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Good for the climate to tourist at home

The World Wildlife Fund, WWF, works worldwide to protect endangered species and counteract environmental degradation. Sustainable travel is also a topic that interests you. According to Ola Hansén, who is the WWF's senior advisor on sustainable energy in Sweden, the awareness that one should think about the climate when vacationing.

How is it in Sweden? Do you notice that the interest in spending the holiday closer is growing?
When we talk about Swedish nature and ecotourism, we notice a great interest in vacationing at home. During our campaigns that relate to the climate issue, such as Earth Hour, we receive many questions and comments about the climate impact of aviation and that in Sweden we should fly less. At the same time, Sweden's air travel abroad is increasing year by year. It has doubled since the 1990s and most of these trips are holiday trips. Both the interest in vacationing in Sweden and the awareness of the climate impact of aviation still seem to be increasing.

So people realize that flights are not good for the climate. Can you talk about a real trend?
It is difficult to judge how pervasive this trend is. In any case, there are many exciting individual examples. I know of a family in Stockholm who parked the car last summer and instead cycled to Norrland. The gas money that was left over they donated to our climate work at WWF.

There is an English term called "staycation". The idea is to vacation near the home to avoid harmful travel. Does the WWF promote the phenomenon in any way?
We promote it in several ways. A very central part of our business is that Swedish nature should be rich and prosperous. We always write about the fantastic Swedish nature with all the possibilities for nature experiences in our own magazine WWF EKO. As an example, we conducted the annual summer campaign during the period 2013-2015 ”Swedish pearls”, Where the public voted 63 extra beautiful and worthy nature areas in Sweden (3 in each county). The voted pearls have been marked on a searchable map on our website.

How do you think to travel?
When it comes to reducing climate impact, in our campaigns we encourage individuals to reduce air travel and car travel and when traveling well choose climate-smart transport modes such as public transport, trains and bicycles. We also encourage you to vacation at home. In our response to politicians and other decision-makers, we urge them to support the development of a climate-smart and attractive tourism industry in Sweden.

Doesn't a Swedish bike holiday fit quite well if you live in Sweden?
Of course, it is a great way to have a relaxing, healthy and adventurous holiday, which is also very climate smart!

The World Wildlife Fund, WWF, gives advice on how to have an environmentally sustainable holiday:

Advice number one is about choosing a destination close enough to you that you don't have to fly. When choosing a destination, you can also choose ecotourism options.

Advice number two This applies precisely to choosing environmentally friendly modes of transport (such as trains) and if you fly, you should choose airlines with high occupancy on the tours, and those who have efficient aircraft.

Advice number three is about choosing hotels with sustainability thinking when it comes to energy and waste management, for example.

Advice number four assumes that you are a responsible tourist on the spot. Do not scrape down, do not pick flowers or feed animals incorrectly. Choose operators who take environmental responsibility. Households with the water, for example by not showering too much and one does not waste towels at the hotel. Be energy efficient, dispose of hygiene products like tampons properly. Recycle packaging and other materials. Choose environmentally friendly transport and activities that do not affect the environment and climate in a negative way.

Advice number five is about what comes after the holiday trip. Don't buy souvenirs that come from endangered animal species.

Source: http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/live_green/travel/on_vacation/

Read more about WWF's work at:
http://www.wwf.se/svenskaparlor/
http://www.wwf.se/wwfs-arbete/klimat/earth-hour/tema-bilen/1550501-earth-hour-budskap-bilen

Daniel Bergstrand
daniel@swedenbybike.com

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