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  • Aaryan Doshi

Happy Holidays & Circular Travels

Happy Holidays & Circular Travels image: adobe firefly

What would holidays be like if we all adopted Circular Economy lifestyles? How would it impact our travel? As we start reflecting on how a circular economy differs from a linear economy, we start to notice how it can affect or change so many things that you and I take for granted or are used to living with.

For example, as soon as we land at our favorite destination spot, at the airport itself, we are requested to download an app that acts like a companion to help us travel more circularly and sustainably. Before we order food, our favorite delivery service asks us to pick up (rent) reusable utensils from a shop managed by locals. Throughout the trip, we are urged to use these utensils instead of plastic. No matter where we shop for food, the merchants log our requests for plastic. We can track what has been logged using the app provided to us.

When we order food in a restaurant, the menu describes or provides some information on the source of the ingredients (which local producer provided the ingredients) and, more importantly, how the food will be disposed of and its lifecycle extended (a topic for a future blog!). And if we waste food, we are charged a “waste” fee - what a novel way to discourage wasting when so many people on our planet lack food.

When we rent a car or ride-share service, the app tracks the type of car we requested (EV vs. Fossil fuel powered), the number of miles driven, and at what time (peak traffic hours vs. light hours). The app can track how many miles we walked, how many miles we biked, and how many miles we traveled by car.

But wait - how many times have you accidentally discovered a hidden gem in a tourist - a spot that can only be visited via hiking or biking? In the spirit of eco-friendly travel, locals at different hotels suggest spots that can only be seen via walking or biking instead of driving. Even while driving, we are provided with time slots to ease congestion and fight traffic pollution.

How often have we purchased an item just for that trip - like shoes, a jacket, a soccer ball, or a racket? And we never use it again. Not to mention, overloading the car, cab, or airplane with all that weight contributes to more carbon emissions. In the circular travel world, we will instead be guided to rent such equipment at a very reasonable cost. The local government would support the incentives to ensure the rental fees are reasonable with circularity (and climate) in mind - not just profits!


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