Eco-Friendly Travel Tips – The idea that travel can actually do harm is a relatively recent one.
As issues such as climate change and plastic waste worsen, we’re now waking up to the potential damage we can cause.
Sustainable travel sounds great in theory, but what are the practical steps you can take to make your next holiday less harmful to the environment?
Here are some practical tips for eco-friendly travel.
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Sustainable Travel Tips
Take your own toiletries in reusable containers
All those tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion you find in destinations around the world are terrible for the environment.
Not only are they usually non-biodegradable but they’re also single use, which means they need to be replaced every day. Just think of all that waste.
Instead, take your own toiletries in reusable bottles to keep yourself and the environment clean.
Download e-tickets on your phone
Printing out your flight details before a trip can be a pain, particularly if you don’t have easy access to a printer.
Instead, simply download the e-tickets on your smartphone to do away with the hassle of printing while simultaneously saving a few sheets of paper.
Leave no trace
Your presence should leave only a positive impact on the destination.
Just as you would if you were camping, anything you carry in, you should carry out.
That means finding out about local waste disposal and recycling in the area and following their rules.
Many travellers like to treat themselves to new products before going on holiday, but be aware that in many places, recycling or even waste disposal might not be readily available.
It makes sense to remove all packaging before you travel.
‘Flight shame’ is on the rise, but flying is not the only mode of transport that harms the environment.
If you intend to travel while on holiday, use public transport as much as possible.
Hire cars and coaches that run on alternative fuels are also becoming more readily available for green travellers.
And, if you can’t find a hybrid or electric vehicle, at least choose one that’s as fuel-efficient as possible.
Use a refillable water bottle
We’ve already discussed how damaging plastic bottles can be to the environment, and single-use water bottles are the worst offenders.
There are lots of reasons why reusable water bottles are far better than bottled water.
As well as being much cheaper, drinking from non-plastic containers is also better for your health.
If there’s no realistic alternative to flying, you can reduce the harm you do to the environment by offsetting your impact – some airlines have a carbon offset option when you book your flight.
If that’s too expensive, simply packing as light as possible will help to reduce your carbon footprint.
To pack light, choose an e-reader rather than taking paper books and take out any clothes that are single-purpose or impractical.
Here are some more tips to help you pack lighter and smarter.
Use reef-safe sunscreen
Whether you’re booking cheap holidays on Teletext and heading somewhere warm or spending a day or two at your local beach, be careful about the sunscreen you take with you.
Two chemicals commonly found in sunscreen, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are known to increase coral bleaching, so check the ingredients carefully before parting with your cash.
Look At the Bigger Picture
Before you book your next trip away, take a minute to think about the potential harm you’ll do to the environment and the steps you can take to reduce your impact.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that sustainable or eco-friendly travel will make your trip more difficult.
In reality, taking a few simple steps to respect the area and protect the local communities and environment will make your holiday all the more rewarding.