With its ugly weight climate change on our shoulders, there are many ways you can ensure that your daily life is more “environmentally friendly”.
Recycling, reusing coffee cups and walking instead of driving are small but important changes you can make – but have you ever considered having a “green” public holiday?
Around Australia, there are countless eco-friendly hotels, tiny homes and shelters where you can enjoy a relaxing getaway without worrying about how your vacation will adversely affect the environment.
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To try this idea, I packed my suitcase and jumped into one Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Hybrid PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) for a sustainable weekend in NSW’s Kangaroo Valley.
The Eclipse Cross is a hybrid electric car, which means you can enjoy clean, eco-friendly driving without worrying about having to plug it in when the battery runs out.
It still has a petrol engine, but I tried to avoid using the tank in my mini getaway.
As I was getting ready for bed, I started to get acquainted with “tiny living”
The two-and-a-half-hour drive was a dream, and I watched with satisfaction as other cars passed by, picking up carbon dioxide emissions into the air as I glided electronically.
I arrived at my lodge, a tiny house called “Azaltie” in the kangaroo valley, under a canopy of stars.
It was hidden in a huge 11 acre property in the middle of a foggy valley and the tiny house was so inconspicuous that you could lose it in the dark.
The secluded house was equipped with a tiny kitchenette, a sofa, a dry ecological toilet (no need to rinse!) And a queen bed on the top floor.
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It was small but impressive, hidden in the middle of the beautiful bushy area of the valley.
I felt the urge to hang up my phone and leave it in the car for the rest of the trip. There was no Wi-Fi, and finally, ecotourism has to do with reconnecting with nature.
As I was getting ready for bed, I started to get acquainted with “tiny living”.
I was living with my partner, Matt, and the bathroom was not big enough for two people.
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If you cooked something in the kitchenette (or spent some time in the bathroom after that dinner), you need to be prepared for the fact that you could smell everything. Ventilating a tiny house while you’re out exploring is vital.
However, I was amazed at how much the owners had put in the small house, which had a towbar in the trailer, so you could drive it literally anywhere.
It was also hilarious to watch as one of us graciously tried to climb the stairs to the bed, only to fall to the mattress in complete relief that you had not fallen down and broken your neck.
The night passed by listening to the wonderful (but sometimes creepy) sounds of the Australian bush – and, of course, a stunning sunrise to wake us up.
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The next morning, we jumped at Eclipse Cross and made our way to Fitzroy Falls, a glorious waterfall in the South Highlands just a short drive from the valley.
Due to the floods, the roads connecting the Waterfalls with the Kangaroo Valley were closed. This meant an hour bypass to reach the amazing tourist destination.
Normally, I would have foamed. But the driving was so smooth and picturesque that I really enjoyed the extra time in the car. As it turns out, being environmentally friendly also lifts your spirits – who would have thought?
The Eclipse Cross had taken us from Balmain to Sydney in the Kangaroo Valley on a single charge, so we had to recharge it to have the full ecological experience. I wanted to use as much electricity and as little gasoline as possible in my “green” vacation.
As someone who has never driven a 100 percent electric vehicle, the Mitsubishi Eclipse was the perfect stepping stone for a “clean” EV. It also eliminates many of the guilt associated with a long road trip.
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I wanted to get out of the city and try to live sustainably for a few days. As someone who was not ready to give up the safety of a gas tank completely, it was a fantastic middle ground.
As it turns out, driving a normal car is very difficult to get used to after slipping along the south coast of NNO with an electric vehicle for two days.
The sustainable journey taught me three things: 1) I need to learn how to use a compost 2) Wi-Fi is not necessary for a happy life and 3) It is possible to live without gasoline.
He also taught me some valuable lessons on how every little decision I make affects the environment.
Certainly not a multi-billion dollar company responsible for most of the global greenhouse gas emissions, but I can make a small difference. And many small changes really add up.
This author stayed as a guest on Azaltlie for Mitsubishi Australia.
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