16 May, 2018
With summer just around the corner, many of you must be eager to book your next holiday. It’s an exciting time, but having a good trip shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice our eco-credentials.
Since most forms of transport contribute to climate change, travelling can be highly polluting. However, that shouldn’t stop you from looking forward to a summer getaway – here are seven dos and don’ts to make your trip a little kinder to the planet.
Did you know that you could reduce your holiday carbon footprint dramatically by choosing a destination that is closer to home? You can do so by flying short haul where possible, or even omit the idea of flying altogether and travel to your destination by train or car instead – but if that’s not possible, there are airlines that have higher occupancy rates and more efficient aircraft, so do your research.
It’s natural to get excited when you’re about to go away, and sometimes that build-up spills into buying items ‘for your holiday’… which, in most cases, is unnecessary! Buying a new bathing suit every year or a ‘fashionable’ outfit before every summer holiday is not sustainable for the planet (or your bank balance, for that matter). Instead, you should look at investing your money into timeless, well-made pieces that will last you for the next few summers to come.
Nothing dampens a beach day like sandflies and mosquitoes, so there are some things you really do need, and should not scrimp on, if you want to keep yourself safe in your summer holiday – things like sunscreen and insect repellant. Find ethical and eco-friendly alternatives of these items (here’s a list to help you make wiser choices) so your safety doesn’t come at the expense of our environment.
Buying souvenirs, trinkets, knick-knacks, and gifts as tokens of memory during your travels is all well and good, but you should definitely watch what you buy when abroad! In many countries, wild animal products are often marketed to tourists as popular souvenirs, so think twice before you buy any products made from endangered species, including animals hides and body parts, ivory, reptile skin, coral, and so on – because they could be illegal.
Heavier planes leave larger carbon footprints. On the other hand, travelling with lighter baggage reduces fuel emissions, plus it will help you save on additional baggage costs, carriage costs, and you’ll have fewer things to worry about carrying and guarding.
The definition of a clean trip is to not leave behind any traces that you were ever there – perhaps a few tips in the pockets of local businesses – but obvious things like cleaning up after yourself, not disposing of your chewing gum on the floor, and generally not littering will go a long way in helping the locals keep their streets clean.
Many booking services offer electronic tickets on your phone or tablet (did you know that we offer e-tickets?) rather than printing them on single-use papers, which you should definitely take advantage of! This may not sound like much but if you’re planning for an activity-filled holiday jam-packed with travels and hotel bookings, all the tickets and booking confirmations can add up to a stack of paper waste – which can be easily avoided by simply tapping the ‘e-ticket’ option. Not to mention it helps you keep all the paperwork in one place and it won’t require access to a printer.
When it comes to taking an eco-friendly trip, simple things make all the difference when added together. We hope our tips have made you realise how easy it is to take care of the environment without sacrificing your ethics, all while absorbing truly beautiful surroundings.
(Keep reading our blog to find more tips on caring for the environment, including our (new infographic on the marine conservation efforts happening in Scotland right now!