Dumping your suitcase once you’ve arrived at your holiday destination has got to be one of the best feelings. Taking the weight off your shoulders, releasing the baggage… literally.
With the growth of budget airlines, more people than ever are taking off on vacation. According to the World Tourism Organisation, in 2018 there were a record 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals – a 6% increase over 2017.
Whilst an increase in holidaying is positive in many ways, all of this extra travel has impacts on the environment that shouldn’t be ignored. See below for 5 tips for ensuring you’re eco-friendly on your next holiday.
Consider your location (and your use of transportation)
The first step is one to consider before leaving your home, and that’s the location. As a rule, the further from the busy attractions you are, the less expensive your accommodation will be. While this is convenient on the one hand, both the amount of money and gases spent during transportation to and from places, in turn, has a very negative impact on your wallet and the environment.
So, do a little research before opting for your go-to accommodation. You might be surprised by what you find. If you wanted to stay in London, a hotel near Shepherd’s Bush tube would be a great idea. This prime location offers transport to the city – Just a 5-minute tube ride from Liverpool Street Station.
Think like a local
The next important step is to shut off the vision you have of yourself as a ‘tourist.’ Stop, and think like a local. Do you need this £7 plastic keyring? Would you buy it in your hometown, or is it a memento that will sit, forgotten, in the bottom of your bag for the next year? The same goes for leaving the lights on or buying mini, disposable toiletries. You may think it’s not much, but little things make a big difference.
Many people around the world aren’t aware of the effects of plastic, littering, meat consumption, cheap labour, and soil degradation. As someone who is aware, take responsibility and inform those around you of what they could do to improve. For example, if you witness someone littering, let them know that plastic doesn’t decompose and is harmful to wildlife. It’s everyone’s obligation to protect the planet, even when you’re on holiday.
Support local tourism by buying and eating locally
When visiting new places, choose ones that source their ingredients locally. Take this opportunity to treat yourself to some new foods. Not only is this a great way to support local businesses, but you’ll also find yourself some fresh and unusual produce you’d miss if you opted for the supermarket instead. Let your taste buds be adventurous – it’s carbon-friendly!
Bring a water bottle
I know you’ve heard this five hundred times before but it’s more of a necessary reminder than ever when on holiday – don’t buy bottled water. It might be convenient, but it is also bad for the environment, and it’s more expensive than tap water. Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste and it’s all totally avoidable. The majority of places offer water fountains or filters for refilling bottles and every hotel has a tap available. NO excuses.