to be away from the main tourist flows. And I don’t leave my trash lying around.
Speaking of responsible accommodations. Can I get tips on this from Globetrotter?
Yes. We know accommodations in various countries that are specially recognized for their environmental awareness. In general, selected travel consultants devote themselves to the topic of “responsible travel” and are regularly trained and sensitized by our sales managers and product managers. But we don’t influence our customers. Everyone should decide for themselves what they think is right.
What is surely wrong in your eyes?
Not really, maybe not exactly, but I find everything that has to do with animals or animal welfare sensitive.
For example dolphin shows. These animals don’t live in their natural environment, so I advise against going to such a show. And in general I don’t think it’s right to leave one’s garbage lying around. Especially in countries that do not have an advanced waste disposal system. As “exemplary Swiss” we have to set a good example.
And we Swiss people love to travel. But what if we just stopped traveling? Would that be the most responsible?
No, I don’t think so. People are basically curious and, in my opinion, they should get to know foreign cultures and thus broaden their horizons. I think that is important. As long as he does it consciously and deliberately.