Holiday season is well and truly on the horizon, with people planning both trips abroad and staycations, the tourism industry is set for a summer spike. Although travel can have a number of positive impacts, there can also be a number of negative impacts, mainly to do with the effects on the environment.
With many of the everyday things we do and use changing, e.g. from plastic bags to eco bags, people are starting to become more conscious of other ways they can live more sustainably. Travel is a key area where we can all make small changes to be kinder to the planet, here is a list of some steps you can take.
How you get there
When planning a staycation you are likely to have a few more options than if travelling overseas. For these kinds of trips you may want to consider whether a public transport option is going to be viable such as coach or train. In cases where public transport isn’t possible, travelling by electric car or lift sharing with others should be considered. For trips that must involve air travel, look for airlines and airports that promote eco travel by using biofuel or other means.
What to pack
When packing for your holiday there are a number of ways that you can help to reduce your plastic consumption and waste. Nowadays there are many plastic and waste free alternatives to almost every type of soap and hygiene products available. You can purchase soap bars and there are even shampoo and conditioner bars available now too. Instead of packing a tube of toothpaste you can use toothpaste tablets and bamboo toothbrushes can replace plastic ones. Any bags that you take, make sure they are eco bags so made from either paper, jute, canvas or other reusable or biodegradable materials.
Where to stay
There is usually a wealth of eco-conscious accommodation options available and they don’t have to be campsites with compost loos. You can find accommodation options that do not provide single use plastics, similarly opt for accommodation that source produce from the local area which will help to greatly reduce the co2 emissions produced during transport. You can look for places to stay that are also self-sufficient e.g. grow their own vegetables, make their own soap or use solar panels to power the building.
What to do
When you visit anywhere on holiday, a key part of your trip is likely to be exploring the local area. Not only is this your chance to get a good understanding of the place you’re visiting but it is also an opportunity to support local businesses within the area. However, reports from the World Tourism Organisation have found that for every $100 spent during a trip only $5 benefits the host location. By choosing to use local providers and suppliers for your excursions and activities aboard you are helping to inject money back into the local economy rather than fueling the profits of large businesses.