They say you should visit Venice before it gets sunk underwater or visit the Great Barrier Reef before its corals are completely bleached. Climate change will impact travel in the future – so our travelling should become conscious of it now.
In order to maintain famous holiday hotspots and monumental landmarks, we need to start holidaying with a more environmentally conscious mindset, using a more eco-friendly approach.
The EcoHotel L’Aubier, Switzerland supplies a portion of its own electricity and is set on a bio-dynamic farm.
Read our four tips to make your next holidays the most sustainable and climate-conscious ones yet.
1. Fly Directly (or avoid it where you can)
Getting to your dream location will always be the most eco-unfriendly part of your holiday. If possible, try to travel by car, train or bus when going on holiday locally or to a bordering country.
When travelling overseas or to a country that requires flying, the best way to limit your carbon emissions is to fly directly to your destination without stopovers. The extra bit of money that a direct flight will cost you is well worth skipping the hassle of waiting 9 hours for a stopover where you’ll probably end up spending the money you saved on perfume in an overpriced duty-free shop in any case – oh, and you’re saving the environment.
2. Be Coffee-Conscious
What’s more picturesque than taking a walk along the promenade of a city-splitting river with a coffee in hand? Taking a walk along the promenade of a city-splitting river with a coffee in a reusable travel mug in hand.
Better yet, relax. You’re on holiday. Why not sit down at the small, locally owned coffee shop and take in the quaintness of locals getting greeted by name by the barista and the deep smell of coffee filling the shop’s air?
Coffee tastes so much better when drank in an authentic local coffee shop.
This tip can be exercised for all your meals. Eating at the “locals-only” restaurants is the best way to experience the true culture of a place. If you do have to pick up an on-the-go ready-meal, try to pick one packaged in recyclable materials.
3. Take Conservation-Forward Tours
Outings and tours are one of the best ways to experience a new place or to learn about it. But what if you could learn about and contribute to the sustainability of your destination at the same time?
There are many tours and programmes that allow you to get involved with local conservation efforts whilst still experiencing the local culture.
Want your next holiday to be in the bush? Wildlife Act offers conservation experiences in many of South Africa’s most bustling game reserves including the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park. You will spend a minimum of two weeks assisting in the conservation efforts of endangered animals in these parks all the while taking a much-needed break from reality.
If a beach holiday is what you are after, you may be interested in Responsible Travel’s Dolphin Data Collection Project. Food and accommodation are included in what would be a fulfilling, sunbathed six-day dolphin conservation trip in Greece.
Endangered wild dog being collared by conservation volunteers in South Africa’s Zululand region.
4. Live as you would at home
Respecting your holiday accommodation like you would your own home goes a long way towards ensuring an eco-conscious holiday. Avoid using the small shampoos and soaps that hotels and guest houses provide. These have more plastic packaging per gram of product than normal-sized toiletries. Wayfare Culture’s Monte Carlo Beauty Case is the trendiest way to bring your favourite shampoos and body washes from home with you on holiday.
Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door of your room for the duration of your stay. This cuts down on chemical cleansing agents, electricity used in vacuuming, and the washing of bed linens.
Hang up your towels after each use. This indicates to your hotel that you’d like to use them again rather than having them washed every day.
Thanks for reading our four tips for more environmental travel. Can you think of any others that we may have forgotten?