The Climate Costs of Tourism: we are all locavists now — let’s stay that way!

Characteristics of Locavism

  1. Low Carbon: Locavist development is, first and foremost, low-carbon tourism. It involves not only shifting toward low carbon modes of transport, but also reducing the need for travel by ensuring a range of quality local destinations. This mode and distance shift is critical if we are to achieve any true emission reductions. Investment in local mass transit infrastructure would further reduce carbon emissions and increase amenity values close to home.
  2. Local Ecology, Economy, and Culture: Locavist development is framed by the ecological potentials and limits of a region, and suited to the culture and values of the community. In turn, locavist destinations are designed to engage visitors through place-relevant and meaningful experiences that explore local nature, people, places, history, and/or culture.
  3. Local Food, Energy and Materials: The success of the “slow food” movement exemplifies this shift. A similar “slow energy” and “slow materials” approach is steadily emerging. One way to conceive of locavism is as “slow tourism.”
  4. Human-scaled: Locavism embraces human-powered travel combined with mass transit. In the transportation planning parlance, this is known as mode shift, or changing the relative reliance on one higher GHG-emitting form of travel for another, such as from commercial airline to train, or from single-occupant vehicles to public transit.
  5. Homegrown Solutions: Locavist development relies on locally developed solutions uniquely suited to bioregions and homeplaces, over national and state standards and codes.

--

--

--

Professor and former Dean: Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. Founder: McCall Outdoor Science School and the WV Land Trust.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
steve hollenhorst

steve hollenhorst

Professor and former Dean: Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. Founder: McCall Outdoor Science School and the WV Land Trust.

More from Medium

World is running out of water

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble

5 Things Not to Do When Raising $1.5M

Did Scifi Die After The X-Files?