thinking of travelling soon?
Whether it’s simply time in the sun, or a trip to discover new cultures and people, travelling can be both exhilarating and educational.
However, it’s important to remember that wherever we go, we will be leaving our footprint on the environment, and it is up to us to minimise our impact - for the good of our planet and the communities we visit.
Take a look at some of our handy travel tips below to reduce your carbon footprint on the earth.
Pick a Green Hotel
Look for green hotels in our green hotels section. We are always on the lookout for hotels that recycle, use renewable energy wherever they can, and use environmentally friendly products.
As a general rule, staying in smaller, locally run hotels and B&B’s is often the best way to make your stay environmentally and socially responsible. It has less of an environmental impact, and also contributes positively to the local economy.
There are a number of certification programs that work in conjunction with hotels around the world like Five-Leaf System. These also include Green Globe International, Green Key, and EcoRooms. Wherever you can, have a look and see if the place you’re staying in has any of these certificates.
If you’re using transportation of any sort to get to your destination, then it’s simple - the more a car, bus, train, or plane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. There are many tips, tricks, and ways to pack lightly for your trip, and wherever you can, you should try to reduce how much you carry.
Think carefully. Could you possibly use a smaller suitcase? Do you really need as much as you’re carrying? Have you tried making a list of things you’ll need to take with you? By doing this, you can then be strict with that list! You’ll be surprised how much junk you ‘throw in’ at the last minute!
Say no to plastic bottles!
Plastic bottles account for a huge amount of waste on our planet. This simple change in the way you travel saves the environment whilst also saving you money. Look for water filters or natural water sources and re-fill your re-usable bottle of water.
When staying in a hotel, be sure to ask if the tap water is drinkable ask for a jug for your room so that you can refill your bottle. Understandably, there are some places around the world where it may not be advisable to drink the water that comes from taps, but many places are good to go.
Did you know that tap water comes from thousands of miles away, down rivers and over mountains, underground and up through copper pipes right to your faucet? It’s magic, really. Take advantage of it!
Do Not Disturb
A universal sign for “don’t come in”? Absolutely.
Leaving the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door of your room for the duration of your stay actually reduces your carbon footprint on the world. This cuts down on chemical cleansing agents being applied or sprayed in your room, electricity used in vacuuming, and the unnecessary over-washing of your bed linens.
Whenever you leave your room, hang that sign up and save our planet!
Bike, hike, or use public transport
Walk, bike, or use public transportation to get around whenever you can.
Try to look for ways where you can cut down on petrol usage, and reduce the amount of emissions being expelled into our air.
Ultimately, walking, biking, or using a bus or train will also save you money for other things on your trip, so make it one of your priorities when you arrive at your destination to see how you can travel from A to B effectively, efficiently, and in an environmentally friendly way.
Wherever you travel to, immerse yourself in the local communities. Get involved wherever and however you can, be it simply shopping from local food stands, or even participating in local events around you.
Buying artwork and artefacts from local street artists can not only help them sustain their lifestyle and support their families, but also lessens imported touristy gimmicks coming in from another country. Many of these would have been immorally constructed on an assembly line somewhere, possibly exploiting local work forces, and then being shipped in a vehicle that pollutes, like a plane or boat of truck.
Go to restaurants that use local ingredients
When dining out, be sure to look for places that use local produce and ingredients. Not only will you get a better taste of local cuisine, but you’ll also be helping local agriculture and those who work in the local communities by avoiding foods that have been flown or shipped in.
Remember, anything that has to be imported is done at a monetary and environmental cost. The less ‘international’ soft drinks or fast-food chain hamburgers you buy, the less you are giving to those international companies for those products to be shipped in, and the more you are giving back to the communities that you visit.
Re-use your own carrier bag
Take a carrier bag with you when you go gift or food shopping. Plastic bags can take anything up to 500 years to biodegrade, so taking a re-usable shopping bag with you when you go to the local markets will help to save the environment.
If you must get a plastic bag from the shop, hold on to it and look for a soft-plastic recycling bin to put it in. Nowadays, most big supermarkets will have one, so wait till you’re near one and put it in there.
Re-use your linen & towels