greentravelife

Job is one of the authors on Greentravelife and loves traveling, but mainly off the beaten track. Besides that his passions are music, sport and visiting cool places in Berlin. He also writes about these visits on Berlin-enjoy.com. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions :)

How to become a green traveller: 11 tips for a sustainable holiday

Elephant-Safari-Sri-Lanka

When you have been reading several articles on Greentravelife, you have probably noticed that the term green travelling is used on several occasions. Although many people heard of the term, not everybody exactly knows what green travelling means and how you can participate in it. This article should explain what green travelling is and also help you to become a green traveller yourself.

What is green travelling?

Although the words green and sustainable have different meanings, they basically mean the same thing when we are talking about travelling. Both of them focus on paying attention to the environment when you are not at home. With more people travelling to destinations all over the world, green travelling becomes increasingly important every day. The least we can do while enjoying this beautiful planet, is try to be as conscious as possible.

Deers in Sri Lanka (© Greentravelife)

Become a green traveller

Below we have listed 11 tips for people who want to become a green traveller. Obviously you do not have to fulfil all of them but it already makes a difference if you can change your behaviour on a few of them. To be clear up front: Just because I am writing this does not mean I always take care of all 11 tips in this article. You do not become a green traveller from one day to the next but hopefully these tips can help you focus on a few things.

Here are the tips on how to become a green traveller:

1. Pack as light as possible

Green travelling actually starts before your trip. Just because the flight company allowed you to bring 20 Kilo to your travel-destination does not mean you have to bring that full amount. If you can bring less, bring less. This is not only nice for your own back and arms but also means the plane, train, bus or car has to transport less kilograms. Although we are not talking about a massive impact here, it still makes a difference if many green travellers follow this tip. Keep in mind that most of us will travel about 2-3 times a year for the next 30-50 years.

2. Choose the right destination

Deciding on your next travel-destination is also a moment where you can think about the environment. A general rule of thumb is that destinations closer to your house are better for the environment. Unfortunately the journey itself is one of the most polluting parts of travelling. Therefore you might want to consider visiting one of the beautiful closer to your home instead of flying 20 hours. It is totally understandable that you want to see some exotic countries on the other side of the world, but maybe not every year.

The Sunset in Ghana
The Sunset in Ghana (© Greentravelife)

3. Train is better than Plane

This tip is directly related to the previous one. If you decide to stay close to your home you might be able to travel to the destination by bus or train. These are more environmental-friendly transport method as planes and cars. If you are into a sporty holiday you might even decide to do a bike-trip with some friends. It will save you money, help you stay in shape and you can feel like one heck of a green traveller.

4. If you fly, fly non-stop

If you decide to travel by plane, you should try to book a direct flight. This does not only save you time and many hours of waiting on a shitty airport, but also because it is better for the environment. It’s the takeoff and landing which cause the most of an airplane’s carbon emission so direct flights are better for the environment.

Ferry-Ometepe-Nicaragua-Volcano
Isla de Ometepe from the Ferry (© Greentravelife)

5. Do not buy water in plastic bottles

Especially when you are visiting a warm country, you have to make sure that you drink plenty of water. The easiest way to do this is buy plastic bottles in stores or supermarkets. It is recommended to drink several liters of water a day. This would mean you would buy over 20 bottles of water every week. A simple, cheap and effective way to be a green traveller would be bringing your own drinking bottle. You can even make sure you can hang it around your neck for additional convenience.

6. Have food in local places

When you have been travelling for a longer period of time, you probably noticed how much you can miss the food from home. When we were in Ghana I remember missing a proper pizza or things like crispy fries. Smart investors know travellers have this graving and therefore you will often find big restaurants with “western food”. If you want to become a green traveller, keep in mind that these places are almost never owned by local places. Obviously you do not have to survive without pizza for months but make sure you also support local restaurants which mostly offer local food.

Local-Food-Nicaragua

Local food in Nicaragua

7. Consider not using electric devices

We are all used to our mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices. We love to watch some Netflix-movies when we come home from a long day of sightseeing. But for the sake of the environment we try to not use our electronic devices during our holidays. A great benefit of not using your mobile phone for a while is the fact that you will be able to better relax when you are travelling. Not being in touch with social networks, friends and things like work or your university will help to “shut down”.

8. Choose the right way to get around

Obviously it is awesome to rent a large SUV and drive through all the rough part of a country. If there is no other way to do a certain trip, this is fine. But most of the time travellers are renting such a car to visit just a few real 4WD-trips in several weeks of holiday. All the other days of the trip they will drive with the same car on normal roads, which is not necessary and is very unsustainable. If you want to become traveller you could travelling with smaller cars or even better, the bus.

Cheap-Transport-Sri-Lanka
Cheap Transport Sri Lanka (© Greentravelife)

9. Stay at local guesthouses instead of resorts

Besides trying to eat local food (see tip 5) it is also important to avoid large resorts. First of all these accommodations are bad for the environment, second of all you will not have the chance to meet local people who can give you insider tip which are not written in the Lonely Planet. Personally I liked staying in a small guest-house in Nicaragua much more than any hotel I’ve ever stayed in.

Guesthouse-Nicaragua
A small guesthouse in Nicaragua (© Greentravelife)

10. Never ever buy wildlife-products

Although this tip seems obvious, it is way to important to leave out of this list: If you want to be a green traveller and enjoy spectacular safari’s with your children you should remember this simple tip: Never ever buy wildlife products. They might be a nice souvenir and you might even impress some people with it, but when you are reading this article I know you know better.

11 Save water as much as you can

This is an obvious tip and besides green travelling this is also something you should do at home. Especially when you are travelling in specific regions where not much water is available, you should really shower as short as possible. Also when you are using water for cooking or drinking, try not to spill too much.

Paleo Breakfast Recipe: Vegetable Egg Quiche

ingredients-for-the-paleo-quiche

Since three weeks I try the paleo diet (also known as stone age diet). I just thought that it might help me to regulate my gut flora because I often suffer from stomachache and cramps. That means, I renounce milk and cereal products. In addition, I waive highly processed foods such as ready meals and fast food (thats sometimes really hard).

So what is left for me to eat? A lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs as well as meat and fish. I am not a big meat eater. So I try to eat more fish than meat, max. 2-3 times a week. However, I prefer to try out recipes that are without meat and fish.

In principle I was able to adjust well to the paleo diet. The most difficult meal for me is the parleo breakfast. I find it hard to refuse buns, cheese, yogurt, milk and cereals. This is why I ‘ve come up with a nice paleo recipe for breakfast.

How to prepare the your paleo breakfast – Vegetable Egg Quiche

ingredients-for-the-paleo-quiche
The ingredients you need for the paleo quiche.

What you need on your shopping list to prepear your paleo breakfat:

  • 200g spinach
  • 200g asparagus
  • 1/2 Zuccinie
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 8 eggs
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil
  • fresh herbs (basil, thyme or sage)
  • salt and pepper

What else do you need:

  • a oven
  • a cake tin ca. 24 cm

And this is how it works:

Cut the sweet potato and zuccinie in small dices. Slice the asparagus into strips and remove the dry ends. Cut the onion and wash the spinach.

chopped-ingredients

Chopped ingredients for the paleo quich.

2. Fry the onions with the spinach and one teaspoon of coconut oil in the frying pan. I always buy and take the vegan Bio-Kokosöl from Dr. Goerg. Its quite expensive (15 EUR for 200 ml) but it really has a great taste. Don’t forget to preheat oven to 180 degrees.

bio-coconut-oil

Bio-Coconutoil from Dr. Goerg

3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and mix well. Check the egg for shells. Season with salt, pepper and herbs. Add the cuted zucchini and asparagus and mix gently. Rub the cake tin with a teaspoon of coconut oil.

Fried spinache and mixed egg with vegtables
Fried spinache and mixed egg with vegtables.

4. Spread the sweet potatoes in the cake tin and add the spinach on top. Take the mixed egg with the asparagus and zucchini and put it on top oft the sweet potatoes and spinache. Done!

cake-tin-filled-with-egg-and-vegetables
Cake tin filled with all ingredients.

5. Put the cake tin for 40 minutes in the oven. Check from time to time with a wooden stick, if the egg is getting hard.

And ready is your breakfast! In the morning I take always a piece and warm it up in the microwave for about 2.5 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Reday to eat_ Egg Vegetable Quiche

Reday to eat! Egg Vegetable Quiche.

 

My Bucketlist: Five Cities in Europe

Travelling is one of my favourite things to do. It is just awesome to see different cultures, beautiful cities and learn new languages. I have travelled to Australia, Asia, Afrika and New-Sealand before, but there are still many great places to see in Europe. Today I am presenting my bucketlist for cities I still want to visit in Europe.

1. Nuuk (Greenland)

Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland. Because I love nature and green-travelling, I have to visit Greenland once in my life. Nuuk only has 17.000 habitants and it can bevery cold up there. But the landscape is looks gorgeous and I would love to take a hiking-tour there. I would not visit Greenland for a weekend but would defenitely like to go there for a week. You see whales, experience the dog sledging and see the beautiful Northern Light.

Nuuk_city_below_Sermitsiaq

Nuuk in Greenland (© Wikipedia )

2. Kiev (Ukraine)

Right now it might not be the best time to visit Ukraine, but I would love to go there once in my life. Kiev has about 2,9 Million habitants and there are plenty of cool activities in this city in Ukraine. The Dnieper River is floathing through the city and you can visit attractions like the Saint Andrew’s Church, St. Sophia Cathedral and the Mariyinsky Palace. Ukraine and Kiev are defenitely on my bucketlist for cities in Europe.

3. London (UK)

Although London is not very far away, I have never been to London or even the UK. That is why it is on the second spot for my bucketlist with cities in Europe. I see myself walking around in London and visiting great attractions like the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and St. Mary Axe. Obviously I would also love to do some shopping in London! Unfortunately you have to check the weather-forecast because the weather in the Uk is not as good as in Spain for example.

london

London (© visitlondon.com )

4. Bucharest (Romania)

I have been to Budapest already and I would love to go a bit more east. Eastern Europe is great because the cities are very beautiful and everything costs about half as much compared to western Europe. In Bucharest you can also find an Arc the Triumph and there are some very impressive Museums there (National Museum of Art for Example. If I look ats some photos of Bucharest I see a lot of interesting streets and funny squares: I think Bucharest would be great for a long weekend or a midweek.

5. Madrid (Spain)

As last city on this bucketlist for european cities I would like to visit Madrid once. Everybody has been to spain but normally you will visit the coast and I have been to Barcelona once. The tickets are not so expensive and the food and weather in Spain are very attractive. I would love to see some highlights like Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza Mayor and Cibeles Palace and I guess my boyfriend would like to see a football match of Real Madrid and Christiano Ronaldo.

Cibeles Palace in Madrid (© christinewaxstein.wordpress.com)

What does the production of 1 kilogram beef cost?

the-cost

It might be hard to believe, but currently over 7.2 billion people live on our planet. Every second, 2.5 babies get born somewhere in this world. The United Nations predict that by 2050, the world will inhabit a population of 9.2 billion people. How are we able to feed every single mouth?

The growth of the international meat market

Due to the rapid growing of the world population global meat consumption will dramatically increase in the next years. In 2012, around 302 million tons of meat was produced worldwide. That’s almost 2% more than the year before.

The world meat production in 2012
The world meat production in 2012

Poultry, beef and pork are the three types of meat that are most frequently traded on the world market. If you see these numbers, it is hard to imagine how much meat our planet will need in 2050.

Meat consumption

The global trend of meat consumptions shows an stagnation in industry countries at an extremely high level and an increasing meat consumption in developing countries. Meat seems to be a world wide symbol of luxury. People in industry countries eat an average of nearly 79 kilograms of meat each year. Developing countries eat only half as much as western countries like you can see in the graphic. So on average every person eats 42,5 kilogram meat each year. That is a lot of meat!

Consumption
World meat consumption in 2012

Production costs of 1 kilogram beef

It is incredible how much resources are needed to produce 1 kilogram of beef. The most important production component is water. In the image below you can see that the production of 1 kilogram of beef uses more than 15.000 liter water. With the amount of 15 455 liter of water, we could grow 60 kilogram of potatoes , 83 kilogram of tomatoes or 118 kilograms of carrots. Furthermore several children in Africa could be fed with 6,5 kilogram of crop. Another important fact is that no other animal produces so many carbon dioxide like a cow. The cultivation of one kilogram of tomatoes compared to the production of 1 kilogram beef causes only 0,085 kilogram of carbon dioxide.

the-cost
An Overview of the production costs of 1 kilogram beef

Its your turn

So why do we still eat so much meat? The answer is obvious: it tastes good, it is a good protein supplier, it is cheap and you can buy it everywhere. For some people is it even impossible having a meal without meat. I also like to eat meat, but it is important for me to take care how often meat finds his way on my plate. I only eat 2-3 times a week dishes with chicken, pork or beef. Besides, I also try to buy fresh meat in the supermarket. Its always better to know where it is coming from. I know that I wont save the world with this eating behavior, but at least I am aware and conscious about what I eat.

Source:
Fleischatlas Daten und Fakten über Tiere als Nahrungsmittel (2012)