Visit Tenerife and reduce your Carbon Footprint
July 13, 2009 1 Comment
Tenerife Tourism – a green alternative
A carbon footprint is a term used to describe the measure of impact of our activities have on the environment, particularly in respect of climate change. It is a measure of greenhouse gases produced during our routine daily life.
For example, 10% of greenhouse gas emmissions are produced by private transport, 3% by public transport, 12% by electricity use in the home and so on. Almost every action we take has an impact on climate change which is why it is so important to try and reduce your own personal carbon footprint. Buying a new car accounts for 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions and even food production contributes a further 6%.
There is now a great awareness that climate change needs to be tackled head on but how do we contribute if we don’t understand what we need to do. The good thing is that conserving energy also has a cost benefit. Using a bicycle or your feet for short journeys will also have a health benefit. Using a bus is also better than taking a taxi, remember the bus is running on a schedule , so you will be saving all the fuel the taxi would use.
Well if you are a tourist you will probably already have contributed to the 6% global greenhouse gas emissions resulting from air travel. Some airlines are trying to do something about this in the future, one day aircraft may use alternative low carbon fuels known as biofuels. A biofuel is naturally produced from plant crops, there is also a secondary advantage because plants absorb carbon dioxide which depletes greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere.
The Tenerife Government are already doing their bit by employing extensive renewable energy sources such as wind farms and photovoltaic cells. They have invested heavily in this so by coming to Tenerife for your holiday you will probably be reducing your carbon footprint. At least you can feel that the carbon emissions from your air travel has been offset beause a good proportion of energy you consume whils’t here has been naturally produced. Tenerife has a temperate climate so air conditioning is not really necessary here, neither is heating, another carbon footprint bonus.
So your are here, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint in Tenerife other than trying to avoid using motorised transport. Use of electrical energy is another important factor, so turn off lights as much as possible and use electricity sparingly. If your accomodation does have air conditioning try not to use it unless absolutely necessary, it does consume a lot of energy. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Tenerife Properties for hot water heating which also reduces energy consumption on the island. Another green solution.
If you buy anything on the island try and think about how energy may have been consumed to produce it. Production of metal plastics and glass are high energy operations so avoid them if alternatives are available. Food packaging even consumes energy so buy loose items if you can and reuse your carrier bags whenever you can. Consider eating salads sometimes to avoid energy consumed by cooking food. If you are having a drink, remember bottles or cans are recycled because it saves money, however if you drink draught beer no recycling is necessary.
If you are buying foodstuffs, remember locally produced food will have less of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions because transportation is significantly reduced. Any imports to Tenerife by air or sea contribute significantly, so if you are buying anything try buying local. This maybe taking things a bit far but remember that eating meat increases your carbon footprint because animals emit methane during their life cycle, yes another greenhouse gas.
If you buy items of clothing, try and buy something which does not need ironing after washing, especially welcome when you are on holiday. Select natural fibres where possible because energy is consumed producing any man made material. Remember also that anything which is recycled will not have consumed as much energy during production.
When you visit Tenerife, if you follow the advice we have given you will be reducing your carbon footprint. You carbon footprint will almost certainly be less than it would be with most other tourist destinations. By coming to Tenerife you are helping to reduce global warming. The carbon footprint of people living in the Canary Islands is one of the lowest in the world. The longer you stay the more you will be reducing your carbon footprint. Also think about the size of your carbon footprint had you stayed home.
Remember reducing greenhouse gas emissions will reduce global warming and reducing your carbon footprint does really matter, so please tell others.