Are you looking to make some green and sustainable choices this summer but not sure where to start? Do you want to do your bit for the planet but still want to do some touristy stuff and enjoy a carefree holiday?
If the answer is yes, you’re at the right place. Here are six ways to make your holiday more green this year.
Find the Best Way to Get There
Traveling by train is the greenest way to get to your destination, as trains emit 66-75% less carbon emission than other modes of transportation. That, of course, excludes biking or walking, so unless you’re looking to have a very active holiday, aim to use the train.
While this may limit your options, it will also give you a chance to see some less popular tourist spots. You can easily enjoy out-of-the-way locations and find local gems that are not usually advertised by the travel industry.
Reconsider Your Holiday Transportation
Ideally, you want to get around your chosen destination on foot. This is the best choice both for your health and the health of the planet, and it will allow you to see as many of the local sights as possible.
For those situations when walking is simply not an option, you can consider using a golf cart. They can even be adjusted so you can drive them on sand, making it easy to get to the beach and back if your accommodation is very far.
Choose Your Accommodation Carefully
A lot of hotels and resorts are going green, so even if you’re travelling to a major city or a popular beach, you should be able to find a place to stay that is doing its bit to remain sustainable.
Think about the location of your temporary home as well. You want to be able to get around and see everything without having to keep jumping into cars. So, make sure your stay is either well-connected via the location’s public transport system or within walking or biking distance to everything you want to explore.
Pack Light and Green
Taking just a couple of items with you can make your travels that much more sustainable:
- Your usual toiletries, so you don’t have to buy anything new.
- Repackage them into smaller travel containers so they don’t take up too much space in your luggage.
- A shopping bag, so you don’t ever have to buy another one.
- Produce bags, if you plan on doing some of your own food shopping.
- A reusable travel mug, so you don’t have to buy anything in plastic.
- A reusable travel cutlery set, so you don’t have to get the plastic kind when eating on the go.
- A reusable water bottle and straw.
If you don’t own an item that you’ll need for your trip, like a hiking stick or a sleeping bag, don’t buy one — borrow it from a friend instead. The same goes for any other travel item. If someone can lend it to you, refrain from buying something you’ll only rarely use.
Plan Your Meals
While it’s perfectly understandable if you don’t want to make a single meal while on holiday, you should carefully consider what you want to eat while away.
If you choose to eat out, try to go for smaller, family-run local restaurants or eco-friendly establishments that only include local, seasonal foods on their menu.
If you want to do some of the cooking yourself, go to the local markets instead of chain supermarkets. You will get to experience the culture and meet some of the locals, and you’ll get a true taste of the place (pun intended).
Put Some Thought into Every Choice
Finally, the best thing you can do to stay green on your holiday is to put some serious thought into every action. Before going somewhere or making a purchase, think about the impact it may be making on the environment.
Try to support the local culture and the local people as much as you can. It can be very difficult to gauge what is being mass-produced and sold, especially at a popular holiday destination. So, ask some questions before you buy. Where was something made, and who are the people selling it?
Get off the beaten track as much as you can, and try to immerse yourself in the local way of life. Don’t ask your bedding to be changed every day, and hang up your towels. Don’t purchase souvenirs you don’t need unless they’re helping someone better their life.
Note that you also still need to enjoy yourself, so don’t let overthinking about sustainability ruin your holiday. Every little thing you do is a big step towards a better planet.
Making all of these choices this year will make your summer feel extra special. You’ll enjoy the sun and get to know a new destination while also doing your part to help the planet.