Smart Consumption in the Mediterranean

» Leisure and travel

Keep this in mind!

When we speak about leisure and travel, we are referring to a large extent to the way in which we relate to each other and use our free time. The relationship between leisure and free time gives us many clues to the kind of life we lead; it tells us about our values and priorities as individuals and, by extension, as a society.

Present patterns of consumption favour a use of time for leisure and travel that tends to prioritise material consumption to use up the time and energy we have remaining after work. Moreover, leisure is sometimes associated with material consumption that makes people feel satisfied and happy (‘going shopping to have a good time’). The way in which we travel generally has a greater impact on the environment and on the societies we visit than we might think. In Tourism, you will find some alternative forms of travel.

Some questions we can ask ourselves:

1

Why do I spend my spare time on certain leisure activities?

Why do I go shopping on Saturdays to spend the day with my friends?
Do I need to spend two weeks in a tourist resort on the other side of the world when I could have a relaxing holiday in a less well-known part of my own region?
Why do I feel that I don’t have enough time?

2

To develop my creative side, be with the people I care about, discover unspoilt places, relax and change gear, how necessary is it for me to consume material things? Or to go on tiring journeys to distant places?

Have I asked myself what is the environmental, economic and social impact of the way I spend my leisure time and travel?

3

If we buy something in our leisure time or when we are travelling, who are we giving our money to?

Does the tour operator work applying criteria of sustainability and social justice? Does the cinema I go to belong to a company whose ethics are questionable?
Does the restaurant where I have dinner have any criteria for responsible consumption?

4

Lastly, our habits and attitudes are also important:

We should respect our environment, minimise the amount of waste we produce, respect the local culture when we travel and adapt to it, not impose our own standards.