Thursday, March 13, 2008

A veteran in the green industry talks travel...

(bio taken from Wild Virginia's website)

Eric Gilchrist is the president of Wild Virginia Board of Directors, principle of Green Resources of Virginia, a consulting firm specializing in marketing sustainable products in Virginia. Eric has over twenty years experience in sales and marketing for large and small companies, including his own for-profit green business. He holds an MBA and BS in Environmental Planning & Management from Penn State. He finished the International Honors Program which entailed studying Global Ecology issues in India, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, England, and Fiji in 1992-1993. He and his wife Deborah love forests and other wild ecosystems.

Eric has been extremely helpful to Betty and I. I thank him for taking the time to sit down and answer some of my travel questions before he and his wife leave for India in the coming days.

T: Tell me about one of your favorite far away destinations? What do you love about it?

E: One of my favorite places is India. I love their deep culture, history, religous tolerance, and of course the people. I appreciate most how emotionally happy many of them are despite lacking high incomes, big houses and other material possessions. Even in the slum areas you will find truly joyful and smiling people.

T: I think we all struggle to find balance in our lives, especially when it comes to having our values be in line with our actions. How do we remain conscious about the environment (on the "path" of green that I've talked about in previous blogs) at the same time recognizing the inevitability of human impact?

E: That is a difficult question I think about almost every day. What makes it tough is that I am mostly conscious of my own impact and it gives me pangs of guilt. Inevitable human impact? We can do our best to educate, advocate, not promote negative activities, and hope we evolve to live as a truly sustainable and natural world.

T:What are some ways the modern e-conscious citizen with wanderlust reconcile the energy-intensive by-product of travel?

E:By participating in carbon off-set programs like the ones mentioned in this web site. And, when traveling try to walk and use efficient public transportation. For example, the railroad system in India is very big and used very much. They claim that the India railroads employ 1.5 million people, the world's largest employer. It would be wonderful to have such an employer here in the US and a rail system that can help all people move around affordably and with less energy expenditures.

Thank you, Eric!


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