“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.” – Andy Warhol
Even Mr Warhol knew his art had nothing on Mother Nature’s! And equally as beautiful as the land, as he so expertly suggested, is the act of conserving it.
There aren’t many days each year that unite earthlings across the globe for a common cause – but Earth Day is one of them. Every April 22nd, Earth Day brings more than 1 billion people in 192 countries together to save and protect the beautiful planet we call home. From holding rallies and festivals to riding a bike to work or picking up litter, we can all pitch in to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting our planet.
How did Earth Day start?
Earth Day began back in 1970, when US Senator Gaylord Nelson, along with environmental activists and scientists, shone a light on the polluted state of the planet. They were concerned that industrial waste, sewage and pesticides were threatening the earth and that the US government wasn’t doing enough about it, so Senator Nelson began working to put the environment on the political map. On April 22, 1970, his environmental protest saw 20 million people across the US gather to show their support, and so the very first Earth Day was born.
Trafalgar and Planet Earth
Supporting the conservation of our planet, especially the destinations we visit, is seriously important to us at Trafalgar. We’re proud to be part of TreadRight, a joint initiative by The Travel Corporation family of brands that works to protect the environments and communities we explore, and ensure they remain vibrant for future generations.
In light of Earth Day 2013, we’ve been reflecting on how Trafalgar supports conservation. Here are some of the ways we’re making a difference:
Our fuel efficient coaches
Coach travel has been proven to have significant environmental benefits; they reduce congestion, cause less pollution and emit fewer greenhouse gases per passenger than train or car travel. Our coaches are among the best in Europe and use the most efficient engines currently available.
100% recycled paper
We save over 90,000 trees per year by using one of the most environmentally-friendly, 100% recycled coated-papers available for all our brochures, catalogues and marketing materials. Not only are the trees saved, landfill waste and energy usage is reduced.
Trafalgar & The National Trust
We’re proud supporters of the UK’s National Trust, an organisation dedicated to preserving and protecting the coastline, countryside and buildings of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To date, we’ve supported the National Trust’s work in building a state-of-the-art visitors centre at The Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO Heritage site on Northern Ireland’s coast – once home to an Irish folklore giant called Finn McCool! Geologists say the unique formations were formed by volcanoes, but whatever you choose to believe; it’s an area of outstanding natural beauty.
As well as The Giant’s Causeway, Trafalgar supports the National Trust appeal to safeguard the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, another of several National Trust sites to feature on our itineraries.
So what can we do as individuals?
There are loads of easy and meaningful ways you can get involved in Earth Day this year – here are a few ideas to inspire you!
Make Green Choices
Try walking or biking somewhere instead of hopping in the car. If it’s too far, carpool or take public transport instead of driving alone.
Hunt around your house for old e-waste (electronic waste) like old computers, mobile phones and radios, and recycle them. A huge amount of e-waste is generated each year and the hazardous materials can contaminate our environment.
If you’re planning a holiday, spend a bit of time researching the environmental initiatives and conservation efforts of the companies you’re looking to travel with. Visit our website to learn more about Trafalgar’s Sustainable Tourism.
When travelling, think local. Buy locally produced food where you can, purchase souvenirs produced by local artisans and eat at locally owned restaurants. All of these small things to us make a big difference to the community.
Whatever the weather, go for a walk outside to get amongst nature. Feel the sand or grass beneath your feet, the rain on your face or just take a moment to breathe the fresh air!
Exercise your green thumb and plant a tree or some seeds in your garden or a local area. Nothing beats a backyard veggie patch!
Start a tradition
Grab some friends or family and spend a few hours picking up litter around your neighbourhood before enjoying a special Earth Day dinner together. Go a step further and eat by candlelight!
Staff from Trafalgar and The Travel Corporation in New Zealand recently spent a day working with Sustainable Coastlines cleaning up the beach at Rangitoto Island and removed a total of 325 litres of rubbish! They enjoyed it so much they’ve turned it into an annual event for the team.
Head to our website for more information on Trafalgar’s Sustainable Tourism, Environmental Initiatives, The TreadRight Foundation or The National Trust, and let us know what you’re doing for Earth Day in the comment section below!