Monthly Archives: December 2017

Easy Tips for Environmentally Conscious Travel

The recent rage in ‘eco-tourism’, or traveling in ways that support the natural environment and local people, has made some folks nervous. They think they need to go to Costa Rica and save the sea turtles in order to qualify as ‘green’ travelers. Not true. While the more labor-intensive volunteer excursions are wonderful experiences for some, they’re not for everyone. Many people take vacations to relax and get away from the stresses of everyday life, and they don’t want to have to worry about the environment while they’re gone.

But lessening one’s environmental impact while traveling doesn’t have to involve a lot of exertion or self-sacrifice, and doing so can make you feel that you’re doing something to help while simultaneously kicking back on the beach. A report from the Green Hotels Association quotes a US Travel Data Center survey stating that 43 million American travelers are ‘ecologically concerned’. People care, they just don’t know what to do about it.

Green travel essentially means travel that is concerned with protecting the environment and the culture of the places one visits. This can be achieved in many ways, from the simple to the more complex. Some of the ways we can be greener travelers are mentioned below.

Before You Leave on Your Trip
Turn off or unplug all appliances in your home; some appliances can pull up to 40 watts per hour even if turned off.
Turn down the temperature of the thermostat and water heaters.
Temporarily interrupt your newspaper service or donate it to a local school.
Turn off your water connection.
While Traveling
Use electronic tickets for your airline flights.
Buy carbon emissions offsets from an organization like Sustainable Travel International. By paying a small extra fee when you travel by air, for example, the amount of carbons emissions caused by your flight (which can be equivalent to one person’s fuel use of an SUV for an entire month) can be offset with the organization’s contributing to sustainable energy in other areas, such as solar heating or wind power.
Opt for a hybrid rental car.
Choose a ‘green’ hotel or ecolodge. These are accommodations whose goals are to preserve the environment and reduce waste. Some of the best of these use 100% solar power for their hotels, automatically turn off lights and appliances when guests leave the rooms, have low-flow toilets and recycling bins in the rooms, use local organic products in their restaurants, and employ staff from the local community. The Independent Traveler website lists a ‘Top 10 Ecolodges and Green Hotels’.

Glendo State Park, Wyoming

Glendo State Park is a part of Wyoming’s popular state park system. Located along the I-25, a hundred miles north of Cheyenne, the park is in the southern part of the state. In this Buzzle article, we’ll take a look at some interesting facts about the Glendo State Park to understand why this state park is a popular destination for residents of Colorado and Wyoming.

Experience This!
Exploring the area around Glendo State Park might lead you to tipi rings and remains of the Spanish Diggings.
One of the best state parks in Wyoming, the Glendo State Park is essentially famous among water sport enthusiasts. Tourists looking for some adventurous recreation should definitely visit this park. Facilities include infrastructures for both day and night use. Known as one of the best boating parks in the U.S., it has provisions for complete marina services and fishing equipment.

Location
The park is located along Interstate 25, Exit 111. Glendo is only around 3 hours by car from Denver, making it easily accessible. Coloradoans can enjoy fishing, swimming, and other water-based recreational activities without traveling too far afield. The park has many campsites designed to accommodate both RVs and tents, so spending a weekend at Glendo is a popular weekend getaway choice. Wyoming natives also frequent Glendo State Park, and some have annual day-use passes.

The Wild West
Although the small town of Glendo is today mostly a hub for lake users, the town predates the state park by many years. Images of Glendo in the 1800s can be found online. In the area surrounding Glendo State Park, it is still possible to get a Wild West feeling. Cattle ranching and wheat cultivation are the primary economic activities in Platte County, Wyoming, and it’s possible to drive for miles on dirt roads in the area without seeing any people.

Sandy Beach
The most popular camping area at Glendo State Park is Sandy Beach. The natural white sand beach mimics an ocean beach experience and is a good area to sunbathe, play volleyball and other beach games, or build sand castles. Because this area is the only sand beach on the Glendo Reservoir, the two Sandy Beach camping areas are often the most crowded. Several RV and tent campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and others can be reserved in advance. Drinking water is available from several spigots, and there are handicap-accessible outhouses in the area. Information on the other camp areas is listed at the end of the article.

Concerning National Parks Today

National parks preserve the living wealth of our planet. However off late, they have been facing various problems and it is disappointing to know that it’s all due to the insensitive behavior of mankind. Let’s take a look at some of the top issues concerning national parks.

From air pollution to habitat loss; national parks face a number of serious issues that affect their survival. These problems are difficult to address, because most of them are uncontrollable. However, it is important we take a few concrete steps to combat the problem. Now, most of the problems listed below are caused by the insensitive behavior of humans. No doubt the statutory purpose of a national park is to conserve and enhance the cultural heritage of the area along with providing opportunities to the public at large to enjoy and understand the natural beauty, but mankind tends to take it for granted. There are millions of people who visit the national park every year; which helps in raising funds for the park, however along with it; visitors also bring in problems like that of soil erosion, traffic congestion, assessing areas they are not allowed and so on. Some other problems like that of climate change and the reduction of polar ice due to global warming also have an adverse effect on wildlife.

Threats Concerning National Parks

National parks attract huge crowds as these areas give them an opportunity for open air recreation and take in the scenic beauty which is preserved and enhanced by the authorities. However, most visitors fail to realize the importance of keeping the parks clean. Many tourists leave behind water bottles and other scraps of litter, which is posing to be a grave problem these days. Visitors should be penalized for this act of theirs. Moreover, national parks also face the problem of being understaffed. Hence, it becomes difficult to pay heed to the cleaning issues of the national parks with limited staff.

The growing vegetation profoundly enhances the beauty of national parks. However, the millions of unnatural footprints (read visitors) trampling on the vegetation damages the park’s landscape. Agreed, all this is a part of natural decay, but by accessing the number of visitors per day and by rescheduling the system, we might be successful in stopping the vegetation damage and also prevent soil erosion by overuse. Off-road vehicles (ATV’s) are also responsible for deteriorating the vegetation and causing soil erosion.

After a hectic week, visitors look at national parks as a recreational place. However, they hardly realize that their recreational machines like mountain biking, motor boats and jet skiing they use, can interfere with the nesting of birds and gravely affect their migration pattern. The several road trips that take place within these national parks affect the road conditions as well. Of course repairs are undertaken but it takes time, and funds are needed to set things right.

The Benjamin Franklin National

In the United States, National Memorial is a designation for a protected area, that commemorates a historical event or a person. Located in the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is a tribute to the great inventor and philosopher, and most importantly, one of the founding fathers of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the greatest citizens of the United States for his contribution towards the American revolution. He helped to write a part of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which contain some of the basic ideas that form the foundation of the United States federal government. Benjamin Franklin was a genius, renowned for several scientific discoveries, including the theories regarding electricity. The National Memorial tries to preserve the memories of this great statesman as well as the historic events in his life.
Interesting Facts about the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
» The Franklin Institute, where the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is located, is one of the oldest science museums in the United States. The National Memorial is mainly famous for the huge and awe-inspiring statue of Franklin, seated on a pedestal made of white Seravezza marble, imported from Italy.
»The colossal statue of Benjamin Franklin is 20 feet (6.1 m) tall and weighs 30 tons, while the pedestal on which the statue is positioned weighs 92 tons. The statue is the centerpiece of the memorial hall, which was designed by John T. Windrim, an American architect.

» The memorial hall was opened in 1938, and its structure is inspired by the Roman Pantheon. The rotunda is 82 feet in height, width, and length, and its domed ceiling weighs about 1600 tons.
» The statue of Benjamin Franklin was sculpted by James Earle Fraser. It took him almost 5 years (1906 to 1911) to complete the construction.
» The walls, floors, ceilings, pilasters, and the columns of the memorial hall are made of rare marbles. These marbles are imported from Italy, France, and Portugal.
» In 1972, the National Memorial got designated as the official National Memorial of Benjamin Franklin by the United States Congress. Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller formally dedicated the memorial on April 2, 1976.
» Unlike other national memorials, the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is not included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Instead, it is affiliated to the National Park Service, just like the Franklin Institute.
» The memorial is owned and maintained by the Franklin Institute, which receives grants through the Department of the Interior. Grants are usually given for the maintenance and addition of exhibits to the memorial.
» In 2008, the memorial was renovated. A multimedia presentation about Franklin was installed, along with latest LED lighting and improved acoustics. The total cost of the refurbishment was about $3.8 million.