Learn our top tips to make your holiday eco-friendly and help reduce your environmental impact and save yourself a penny or two.
Everyone loves going on holiday. There’s nothing like escaping from the chaos of everyday life, discovering new places, treating yourself to your favourite foods, relaxing and unwinding and spending quality time with your loved ones.
But unfortunately, the choices we make about our holidays can have a significant impact on the environment.
Take flying abroad for example. Every kilometre we travel by plane releases 254g of CO2 which means that heading for that quick weekend break from London to Paris (340km) will release a massive 86,360g (86.4 kg). That’s not mentioning stuff like plastic pollution, ecological damage and the potential impact on local wildlife that our travels can have.
If you’re wondering whether you need to sacrifice your holidays and turn into a hermit, don’t worry. There are many ways you can become an eco-friendlier traveller and still enjoy the adventures and freedom that you deserve.
Here are our top tips.
The UK is a stunning place that attracts around 40 million foreign visitors each year. But we often forget that we live in such a rich and historic country with so much natural beauty and culture to enjoy.
So instead of hopping online and booking a flight somewhere abroad, why not consider a UK staycation instead?
You’ll keep your carbon footprint down (especially if you choose an eco-friendly form of transport), you won’t have to deal with long queues and disruptions at the airport or a language barrier and you can soak up everything that our country has to offer.
Travel is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases so think carefully about your method of transport before you book.
Often flying seems to be the only choice, although if you’re travelling short distances, it can be worth looking for alternative ways to get there such as going by train or even coach, especially for shorter trips within Europe.
“A coach can travel 146,000 passenger-kilometres for every tonne of CO2 emitted, whereas a car can only travel 26,000 passenger-kilometres, meaning that CO2 emissions from coaches are a staggering 6 times lower than car travel per passenger-kilometre,” says Just Go! Holidays, “Coach travel emissions are also 1.5 times lower than rail travel and 5 times lower than air travel per passenger-kilometre.”
Just a word of warning about cruise ships- they’re even more polluting than planes, emitting between three to four times more CO2 per passenger per kilometre so they’re best avoided too.
When we travel, we tend to use more single-use plastic items such as takeaway cups and food containers, disposable headphones, plastic carrier bags and straws.
But if you’ve been watching the news, you’ll know that these don’t biodegrade like other items, pollute our oceans and kill millions of marine wildlife every year so are best avoided on your travels.
Here are some clever alternatives you might like to pop in your travel bag to be more eco-friendly on your travels:
Wherever in the world you decide to visit, look for local experiences that help you connect with the local community and give something back.
By doing so, you can unlock some unique experiences that you won’t find in any editions of the Lonely Planet, discover those true hidden gems and enjoy a truly authentic experience.
This could be as simple as wandering off the beaten track, finding where the locals hang out and making it your new favourite spot and avoiding the big tourist traps.
You can also look for an ethical travel organisation that supports the community directly by supporting local jobs or boosting the economy and will give you a unique insight into the way they live.
Help protect local wildlife and protect our planet by following the ‘leave no trace’ rules whenever you travel in the UK or abroad.
This includes planning ahead and preparing adequately, putting your rubbish into correct bins, respecting wildlife and only leaving what you find.
You should also make sure that you stick to any designated footpaths to protect any rural areas from erosion or damage and be considerate of others around you.
As the famous saying goes, ‘take only photos and leave only footprints’...
Whether you choose a UK staycation or want to head further afield, follow these tips to help reduce your impact on the planet and protect it for generations to come. Stick closer to home, choose a lower-impact form of transport, reduce your use of plastic, choose local and only leave footprints to enjoy a fun yet eco-friendly trip you’ll always remember.
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