To celebrate Earth Day we thought we would pick our top 10 tips for eco-friendly travel. These ten practical tips will help ensure you stay eco-conscious, whilst enjoying the trip of a lifetime.
1. Move over plastic bag, hello reusable tote
Did you know that plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade? When travelling it’s best to invest in a reusable shopping bag for picking up essentials in the local market, or for packing your favourite trinkets. Reusable bags not only are eco-friendly but they also come in a variety of patterns, fabrics and styles. Just remember to invest in one that is a plastic alternative.
2. Pack Light
The more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. So skip packing a variety of outfits and instead pack only for what you need. The environment will thank you.
3. Use public transport
When on holiday use public transport if you can. This means you’ll not be creating any additional carbon emissions from private transport. It will also enrich your travel experience as you’ll get the opportunity to meet locals. If there is also an option to use bicycles or walk around your destination this is a good idea also. Exploring your destination on foot or by bike will allow you to create a personal itinerary that takes in what you want to see. It can also be an incredibly rewarding experience.
4. Travel Overland
We know that flying can be the quicker option, but if you cut out just one five-hour flight your carbon footprint will be a lot lighter. Not only that but you will get to see sights you would have overlooked on the plane. From the rolling countryside, tiny villages and curious locals you might find these bus journeys the most magical moments from your trip.
5. Enjoy a local Beer
Cut down on your beer mileage and enjoy a local beer instead of opting for a further travelled imported option. Not only will you get to enjoy something that many of your friends will have never tried, but your tipple will also be low-carbon!
6. Make yourself at home in your Hotel
When staying in your hotel treat it as if you were at home. Don’t request clean towels daily when they’re not needed and avoid long hot showers. Something we often forget in hotels is to turn off lights, the aircon and the TV when we leave the room.
7. Choose a Carbon Offset Holiday
Unfortunately, when travelling you can’t avoid all carbon emissions. If you really want to travel eco-friendly then look into booking a holiday with a travel company that offers to offset your carbon emissions or one that accounts for your trip. There are many companies out there that can help you stay conscious of this and that can offer a holiday that will keep your emissions low.
8. Avoid Bottled Water
Plastic bottles account for a huge amount of environmental waste and pollute our oceans. If possible you can bring a reusable water bottle that can be filled with safe water from your hotel for free. If you are going to be backpacking and won’t always have access to clean water then it’s a good idea to invest in a filtered water bottle. These bottles come with a filter installed that will purify undrinkable water, allowing you to drink without having to pay for expensive bottles of water and offset the carbon emissions caused by using the plastic option.
9. Don’t stray from the path
When on a hiking trip always stay on the marked trails and remember to keep a safe distance from any animals you see. Do not approach wild animals in their natural habitat, we’ve all heard the story about the poor dolphin who died whilst people rushed to get a selfie. Also if you go off the path you may trample or damage protected flora and fauna. The path is there for a reason, use your common sense and follow it!
10. Power in Numbers
Travelling in a smaller group tends to have less of an environmental impact so if you are travelling with a tour operator enquire about what their group sizes are before you book. Another handy tip would be to ask them how they give back to the local community, this will help you determine which tour operator to book with as you’ll want to go with a tour operator that values the local community and helps empower the local tourist industry.
We hope this article has helped get you excited for eco-friendly travelling. Are you travelling currently and do you have a story to tell? Get in touch with us here.