Thanks to the efforts of climate change activists around the world, more and more people are aware of how even going on holiday can have a negative impact on the environment. This is usually thought of in terms of the carbon footprint associated with long-haul flights, but there is much more to it.
The top green travel tips below can help you plan Eco-friendly holidays. We have tips that cover reducing your flight carbon footprint, supporting local food producers, ethical animal interactions, and more.
Reduce The Footprint
Travelling to your holiday destination may be the biggest ecological impact you need to worry about. As tempting as it can be to fly in the more comfortable classes, flying economy class is the way to go if you want to reduce the size of that carbon footprint you will be leaving in your wake. Economy class is five times lighter on carbon per person than first or business class. You also should try taking direct flights whenever possible, and you should pack lightly.
Be Kind To Animals
Encountering exotic wildlife that you otherwise would only have seen on TV is one of the motivations many people have for travelling. Whether riding on an elephant, swimming with dolphins, or engaging in another activity involving animals, the appeal for many people is strong.
Unfortunately, as exciting and as entertaining as such experiences can be for people, they often are traumatic and unpleasant for the animals involved. Rather than visiting zoos or circuses, a better idea is to visit wildlife rehabilitation centres, animal sanctuaries, game reserves, or conservation centres. They are far healthier, positive environments in which you may still have photo opportunities.
Purify Your Own Water
Not too long ago, people would budget for bottled water when travelling. However, bottled water comes with a sizeable carbon footprint and the guilt of single-use plastic.
Drinking the tap water might not be safe, so to be thoroughly water-wise when travelling, you should take purification tablets and use them to purify drinking water for yourself. It can also help to download water station-finding apps, which can help you find public sources of drinking water.
Be a Locavore
Wherever you go, many locals are bound to support smaller, local food producers rather than international brands. What’s more, more and more small-scale farmers are turning to sustainable, organic, or permaculture methods, and they do not process the food they produce. By eating with locals, you can eat fresh, healthy food, and you can do it cheaply.
Use Public Transport
When on holiday, it can be tempting to use taxicabs to get around. An eco-friendlier way to get from A to B is to use public transport. A ride on a bus or train also can be a great way to meet locals.
Recycle Holiday Items
At the end of your stay, the odds are that you’ll be tempted to throw all those maps, brochures, and information leaflets into the bin. A better idea is to recycle them. You can do this by taking them to a tourist office or information desk. If you received complimentary soap or toothpaste at your lodgings, take them with you when you leave.