Travel and tourism are seeing massive growth all over the world, however, this rapid growth is having a negative impact on the environment.
Being green benefits everyone – all the staff involved in providing services, the environment and of course you! The fewer toxic fumes, odors, droplets, chemicals, and residues everyone comes in contact with the better – including, food, drink and the air we breathe.
Below are some holiday, hotel and travel ideas to help reduce your effect on the environment when you leave home – for business meetings, conferences, family holidays, or camping holidays.
Before your holday
- Go for electronic ticketing options where possible – less paper waste.
- Pick accommodation that’s close to the places you‘ll be visiting on your trip to reduce any further travel.
- Search for tour operators, resorts and accommodation that have ‘green’ certifications, for example Green Seal or Green Leaf. The range of standards vary from organization to organization – here are some points to look out for.
- Recycling programs
- Lower energy consumption initiatives
- Water conservation
- Use of energy star products
- Reuse of towels
- Local organic foods on the menu
- Solar power
- If at all possible – consider taking the coach or train instead of the plane to your holiday destination
- If visiting a far-flung destination, find out which airlines are the most ecologically sound.
- Conserve energy – lower the heating thermostat to the minimum level or switch off while you are gone.
- Pack biodegradable shampoo and sun cream.
- Suspend delivery of any newspapers you may receive.
- Unplug everything that doesn’t need power while you are away – attached items can still waste energy in this state.
- TVs and monitors
- PCs and laptops
- Coffee machine
- Washing machine
When at your destination
- Avoid single-use items like disposable razors, paper towels, cameras, polystyrene cups, and nappies.
- Switch off lighting when not needed.
- Reduce settings of room heating/cooling when you’re out. In hot climates – to keep cool: Pull the drapes or angle Venetian blinds to reflect sunlight. In cold climates – to stay warm: Open drapes and raise blinds to let the sun heat the room.
- Instead of having towels replaced daily – hang them up to dry and reuse.
- Be mindful of the amount of water you use – it may not be as plentiful as at home – limit your showers and keep them short.
- Get about when on vacation by using public transport, cycling or walking – instead of hiring a car or taking a taxi. If you really need a car – look for eco-friendly companies with fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Consider the amount of paperwork you really need for your trip such as, maps and guides – share if you’re in a group.
- Wherever you visit – leave it as found – carry all rubbish home and never remove anything from nature for example:
- Although it’s tempting to explore nature, you risk upsetting the fragile ecosystem – stick to paths, trails and permitted areas.
- Seek out produce and products that are grown or made locally. Shop at farmers’ markets and eat local food prepared with seasonal, organic produce.
- Buy locally made gifts from workshops and speciality shops. Holiday souvenirs made from things like tropical hardwood, ivory, animal fur, and coral are unsustainable and often illegal.
- Support conservation-oriented projects like nature reserves – walking, pony trekking and cycling are more eco-friendly than jet-skiing, heliskiing and go-karting.