1. Replace flights with trains, coaches and even cars
If you’re going on a short-haul break, replace the flight you might take with an equivalent coach or rail journey. An entire journey by these means uses a fraction of the fuel used up by a commercial flight during take-off and landing, resulting in a far lighter carbon footprint for your trip. If you’re renting a car to make the journey, go for a lower-emission hybrid model, and take all passengers in one car rather than splitting the group between two vehicles.
Flights are often unavoidable for essential long-haul journeys. If you have to fly, take non-stop routes rather than journeys with connecting flights, as this means less fuel spent on take-offs and landings.
2. Pack with an eco-conscience
There are three small but essential items that will instantly make your luggage greener. Don’t leave home without…
- A canvas tote bag: use for carrying market shopping and souvenirs you’ve picked up, instead of opting for plastic bags.
- A water pouch: unlike plastic bottles, water pouches are hard-wearing, easy to carry around (you can roll them up and put them in your pocket when empty) and safe to re-use again and again. Buying endless bottles of water on excursions becomes a thing of the past: simply fill your pouch with drinking water and you’re ready to hit the streets.
- Refillable toiletry containers: fill travel-sized re-usable containers with shampoos, conditioners and other toiletries from home. This means you don’t need to buy more mini-sized products to take on holiday with you, or use the toiletries provided at hotels. Wherever you can, use organic products and those that are kind to the environment.
3. Choose a greener destination
Some destinations are a greener choice than others. For example, it’s always more environmentally-friendly to stay close to home then it is to go abroad – as your transport time is shortened, your trip’s carbon footprint is considerably lightened, too.
If you do have a burning desire to leave the country, you can try to counter-balance the emissions spent getting there with choosing a relatively eco-friendly destination. For city breaks, choose places with environmentally-responsible goals and infrastructure: Vancouver, for example, draws 90% of its power from renewable resources. If you’re looking for a rural getaway, consider a volunteering break spent living and working on an organic farm.
4. Support local business and culture
Vote with your wallet to support local livelihoods. Shun chain stores in favour of local markets and independent shops and go to festivals, exhibitions and events that showcase local and traditional arts, crafts and achievements. These boost the local economy and give back to the people that make the destination a unique place to visit.
Ready to travel greener? See more eco travel tips here.
About our guest author: Isabel Clift is a travel writer and blogger for AnyTrip.com, a travel company based in the UK. She lives in London, loves vintage fairs and organic food, and tries her best to balance a love for travel with an eco-conscience!