By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | December 21, 2011
I’m the luckiest duck around– surf trip for the holidays!
But when it comes to being green, outdoor sports can be a tricky thing. While riding your bike through the woods or hiking along a treeline ridge are close to no-impact activities, all of the bits around the sport itself can sometimes be incredibly impactful.
First, there’s the gear: bikes made in foreign lands, the metal mined to make them, and the shipping involved in getting them to us (not to mention the paints, waxes and plastic bits); clothing made out of “performance fabrics” are mostly made from petroleum, and it turns out, shed microscopic plastic fibers every time you wash them, which end up in the ocean and on beaches (which is one reason Team Tiny Choices advocates wool clothing). And surfing? Petroleum-based sticky wax goes right from my board and into the mouths of fishies.
Then, there’s the arriving: for those lucky enough to live close to their activity of choice their transportation footprint is small, but many of us need to drive (or, worse, fly) to get to the mountain or crag or surf break. So while enjoying the great outdoors is most certainly a green activity itself, as usual, we humans can make it more impactful than it needs to be.
So, how did I make this trip as green as possible?
- Instead of renting a car and driving, I took public transportation to get here. That entailed an overnight bus ride, and then a local city bus to get to my hotel. And since I didn’t have to fly, I managed to avoid the single most polluting part of many vacations.
- I’m hooking up with a group each day, and we all pile in to a large van to drive to the break together. This means fewer cars on the road and less wear and tear on those small winding roads themselves.
- I’m renting a surfboard for the week, instead of buying my own. Since I only generally surf for a total of a few weeks per year, this makes more sense financially and resourcefully. And trying to travel with a longboard would mean large rental cars instead of buses and taxis, so avoiding this is a fairly significant choice.
- I chose a hotel within walking distance of the nearby town, so no taxis needed to get around.
- I am drinking local beer! That counts, right?
Have you taken or planned a trip lately? What considerations did you take to green it up?
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