This year the CaminoWays.com would like to promote a Green 2019 and invite all our Camino friends to travel responsibly. Here are some of the New Year resolutions for responsible travel enthusiasts we’d like to share with you, we’d love to hear your suggestions!
VISIT ONE NEW PLACE THIS YEAR
Visit at least one new place this year: It could be that place a couple of hours up the road you’ve never visited or it could be that country you’ve always dreamt of. Whether close to you or exotic, travelling broadens the mind and enriches each of us. As Hans Christian Andersen said: “To Travel is to Live” and we couldn’t agree more.
But don’t just visit the place, learn something about that new place, its culture, its language, its history…
LEARN ONE NEW THING ABOUT YOURSELF
Did you think you knew it all about yourself? Probably not and the best way to learn new things about yourself is getting out of your comfort zone.
REDUCE SINGLE USE PLASTIC
It is estimated that one million plastic bottles are bought each minute and only a tiny percentage of this plastic is actually recycled. Those bottles, bags or plastic straws that we use once and then throw out (hence the name single-use plastic), are polluting our environment and having a particularly disastrous effect on our marine wildlife, beaches and oceans. As walkers, there is something very simple we can do to curve this: get ourselves a refillable water bottle to take with us everywhere we go so we don’t need to buy bottled drinks.
At CaminoWays.com we have launched a great initiative this year and all our clients can now include a refillable foldable water bottle with all our tours for the symbolic amount of €1.
Consider taking a small cloth bag with you so you won’t need to avail of plastic shopping bags.
Think about small local businesses whether you are at home or abroad: try to eat and shop local as much as possible to support producers and businesses in small towns and villages.
LESS AIR MILES
Reduce air miles when possible. If you are walking the Camino, it is safe to say your airmiles will be pretty low, as you will be using your own steam to get you all the way to Santiago! You’ll just need to get to your starting point and get back home. Using public transport such as train and bus for part of your journey will naturally reduce the number of flights needed to get you there and back, which takes us to the next point…
LOVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
If you can’t get there by bike or walking, consider public transport. Take the train, bus or car pool as much as possible, not just when going on vacation but on your everyday life and for small journeys. Think: is the car really necessary or can I get there some other way?
Travelling can be the perfect time to undergo a technology detox period, the best opportunity you’ll get to escape from the constant beeping of mobile phones and connect with nature and fellow travellers. Try to keep your Instagraming and messaging to a minimum while you are on the go it will make your trip much more enjoyable! And idea would be to just check your phone at a certain time each day or every couple of days. If you are getting to the Camino or other hiking trails this year, you’ll find this digital detox self-treatment will come naturally to you.
SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS
Small acts of kindness to others or the environment have a big impact if done collectively. Our colleague Marzia decided she would pick one piece of litter each day she spent of the Camino last year and also spent 10 minutes ‘beach cleaning’ in Finisterre. Others might choose to help a struggling pilgrim, encourage fellow walkers with a ‘Buen Camino!’ or support small businesses along the tiniest of Camino villages along the way. It is this kindness and shared human experience that is the very essence of the Camino.
We’d love to hear about your New Year resolutions, let us know by posting your comments below. Share this article with family and friends who love to travel to help them have a Green 19.
Oh, the places you’ll go!
For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to book your trip, contact the Camino experts