No overseas holiday is going to be 100 per cent green, but by thinking about the impact of your holiday from start to finish, you’ll help make it kinder on the environment and increase its benefits to the local economy.
If you are unsure of how to approach this, you can always choose to book with a responsible travel company who specialise in eco holidays. Here are five top ways to make your overseas holiday a green one.
1. Travel green
The way you travel is usually the biggest contributor to harmful carbon emissions. That’s why it’s important to consider reducing your carbon footprint by travelling by rail, coach or ferry if you can. If you have to fly, use carbon offsetting schemes, which buy ‘carbon credits’ to offset the CO2 you’ve used on your trip.
2. Limit your energy consumption
Act like you would at home. Switch off lights in hotel rooms and save energy by cutting down or avoiding the use of air conditioning – and whatever you do, don’t leave the a/c on when you’re out of the room.
3. Avoid buying bottled water
Bottled water is a major contributor to environmental damage around the world. In countries without effective recycling systems, the bottles end up in landfills, and that’s before you factor in the environmental cost of producing the bottles themselves and bottling the water.
It’s a hugely wasteful business, and the fact is that the water is perfectly safe to drink in many overseas destinations. Failing that, purifying local water is much easier than you may think. Many hotels, bars and restaurants will even provide filtered, purified water.
4. Reduce your waste
Some countries have banned shops handing out non-biodegradable plastic bags altogether. Others are less enlightened. Taking a reusable shopping bag with you on holiday is just one way you can reduce the amount of waste that will be sent to landfill because of your trip.
5. Choose an eco-friendly hotel or resort
If your hotel isn’t minimising its own energy use, saving water and using eco-friendly suppliers, then much of your good efforts on holiday will go to waste. They’ll be catering for lots of people, so check if your hotel uses locally sourced and organic food. Do they have a positive recycling policy? Chose your hotel with care.
Progressive establishments are also likely to be putting something back into their local community – using local workers, ensuring a fair wage, and promoting local eco, development, conservation, health and education projects.
How to find the perfect green overseas holiday
Choosing a holiday with a responsible tour operator will help ensure you can balance an enjoyable holiday with a clean conscience. They’ll have checked that the hotel and local suppliers are doing their bit for the environment and suggest green travel arrangements.
Greener travel at home
Taking more eco-friendly travel and transport isn’t just for your holiday abroad. Today, there are plenty of ways you can travel and be kinder to the environment.
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