Envirenmentally friendly travel by train from Central london to Morocco

Envirenmentally friendly travel by train from Central london to Morocco

Hi,

I am submitting this topic because i think it may be helpful for the community travelers who are aware of their carbon footprint and they may wish travel using train from UK to Morocco. You can reach Morocco in 48 hours from Central London, without flying...Amazing isn't it?

London-Morocco train 

Show me Morocco 

 


Carbon offsetting funds

More power to you for this!

I am all for trying to safe the environment. Sometimes I donate some money and sometimes I walk. Unfortunately I wish there was so much more one could do.

There are also ways for you to fly and then offset the carbon generated by your flight by donating an amount to places such as this:

http://www.carbonfund.org/

(They have a carbon calculator) or this:

http://www.carbonplanet.com/

On these websites you can purchase carbon credits. They use the money to plant trees or invest it in other green technologies. You can calculate how much carbon your flight generates and then buy the credits to erase what you just did.

A long haul flight from Sydney to London is calcuated to be 10 tons of CO2 and you can offset it with 230 Australian Dollars. One car for one year is calculated to 115 Australian Dollars.

This site here should be especially interesting for travelers:

http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org/ 

Quote:

i think it may be helpful for the community travelers who are aware of their carbon footprint and they may wish travel using train from UK to Morocco

Its a nice idea, the engergy balance is defenitly better for mass transportation and especially for trains. But even trains produce emissions and even electrical trains do (the power has to be generated somewhere).

Unfortunately most of our emissions aren't even from traveling but rather from transportation of food items, global shipping (I can't even buy a computer thats not Apple and not made in China) and most of all power generation and heating. Individual traffic is only a small percentage, but as responsible people we should take care of this and set an example to large corporations and governments.

Very nice topic. I actually had planned to write a large post about this some day.

Andre

Travel Photos

Environmentally friendly! Great Replay

Thank you for your great replay and for all the rich information you wrote on here.

I really appreciate your support. I have looked at your travel photos site. It s really nice.

About me : I am just starting a responsible and cultural tourism project which makes the difference.

How we can make a difference?

I work with locally owned accommodation and local guides, starting in northern Morocco and expanding our project to the south. This ensures that the money supports the local community and minimasing the impact of the environment and the culture.

Cultural tourism in Morocco

showmemorocco wrote: I work

showmemorocco wrote:

I work with locally owned accommodation and local guides, starting in northern Morocco and expanding our project to the south. This ensures that the money supports the local community and minimasing the impact of the environment and the culture.

That is admirable.

Two things: If what you say is true, put that information on your website. It will make a big difference if people see that you are not just another large people-exploiting company.

Also your link wasn't working (I changed it for you).

Yes, I do believe that we should work on reducing emissions and saving the planet. However politicians and large corporations make big money exploiting the planet. Unless people demand environmentally responsible leadership, it won't happen.

Andre

My Photos

I just read an article

I just read an article about the companies that say they have projects to offset carbon emissions.  A great many of them are ineffective, so you are essentially wasting your money. Some of them plant trees, then abandon them and don't try to raise them to adulthood.  Apparently some are profit-making, not not-for-profit organizations.  So you have to be careful where you send your money.  I'll see if I can find the article.

 The suggestion was that the money might be better spent trying to reduce emissions than replace the carbon.  We might have more impact by refusing plastic bags (have you ever been near a chemical plant?).  You can even reduce your footprint on the world by purchasing large quantities of goods, not individually wrapped items.  In addition to adding less to the world's trash, you reduce the pollution created when the packaging is manuafactured.  By the way, reusing those soft plastic bottles that water comes in is a bad idea.  The plastic isn't hard enough for reuse, and bacteria start to grow in the plastic within a day.

 I spend most of my time in third world countries, take public transportation (admittedly highly polluting things like tuk-tuks, though the ones in Bangkok run on natural gas now), or walk.  I go back to the US once a year for a couple of months, and drive maybe five thousand miles in my little Hyundai.  I've refused plastic bags so often on this trip that I actually had to hunt for something to wrap my shoes in when I packed up to head to Malaysia.

thanks Andre

Hi Andre

thank you so much for your participation to this topic and for changing my link 

hi cindy 

I totally agree with you we have to stay positive. I know its not easy but it is possible to make our community stronger by using this technology of internet.to promote environmental issues ..some people are aware of what we are talking about some of them they don't care.

Environmental impacts of tourism 

Cultural tourism Morocco 

I was in the US for nearly

I was in the US for nearly six months this year, and I'd never heard of carbon offsetting until I got here and some Europeans mentioned it.  I wouldn't count on big support in the US at all.  We want our environment to be cleaned up by the manufacturers of our goods, not by our own individual efforts.  If it is different in California, Andre, let me know.  California really is a leader in most areas, including this one.

California

Arnold Schwarzenegger has turned around quite a bit. He is trying to profile himself through environmentally conscious politics and he has approved $3 bln for this (I believe).

So California is once more taking a lead in this.

Also I can see a large number of hybrids on the road, but I believe this is mainly because we have higher gas prices than any other state (due to environmentally friendly additives).

However it takes quite a few hybrids to make up for one SUV and I still see a lot of those around.

I don't believe Carbon offsetting is commonly known, but I am not sure if it is that simple either. Calculating your flight and then planting trees is better then nothing though.

As long as it pays to have all your goods shipped from China (Wallmart is the shining example with almost everything they sell coming from there) something is wrong.

People in Europe are much more environmentally conscious, but that is going to (have to) change. Currently I am paying more than three times per gallon of gas than 6 years ago.

Our fast food culture produces mountains of garbage every day (just go to any fast food restaurant and think about how much waste you just generated). The apartment I live in has virtually no insulation (wooden building from the 70ies). If I turn off the heat in summer it takes about 5 minutes to cool down the whole apartment.

I think there are a lot of things, we the consumers can do. We shouldn't just wait for politicians and companies to act appropriate. Instead one can refuse to buy apples that are shipped from around the world and buy the slightly more expensive California products or try to drive less (hardly possible though).

As long as so much money is to be made from destroying our environment, it won't change. If more money is to be made by saving it, then things will start to change. 

Andre

California Photos

interesting

That sounds interesting. I guess I'd hit the train if I am not in a hurry to reach Morocco.

Then again, the train transpo is a top choice for folks who prefer long land travels. Not advisable though, for those who are too excited to check out the attractions in Marrakech because the train trip from London to Morocco takes two days.

 

Morocco draws up environmental code of conduct
Morocco's goal of 10 million tourists by 2010 requires that all projects include an integrated development strategy for a safer, cleaner environment, and awareness of the negative impacts of uncontrolled poorly planned development is growing. Other tour operators in Morocco are learning from Dynamic Tours' experiences in promoting responsible tourism and are now adopting their own responsible practices, with the understanding that collective action is essential to sustainable development of tourism, especially in remote and sensitive areas.

The company has begun an awareness and audit campaign geared toward all parties concerned, and information will soon be available to all travellers in Morocco. In addition, regional projects for the development of tourism in protected areas (national parks) are being implemented.

 
 
NEWS
22 March 2007
The Moroccan National Tourist Office is inviting top executives from UK-based travel agents, tour operators, airlines, and hotels to sign up to a new environmental code of ethics.

It is holding a conference on April 12 at the Flett Theatre/Earth Galleries at London's Natural History Museum, where industry partners can sign up to the 'Moroccan Charter of Responsible Tourism'.

Delegates will also receive a set of promotional tools to raise awareness of the country's responsible tourism initiative.

"The Moroccan authorities are as committed as ever and concerned about the impact that tourism has on the environment," said an MNTO spokesman.

"The MNTO has introduced, during the last tourism conference held in December 2006 in Agadir, its ambitious programme backed with a clear vision plan geared towards bringing responsible tourism to the fore of the country's main development priorities, which are part of VISION 2010 aimed at reaching 10 million visitors."

By Bev Fearis

 

 

Abe

www.myasilah.com

Breaking news : sustainable tourism

The best project I have

The best project I have ever read about is in Malta.  The government collects waste cooking oil from fast food places and restaurants, and turns it into biofuel to run government vehicles.  They started having a surplus, so decided to sell it to the public.  It's more expensive to produce than gasoline, but gasoline is heavily taxed.  To encourage use, they made the biofuel tax free.

Apparently Brazil is also a leader in both use of biofuels and in research.

interesting

 Its very interesting i have heard about that.

Abe 

Cultural tourism and luxury accommodation in Morocco

Brazil is a scam

cindy wrote:

Apparently Brazil is also a leader in both use of biofuels and in research.

Yeah, they use alcohol refined from sugar cane. And how much rain forest did they have to cut down for this?

Every hour, Brazil cuts down very large areas of rain forest for soy bean production (they are a world leading supplier). And when the top soil has washed away (no tree roots to hold it) they cut down more. The same goes on for sugar cane.

Brazil might have a good PR promoting their biofuel usage, but overall it does way more damage to the world then using oil for gasoline.

Andre

Travel Photos 

The US pushes corn, which

The US pushes corn, which uses a lot of water, so that's going to cause problems in the future, too.  Water is going to be a bigger problem than any other environmental issue. 

I don't think the approach of growing something specifically to make biofuel is the best, because of the destruction of the rain forest and the high level of water and fertilizers required.  I like the recycling idea from Malta.  Make food, then make fuel out of the leftovers.

 Here in Malaysia a lot of jungle is destroyed to make palm oil plantations, and palm oil is also being used for biodiesel.  At least here the soil is rich and can actually support farms and plantations.  The Amazon rain forest grows on shallow layer of dirt sitting on top of clay.  So after the soil is depleted and not planted any more, it takes decades for the jungle to even begin to grow back.

 The problem is that there is nothing we can do without having an impact on some other critical area.  Biofuel may increase the destruction in the jungle, use precious water, or be an incentive for more fertilizers.  Dams destroy natual areas and put people below them at risk.  Nuclear fuel has a waste disposal problem and the risk of a bad accident.  There are no good choices here, just less bad ones.

...without flying? That's

...without flying? That's interesting!

cindy wrote: I don't think

cindy wrote:

I don't think the approach of growing something specifically to make biofuel is the best, because of the destruction of the rain forest and the high level of water and fertilizers required. I like the recycling idea from Malta. Make food, then make fuel out of the leftovers.

That isn't nearly enough to supply our need for fuel. Every pound of food you consume has cost many gallons of fuel to get to you (Farming Equipment, Shipping, Processing). Most of it is being used for sending your bananas around the world.

There are other very viable plants that can be used for biodiesel. For instance hemp is one of the fastest growing plants and it contains lots of cellulose to make diesel. It is one of the most efficient plants for bio fuel, but because it is hemp it is not being used at all.

Henry Ford once had this vision of the car that grows on the field. That was in the 1920's. He had planned to refine bio fuel and he wanted to make the components of the car from those elements. I think he was planning to use hemp too. Unfortunately he died before his vision could become a reality and many conspiracies came up saying it was the oil industry getting rid of him because of his idea.

What I am trying to say: There are many feasible ideas and they have been around for a very long time, but because of lobbies, politics and unreasonable fear of a little plant called hemp, many of those ideas aren't being put to good use. 

cindy wrote:

Here in Malaysia a lot of jungle is destroyed to make palm oil plantations, and palm oil is also being used for biodiesel. At least here the soil is rich and can actually support farms and plantations. The Amazon rain forest grows on shallow layer of dirt sitting on top of clay. So after the soil is depleted and not planted any more, it takes decades for the jungle to even begin to grow back.

Not only that, but the top soil also washes away after just a few years, because the trees used to hold it in place. This means after the land has been used for a while, they need to cut down even more trees and the old fields become a wasteland, without any chance of re-growing the forest, because the top soil is gone. 

cindy wrote:

The problem is that there is nothing we can do without having an impact on some other critical area. Biofuel may increase the destruction in the jungle, use precious water, or be an incentive for more fertilizers. Dams destroy natual areas and put people below them at risk. Nuclear fuel has a waste disposal problem and the risk of a bad accident. There are no good choices here, just less bad ones.

I think Biofuel doesn't have to destroy the jungle. Countries in Europe or the US don't have any jungle left anyways. Also there is this argument about CO2 neutrality of Biofuels. Basically the plants bind as much CO2 during their growth as they will release when the biofuel is being burned. This way, Biofuel doesn't necessarily increase the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Nuclear fuel disposal is not really such a big problem in my mind. You can recycle most of the burned out rods and re use them again. The rest of the material you can deposit in old salt mines that are basically hermetically sealed. The main problem is that you cannot drive with nuclear fuel. Batteries are heavy and the range of electric cars is very limited. It is definitely not viable for planes either (batteries are too heavy).

You can use the electricity for hydrolysis and use hydrogen to store the energy. That might be a good solution for short range cars but not for planes. In order to keep the planes in the air,  you need biofuel.

As for your idea to process food waste: There is a company that actually can take food waste (from slaughterhouses) and process them into oil. However the quality is not very good and not suitable for refineries and there is not nearly enough waste.

I have also read about a technology that takes common bio matter and speeds up the process of creating coal from it. This process usually takes thousands of years, lots of pressure and heat. Coal can be processed into synthetic gasoline (Germany did it during WWII).

I think in the near future we will start processing coal into gasoline and start exploiting the oil sands in Canada and other countries which hold more oil then the middle eastern countries. It's an expensive process to get it out.

Biofuel will eventually take its place, but only for a short time, since we will need the area to grow food for an ever growing population of earth.

Eventually everything will be recycled as you say, but thats far into the future. 

Andre

Travel Photos 

 

I don't think the US can

I don't think the US can grow enough corn, not once we start running out of water.   And I don't think Brazil is going to import any corn from the US, so there probably will be an impact on the jungle.

There really aren't any easy solutions, or probably any good ones, just ones that are not as bad as others.  The law of unintended consequences takes over.  The National Park Service used to put out every forest fire, in order to preserve the wilderness.  Then they figured out that fire plays a part in the natural cycle, and started letting naturally caused fires burn unless they threatened settlements.  Now they've realized that they are having so much trouble with fire because they let things go naturally, and that the Indians maintained trails, cut wood, and did other things that helped keep the density of the forest down.  They did the right thing, preventing it all being logged, but they really didn't know what all the impacts were.

 The same thing applies to the fuel situation.  We'll have a hundred years of trial and error before we find anything low impact and sustainable.  But it all may be moot.  We are going to run out of water, and fuel won't seem so important any more. 

cindy wrote: The same

cindy wrote:

The same thing applies to the fuel situation. We'll have a hundred years of trial and error before we find anything low impact and sustainable. But it all may be moot. We are going to run out of water, and fuel won't seem so important any more.

I don't know. Seems to be a catch22. When you have enough energy,  you can put up a lot of desalination plants that effectively convert sea water into drinking water. Then you use the water to grow the bio fuels. If at the end there is enough energy and water left over everything is fine.  I don't know if that could be the case or not.

Secondly it certainly depends on where you are. Canadians seem to have enough water and could grow their fuel.

In hotter and more arid areas it may be better to put up solar cells and near the coast you could use wind.

Problematic is only the availability. Sun and Wind are not reliable, so you need expensive storage.

I am not too much worried about the situation 200 years from now (maybe even 100). By then I have full confidence that mankind will have mastered nuclear fusion (not fission which is what we have now) which will yield an endless supply of energy (it only needs water - heavy water). That abundance in energy can be used to desalinate as much water as we possibly need and energy storage will be good enough too by then.

The only thing mankind needs to worry then is not to pollute the food supply (sea) with waste products.

Between now and then we need to bridge the gap and refining coal into gasoline is a viable solution. This will be costly, but thats good, since there is no other way governments are going to fund the billions needed for all this. 

Andre

Travel Photos 

 

 

Thanks for the info.. Very

Thanks for the info.. Very informative.

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