Climate-Conscious Travel

Aseem Prakash, left, and Nives Dolšak are professors at the University of Washington working on raising awareness about climate-conscious travel as a personal responsibility as well as a political one. The “renewable power couple” are photographed on the Edmonds waterfront. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

SMEA Professor and Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash were recently in a Seattle Times article that featured “bright ideas for climate conscious travel.” Dolšak and Prakash discussed their work on sustainable travel practices, which include encouraging travelers to travel less, using alternatives to air travel, or when traveling by air, supporting fuel efficient airlines and aircraft, and purchasing carbon offsets – credits travelers can buy that are applied to programs the reduce carbon emissions. They would like to see travelers better informed about their trip’s carbon footprint and environmental impact, and hope for a future where transportation can run on renewable energy. Both acknowledge that while they encourage less travel, they don’t think people should completely stop traveling. As Prakash states in the article “It’s important that people travel. In a globalized world, international exchanges, cultural exchanges are absolutely important to make the world a better place, to create more compassion, to create a sense of global citizenship.”