With concerns about climate change rising worldwide, many travellers are making the conscious decision to choose greener options while travelling or on holiday.
This positive shift towards ‘sustainable travel’ focuses on opting for ethical, environmentally-aware travel choices that work to lessen your negative impact on a destination, rather than contribute to it. While individually, these choices may only make a small difference to the environment, they can have a huge impact on the planet collectively.
Whether it’s simply using a refillable water bottle or Keep Cup, or choosing eco-friendly accommodation for your vacation, there are many things you can do to become a sustainable traveller.
Let’s take a look at some practical steps you can take on your next journey to make smarter, greener choices.
Reduce Your Carbon Emissions When Flying
When booking flights, choose non-stop flights whenever you can, as it’s primarily the take-offs and landings that create most of an airplane’s carbon emissions.
Many airlines also offer passengers the option to contribute to carbon off-set programs to help counteract their flight emissions.
Book Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Before choosing your accommodation for your journey or vacation, look for hotels, apartments or Airbnbs that are actively engaged in positive sustainability initiatives.
Eco-friendly accommodation providers generally promote their green point of difference to environmentally-aware guests. Keep an eye out for properties that incorporate sustainable practices such as:
- Solar power
- Wind turbines
- Rainwater harvesting
- Energy-efficient lighting
- Low-flow toilets
- Recycling initiatives
Save Water When Travelling
There’s nothing better than getting to your accommodation after being on the road, or a long flight. However, make the effort to apply the same principles on water consumption that you do at home – relaxing on holiday doesn’t mean you should relax your values!
Take short showers, rather than baths, as showers use far less water. Always turn taps off while you brush your teeth, lather up or shave. Every drop of water counts.
Invest in a well-made BPA-free water bottle to take with you wherever you go, simply refilling it as you need. As well as conserving water, you’ll also save money on purchasing bottled water or drinks!
Recycling When on Holiday
Don’t let good habits slip, just because you’re on holiday. You can relax and enjoy your downtime, while still making sure you keep on top of recycling and waste management.
Ask if your accommodation provider has a recycling program and make sure you use their facilities correctly. If your hotel or Airbnb does not supply recycling bins for guests, supply feedback that may encourage them to start.
Be Mindful of Your Energy Consumption
Turn off all lights, air conditioners, heaters and televisions when you leave your room. You can also unplug appliances such as hair dryers and kettles when you’re not using them.
Hang towels after each use, to signify that you’d like to use them again. Most countries will understand this universal sign and you’ll be cutting down on the water and electricity usage required for laundry and linen service.
Another very handy eco-friendly accommodation tip is to leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door of your room for the duration of your stay. By declining the daily housekeeping services offered by your hotel or serviced apartment you’ll reduce the amount of electricity used for vacuuming and cleaning.
We hope this has opened your eyes to the world of sustainable travel and provided you with some practical guidelines to keep in mind when you’re next on the road. You can read more handy eco-travel tips for sustainable travellers on the Airbnb website.
Author: Kerrie-Anne Chinn
Freelance Copywriter & Editor, working with ethical companies to create positive change.