The Encyclical, “Laudato Sì” helps us to look for ways to relax and rest in respectful harmony with the planet and the cultures it hosts, collaborating for greater sustainability.

What are the choices we make when planning a trip? Do we only think of beautiful scenery, a place where we can rest or do we also think about the encounter with the environment, with people and their cultures?

Here are some tips to live our holidays in a sustainable way.

  1. Rediscover our relationship with nature, noticing all its richness. When we visit places other than the one in which we live, we are invited to become aware of our Common Home, its beauty, its variety and breadth. It is important to take care of these places where we will live for a while and take the opportunity to integrate with the local people and the surrounding nature. It is always enriching to be open to an experience of encounter, of discovery of biodiversity, of natural resources (LS 151).
  2. Discover the local culture.Sometimes the riches of the place are set aside for the pursuit of conveniences for tourism. Respect for the culture of each place is central so that its identity is not lost. Before going on a journey, it can be helpful to do some research on that place, its people and its ecosystems, to get to know the local organizations that look after the conservation and protection of nature; to go there, aware of the value of its people and its territory and, since you only love what you know, we will be able to enlarge our hearts to an increasingly planetary dimension. The disappearance of a culture may be as or more serious than the disappearance of an animal or plant species (LS 145).
  3. Appreciate the wisdom of the original populations.Pay attention to indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are in fact fundamental interlocutors to get to know how the land is used and their customs. Many of these cultures respect the earth as a gift from the Creator and take care of the heritage of their ancestors as sacred spaces. It is necessary to respect them and interact with them to uphold their identity and values (LS 146).
  4. Support the conservation of natural areas and minimize the damage caused by our stay.Sometimes, it seems that many attitudes that we try to have throughout the year, are put aside during the holiday season. It is important to take care of the environment with actions such as: avoiding the use of plastic and paper material, reducing water consumption, differentiating waste, cooking only what you will eat, taking care of all living beings, turning off unnecessary lights. These are just a few examples to be able to have a generous attitude that shows the best of the human being (LS 211).
  5. Moderate energy consumption (air conditioning and heating).We can carry out small concrete actions in our daily life, as we mentioned in the previous point. Protecting energy resources is vital for our planet. Therefore, in summer, use air conditioning only as necessary. In winter, cover yourself a little more instead of turning on the heating. With these small savings, we contribute to a global movement that helps reduce the use of fossil fuels (LS 211).
  6. Try ecological transport: walks, bicycles, public transport.The quality of life in cities is associated with the development of good public transport that allows the movement of those who need to travel for work or leisure. It can be an enriching experience to use the means of transport of the local population. It can allow us to better understand their reality, avoiding adding other vehicles to the roads and may even be a better way to reach the places we want to visit (LS 153).
  7. Enjoy the simplicity to live in freedom.Sobriety does not consist in living every moment less, but in living it more intensely, enjoying simplicity, taking the time to get to know the place and its people, which allows us to value and respect every living being. We can leave our opinions and suggestions with the locals who have hosted, nurtured and/or guided us on our tours. This dialogue generates the reciprocity and motivation that these people need to improve and better welcome visitors (LS 223).
  8. Contemplating the cultural and technological works of every place.Find out about the museums to visit, the technological initiatives, the buildings that tell the identity of the place. “Technoscience, when well directed, can produce important means of improving the quality of human life” (LS 103).
  9. Fully integrate these moments of rest into our personal and community life.The value of rest is part of the spiritual life of many religions. Incorporating contemplative activities favours our spiritual growth in this path. It means to move onto another level, towards a fruitful dialogue with others and with nature. This rest motivates us not only to take care of the environment, but also to be generous and help the people most in need of the place we visit (LS 237).
  10. Consider the destination of our holiday and our trip a privileged space to experience interiority.Through the practice of worship of all kinds, we can embrace all the realities of the world. The hand that blesses is an instrument of the Creator’s love and a reflection of his closeness in the journey of life (LS 235).

EcoOne Southern Cone *

*Network of professors, academics, researchers and professionals working in the field of environmental sciences.

**LS: Excerpts from paragraphs of Laudato Sì interpreted to take responsibility for tourism and rest.

3 Comments

  • Ci apprestiamo alla Vacanza Insieme 2022 (Mariapoli Vacanza) e il tema di quest’anno è proprio il prendersi cura della nostra terra.
    Tutti input validi e vivibili. Grazie

  • Ciao, mio marito ha un’attività ricettiva e mi sembra che posso suggerire la maggiore comprensione del territorio e di chi vi abita. Grazie

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