I’m Cora, a french writer, and I’m another of those 20-something girl that you cross path with, on the road or in hostels, carrying my backpack, hiking shoes on my feet and wonders in my eyes. One year ago, I decided that the “usual” working life was not for me, and I left my job and apartment in Paris (a city I could not stand anymore). I moved to a smaller city in France, in the beautiful Auvergne region, and started earning my bread as a freelance writer/blogger/traveler/dreamer. What an adventure !
The thing about me (let’s come out with it), is I strongly believe in the value of life. Any life. I don’t really see the difference between a chicken, a tree, a human and an ant. They’re all one and the same to me.
I’m the girl taking a full hour to gently herd a scary spider out of my room, yes.
That’s why I do my best in my travels and everyday life to be « green ».
What does that mean ? Don’t worry, it’s fairly simple.
Being green means trying to preserve the earth and the life on it. When you travel, it means respecting the culture and protecting the environment of the place you’re in.
How ? I’m still looking into that, that’s what this blog is about. I’m not perfect, far from it, I’m still constantly searching for alternatives to what western culture has branded as « normal ». It’s those little habits that we don’t even realize we have that need changing. Like not wearing leather shoes, bringing your own towel, carpooling, …
I know, you might be thinking that it’s not you, little lonely you, that’s going to change the world with these little things.
But we already did.
With these little things we did for the past two decades, we made the sea level rise, we melted down glaciers, we made entire species vanish from the surface of the earth. So now let’s just hit reverse, shall we ?
I believe we can change things.
And even if all I do in the end is save one member of an endangered species or help one local make their living, it’ll all have been worthwhile.
Don’t worry though, this blog is not about moralizing people into becoming vegetarian or letting mosquitoes have their way with them. You will find lots of tips here on how to travel cheap, pack light, or on the perfect Iceland road trip. You will also discover some ideas on how to find cruelty free products, try out meditation, and some of my more personal thoughts on life and traveling. There can also be the odd geeky post about how Scotland’s history compares to Game of thrones, you never know …
All in all, I just hope that by sharing my journey into the world and into « greenness », I can make it easier for you, not only to plan an amazing trip, but also to be a positive force on the earth you walk on.
The term « green travel », along with « eco-friendly », « responsible tourism », and many others are being used and overused a lot nowadays. Due to their recent creation, their meanings are not set in stone, they can encompass a lot of different ideas.
There’s a good reason for the recent appearance of those terms. Although tourism can be a very good thing for locals, in some places the flow of travelers ruined everything.
As people get attracted to a particular spot, money makers rush there also to build hotels and restaurants that reflects the culture of the visitors and not the local one. More travelers come, more hotels get built, along with tourist attractions and expensive tours of the area (of course in order to find the space for all this, there’s always the need to cut some trees, level some hills, put in some concrete, …). Slowly, the local culture disappears while tourists go tramping about, widening the trails and scaring wildlife, the inevitable really dumb tourists leaving cigarette butts and gums on the ground, or some graffiti on the walls. Soon, the beautiful place that attracted a few off the beaten path travelers has disappeared.
I know that sounds pretty scary and fatalistic, but in order for you not to be the one to start or participate in that kind of stupidity, you just have to read on and be aware of a few simple things !
There’s nothing complicated about the idea of green travel in my eyes.
It’s simply about loving and thus wanting to preserve the places you go to.
I see it as four easy steps :
Hey, look ! That one is easy ! Once you’ve started loving places, people, animals, and whatever else you want to love, it starts being pretty natural to take the next steps. It’s always easier to care for and protect the things we love, right ? Once you open up your heart and mind to other living things, why would you pet a slave elephant in Asia or take the risk to trample some essential parts of a forest by going off the trail ? It would just be absurd, right ?
2. RESPECT NATURAL SITES AND WILDLIFE.
That one is pretty much linked to the first step. When you visit somewhere or hike in the wild, always try to leave things exactly as they were before you. Be careful also if you use a tour company, one uncaring guide leading fifty tourists through a forest can do a lot of damage, so always ask about their policy.
3. PRESERVE LOCAL CULTURE.
To preserve local culture, you first have to understand it. Look into it before leaving home, learn a few words, dress appropriately. Once you’re there, sleep and eat in local places hiring locals. As I said earlier, if you always favor hotels or restaurants that look like home, more will come until the whole place is covered with them.
4. THE OBVIOUS.
The obvious is the things you already know because we should all be already doing that at home : recycle, reuse, save water and energy. Minimize our carbon footprint by using feet and bicycles, or failing that public transportation, or again failing that carpooling. You know : the obvious.
Does any of that sound too complicated ? I’m telling you, once you got the first step, it all becomes easy, and more than that : it becomes a joyous thing to know that whatever you’re doing is helping something or someone else. It’s like giving a present to a loved one every second, except you didn’t have to spend anything on it !
I’ll do my best to share with you everything I can find to make this even easier. If you already have some tips you’d like to share, I’m all ears !
Please be aware that all the art on this blog is my own (unless otherwise specified) and that you cannot use anything you find here without my written consent.
If something appeals to you, or you think you would like to work with me to create new content, CONTACT ME and I’ll be happy to answer !
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