A healthy dose of competition and some bright minds went to work to make traveling greener, and more sustainable with the 3rd Fly Your Ideas Challenge organized by Airbus between September 2012 and June 2013. The 2013 winners of the 30,000 Euro prize? A team of students from the University of Sao Paulo.
About the Fly Your Ideas Challenge:
In order to find new ways to reduce its carbon footprint, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus organized a challenge called Fly Your Ideas Challenge where students can submit their ideas so that flying can be more sustainable and better for passengers.
The ideas they are looking for can be categorized in 4 main categories to improve energy consumption, efficiency, affordable growth and traffic growth. It is open to teams of three to five students from all over the world as long as they are registered students until the end of the competition.
The winning team of Paulistas was rewarded with a 30,000 Euro check and the possibility to see its idea become alive. The final took place in France between June 10th and 14th. The finalist were able to visit the Airbus factory in Toulouse before heading to Paris for the result.
Over 600 teams participated in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge 2013 with innovative concepts for green air travel and the winning team was made of students from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Their idea was an air-powered baggage handling system inspired by air hockey tables, so that luggage can be transferred in a smoother way from an airport truck to the cargo compartment of a plane. According to their studies, it will simplify ground operations and decrease the waiting time of passengers to get their luggage. Therefore, this system will improve travelers experience as well as the efficiency of ground operations.
The runner-up team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, won a 15,000 Euro check for their idea of aircraft fueled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied bio-methane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG) so that it will be greener. According to their research, it will allow airplanes to reduce their carbon footprint and therefore make air travel more sustainable and eco-friendly.
We don’t know yet when these ideas will be available in airplanes but it’s a real hope for greener and more sustainable flying experience.
How to travel more responsibly:
It is important to travel responsibly as tourism can damage the environment and negatively impact local communities. Indeed, the number of people traveling every year can increase the carbon footprint as they use airplanes that lead to carbon dioxide emissions. But you can travel the world and still be traveling responsibly. You just need to keep in mind these recommendations:
- Try to avoid flying for small distances as airplane carbon dioxide emission is high. Use local transportation, train, bikes or walk whenever you can. This will also allow you to enjoy the beautiful landscape surrounding you
- When booking accommodations, pay attention to their socio-cultural and environmental impact on the local economy and environment
- When sightseeing, hiking or snorkeling, do not touch the fauna or flora without authorization from a professional tour guide or park personnel
- Do not waste water or energy, and try to recycle every time you can
- And last but not least, respect the differences of other cultures and learn from them
Eco-Friendly Tours by SouthAmerica.travel:
At SouthAmerica.travel, we offer some eco-friendly lodges and tours:
Here you can visit the Ecuador Amazon and stay in an eco-friendly lodge that was made with locally-sourced materials and uses methods such as solar energy, biodegradable soaps, and trash recycling systems. This lodge was created in a partnership between an Ecuadorian tourism company (Canodros) and the Ecuadorian community of Achuar. The goal was to create an economically-sustainable project to preserve the cultural and environmental resources of the region. Today the lodge is only owned by the Achuars.
The variety of activities available near the lodge. There are several Achuar communities in the region and the lodge makes sure to minimize the impact of tourism to these areas by choosing only a few to visit at a time. And last but not least, it is a verified lodge as meeting Rainforest Alliance sustainable tourism requirements.
On this tour be amazed by the beautiful sight of the Iguazu Falls and its Devil’s Throat. Then head to the Yacutinga Lodge that has been built in a way that minimizes negative impacts on the environment. Two hours away from Puerto Iguazu, this lodge is the only eco-lodge of its kind in Argentina. The lodge was built with local materials such as stones and fallen logs. The lodge also works with local farmers to offer traditional local meals.
The Yacutinga Lodge provides employment, and educational and sustainable development opportunities in the region. The Biological Station was built in order to find ways to use their private reserve without damaging the nature. You will feel closer to nature while enjoying the comfort of a nice bedroom and bathroom. Enjoy the fauna and flora and even spot some toucanets, puffbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, thrushes, jacanas, and more.
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