As a company that is a an ASTA Green Member and committed to being as environmentally-friendly as we can be, we also keep an eye on the impact of travel and tourism on the environment. As I’ve often stated, this is a two-edged sword. While certainly getting on an airplane has an impact on pollution, is it really better to stay home? We appreciate it’s easier to support and improve conditions around the world if you can personally experience them, and wildlife protection in Africa, for example, has been better achieved by tourism and showing local populations there can be a better ways than outright slaughter. It wasn’t till I visited the Galapagos that I could truly appreciate what a magnificent place this is, and ever since doing so, have supported organizations that are focused on protecting that environment. As for the flying part, we encourage travelers to offset the carbon emissions from their flights.
Friends of the Earth has released its report card on cruise ships. While the report is controversial and its methods being challenged (cruise lines have made huge strides in improving environmental quality, and the new Celebrity Cruise Line ship, Solstice, for example, is the first to incorporate solar power onboard). Nonetheless, the report does provide some basis to review and assess where improvements may be warranted.