Environmental travel

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How does one travel a long distance and be environmentally friendly? I am writing to you from New Zealand after taking the train across Canada and then an airplane to New Zealand, I am going to keep track of my emissions from the flight and travelling here and make a donation to offset this when I return.

The train trip was a wonderful four days. I had time to see many parts of Canada that I had never seen before, relax after a hectic time getting ready for this trip and meet some very nice people.

In Jaspar, I bought local: I tried out the beer at the Jaspar Brewing Company. Their flight of six beers went down nicely, especially since I just had to walk across the street to get back on the train.

The flight to Auckland was long and I didn’t sleep on the plane. Luckily a friend picked me up at the airport so I didn’t have to start driving on the left in my sleep-deprived state. I kept my eyes open as we drove into the city—there was a bike line on a very busy four lane street.

The garbage was picked up today with a truck with an arm that picked up a standard plastic garbage can—everyone has the same shape. Every two weeks the recycling bin of the same shape but a different coloured lid is picked up. The compostibles are picked up regularly too.

It is summer here but today is cloudy and windy – about 20˚C. I had a cardigan or jumper on when we went up on North Head to overlook Auckland. I lived in New Zealand forty years ago and it was fun to try to name some trees, flowers and birds. Small boats were racing in the harbour. It was also interesting to spot things that looked familiar – how the stores have permanent awnings over the sidewalks; how every home has some kind of fence or hedge on all three sides of the front lawn and how I am going to have to keep my wits about me the first few days to drive on the left side of the road.

My next four columns will come from New Zealand. They will be a combination of environment and me being a tourist. I am taking some pictures and keeping a journal on my laptop.

Yours environmentally.

Organizations: Jaspar Brewing Company

Geographic location: New Zealand, Canada, Auckland Jaspar North Head

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