Travel in itself is not a very eco-friendly activity as it always involves the use of transport, however many people find travel highly enjoyable and aren’t willing to give it up for the sake of the environment. After all, travel isn’t all bad — it can be highly beneficial in broadening the mind and boosting mental health, as well as giving local economies a lift.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to enjoy a holiday while keeping your environmental impact to a minimum.
Choose your hotel on its eco merits
Research your hotels well before you book anything and choose one that is shouting loud and proud about its energy conservation and other green practices. If you are unsure, read reviews from past guests and see what they say about the eco aspect of the hotel.
You can assist with energy conservation during your stay by requesting that housekeeping doesn’t change your bedding and towels daily, or more frequently than required. Also, make sure you eat and drink from crockery and glass to avoid using single-use plastics.
Interested in your flight’s carbon footprint? Discover it here.
Green your flights
It’s no secret that airplanes are not good for the environment — they emit gases, heat and noise, and therefore contribute significantly to climate change. There are ways to ‘green’ your flight, though. Where possible, choose direct flights, as planes emit more gases during take-off than the rest of the flight. You can also opt for greener flights, where routes are planned out based on what is best environmentally, rather than what is cheapest for the airline. Additionally, some airlines invest in carbon reduction projects, so it would be good to support those.
What can you do during your flight to reduce your impact? Take a reusable water bottle with you, and supply your own food from home to avoid all the single-use plastic related to in-flight meals.
Swap a car for a bike
Once you have arrived at your destination, if you are wanting to explore the local area, don’t hire a car — instead, explore by bike or on foot. This is better for your health, allows you to see much more of the area you’re staying in, and it is also, crucially, much better for the environment. If you do need a car for your holiday, see if you can rent a hybrid or fully electric one.
Try the local cuisine
Immerse yourself in the local culture by eating what the locals eat — this will no doubt be locally sourced fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. This will be a fantastic experience, will reduce your carbon footprint, and will also support the local food producers. Just check that the local delicacy isn’t, for example, an endangered species — or anything else you’re not comfortable eating.
Dispose of waste correctly
If you are reading this blog post, the correct disposal of waste will probably already be on your radar. In that case, it is very important to continue as usual when on holiday. If in doubt, ask at your hotel about waste disposal and recycling facilities you can use. This goes without saying but also don’t litter when you’re on holuday. In fact, if you have some time to pick up litter on a beach or in your locality, please do so — every little helps!
Choose souvenirs wisely
If you’re planning on taking gifts or souvenirs of your travels home, give it some thought and only buy items that are locally made and aren’t doing any harm — things to avoid are ivory, coral, turtle shell, teeth, fur, bone, and feathers.
Do you have any more tips for eco-conscious travellers? If so, please share them with us in the comments below.
Read this blog post for tips on How to Cut Down on Plastic When Travelling.