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Environmentalists on Vacation

Updated on November 20, 2013

A New Environment

Less Burden upon the Planet

Barter is the age-old, natural way of living. From its humble beginnings as a way for friends and family to swap off homes for a weekend, the practice of vacation home exchanging now has evolved into an international network of people who want to share experiences with travelers who, like themselves, love to learn what it's really like to live somewhere else.

Best of all, the idea is not only natural, but is good for the environment in many measurable ways.

Why the Idea has Caught On

People actually do this. What are some of the many advantages of vacation home exchanging which have made it popular in our modern conservationist era, in which we all share an interest in avoiding waste and pollution?

  • It's tight and economic. The natural resources of the vacation community do not have to be depleted to make special accommodations for travelers because existing homes can become those very accommodations.
  • It's clean. There's less pollution of the environment in a tourist center by an unsustainable number of people concentrated into one dense zone of hotels and motels.
  • Developers might not like it, however. There will be more open space, air, and light, if large tracts of land are not developed for transient tourism and half-empty hotels surrounded by busy commercial traffic.
  • Waste not, want not. Heat, electricity, and gas will not be left on and wasted in vacant homes while families are away on vacation for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid disgusting things like large tour buses. They will not pollute the air in tourist areas, if there are fewer package tours typically dependent on hotel contracts and mass quantity sales.
  • Cut down on traffic congestion. Families using vacation home exchanging are more likely to use public transportation instead of personal automobiles, which saves fuel resources.
  • Home-cooked meals are the right stuff. Having one's own kitchen will promote natural cooking rather than supporting wasteful, unhealthy fast food corporations.
  • Folks like you will be doing it too. Vacation home exchanging will occur between families already green-conscious, thus mutually preserving resources in each others homes and leading the way to a more caring and sensitive society.
  • It's plain, simple, and wholesome. The natural flow of people back and forth with vacation home exchanging maintains a graceful population balance in tune with nature itself, rather than an awkward glut of tourists thrown together artificially for some enterprise's financial gain.

Why Vacation Home Exchanging Will Flourish
You don't have to be rich. Regardless of someone's economic circumstances, having personal contact with the families and people who reside year-round in another location is a big part of the memories that travelers will take back with them when they return home. Coming back knowing that the environment is better off for vacation home exchanging is a great feeling that will be refreshing in and of itself.

While immersion into the culture of distant places is perhaps the pinnacle of travel, other practical considerations are very essential during a vacation. People don't have to worry about wasted utility bills, paying double rent on both their hotel room and their home, or about their homes being safe while they're away.

With vacation home exchanging, travelers barter each other's house-sitting services back and forth in a natural way that avoids all waste. Both families know that their homes, plants, and in some cases, pets, are in good hands, and are being enjoyed by others and not left alone. Everything is efficient and useful.

Modern technology is on our side. With the Internet, people can examine lists of fellow home swappers in many diverse locations, who have green interests just like themselves. All it takes to make vacation home exchanging work is a love of travel that is equal to one's love of humanity and the world in which billions of human beings all live, as shown by sensitive environmental consciousness.

The Carbon Footprint

The Self-Conscious Environmentalist

When an environmentalist sizes himself up, he or she might measure self-worth by how small a "carbon footprint" this individual, or his or her family or company, is leaving on the face of the earth. Not wishing to be a burden upon the earth that's shared by billions of other people, the smaller the better is the criterion to use.

Sadly, we all must breathe the same air. There is a social consciousness to environmentalism. It's an extension of the Golden Rule of doing unto others what we've have them do unto us. Human beings need oxygen. The more of it, the better. But when it's replaced by carbon dioxide, people can't live.

Mankind consumes his environment, both the natural elements of it and the man-made devices. When consumption of anything becomes gross or out of control, a threat to the environment seems sure to arise.

A carbon footprint is a bad thing. Carbon seems inert, dead. It reminds people of death itself. While technology is needed to reduce mankind's carbon footprint, common sense in everyday life by individuals who care about consequences also has a great impact. Sharing and caring for waste and pollution will aid in the fight to save the richness of the planet for generations to come.

The desire for energy is very strong, and has led to carelessness in the use of fuel. Emissions from vehicles and factories are significant. "Renewable energy" is the object of the quest of many environmental organizations, to help decrease depletion of energy sources, and help find an environmentally friendly source of energy. "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" are the three ways to reduce the carbon footprint, and the guilt people feel about their anti-environmental pollution. By living a tighter and more controlled lifestyle, including vacation home swapping, it's thought that people can make strides toward a cleaner and better world.

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