How to make your holiday more carbon neutral
We all need to do our part to combat global emissions, so here's 14 quick tips to help make your next holiday more environmentally friendly.
Avoid short flights
Choose a sustainable destinations
Buy fewer souvenirs
Avoid the AC
Ditch the plastic
1. Avoid flying to nearby destinations
Holiday Extras sells airport parking, so it might seem odd for us to tell you not to fly. But here we are, saying to you, where you can travel by more eco-friendly methods of transport, then you should.
It might take longer, but don't think of it as a delay to the start of your holiday - there are great experiences to be had on buses or trains. Plus you can sit back and enjoy the view.
2. Choose non-stop flights
The worst part of flying for carbon emissions is during take-off and landing, so if you want to reduce your carbon emissions it's best to choose direct non-stop flights. Flights with layovers not only have to take off and land multiple times, they also have to carry more fuel, meaning they are heavier and emissions are greater.
3. Fly economy
When it comes to flying, your carbon footprint is calculated by how much space you occupy. By flying economy, you're maximising the amount of people who can fit on one flight, which lowers the level of emissions per person. If you fly business class, you're essentially doubling your carbon footprint as you're taking up double the space.
4. Pack light
It's tempting to pack the kitchen sink when you're going away - but where possible try to pack light. By reducing your luggage weight, you reduce the weight of the plane, which helps to lower emissions needed to keep it in the air. If everyone on the flight packed a little lighter, it could have a huge impact on the emissions of each flight.
5. Carbon offset your trip
If you want to travel, one good way of reducing the impact is to consider carbon offsetting your trip. There are companies that will help you calculate your carbon footprint, and then purchase different options for how this can be mitigated.
6. Choose a sustainable destination
When it comes to choosing where to go for your holiday, look at which destinations are committed to their sustainability goals. For example, Slovenia is an excellent choice for eco-conscious individuals as they top the rankings for sustainable destinations. The capital Ljubljana prides itself on its sustainability efforts, including making the centre of the city car-free.
If you want to know what sustainable destinations to choose from then a great place to start is the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index).
7. Skip the housekeeping
It's time to make use of that do not disturb sign! By cutting the housekeeping you're reducing energy usage - especially on things like washing towels and bath mats.
If you run out of toiletries or need new towels, you can always call the front desk as and when you need them.
8. Eat local
Although we recommend this anyway to enjoy and show appreciation for differing cultures, one way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat local and as locals do.
Why does this help? It reduces the air miles of the food you're consuming. That's why it's best to try and eat fresh, local and in season produce. We promise you'll experience the most mouthwatering, surprising and delicious food if you try something local.
9. Stay longer
A real hardship this one, but where possible try and take fewer but longer holidays during the year. Rather than trying to squeeze everything into a few days, slow down a little and explore one place more thoroughly. This reduces the amount of flights you take, and the amount of carbon your trip will create.
10. Buy fewer but more meaningful souvenirs
We know the temptation, we love a gift shop as much as the next person - and of course in some places, they contribute to the local economy.
But when you look for your souvenirs try and buy fewer things, and instead find the more unique and meaningful items. Rather than forking out for 10 plastic keyrings, look for keepsakes made by hand and with care. Plus if it's produced locally, not only are its air miles less, it's also more likely to directly benefit the local economy.
11. Choose sustainable accommodation
It's not just about sustainable destinations. Wherever you travel, there are likely to be sustainable accommodation options. Whether you go camping rather than stay in a hotel, or if you find somewhere to stay on Ecobnb - take the time to research where you're staying and see if it has sustainability in mind.
12. Use eco-friendly transport
Whether you're on your way to the airport or to your destination, look for ways that you can travel by more eco-friendly means. Where possible, consider using electric buses, or hire an electric car for your next trip. This is a great way to cut your carbon footprint, and more destinations are offering sustainable options all the time.
13. Avoid the AC
If you're travelling to a hot country, then consider turning down the air conditioning where you can. Whether you can go without it completely, reduce the amount of time it's running during the day or just raise the temperature by a few degrees - it all goes to help reduce the massive energy consumption AC units use. Plus don't forget that keeping your windows and doors shut helps keep the AC as effective and efficient as possible.
14. Ditch the plastics
Plastics are everywhere, and at times it may seem they are unavoidable. That's why we've come up with 12 tips for how you can travel with less plastic - whether it's packing a reusable shopping bag or ditching those plastic straws. It's not just about the litter it leaves, it's also about the carbon emissions that go into the production process of plastics.