If you are planning your next vacation with your friends, family or lover it can be easy to switch to “holiday-mode” and forget about all the plastic straws you sip through at the bar, or the plastic water bottles purchased to quench your thirst. The good news is there are a number of simple ways you can make a big impact on the environment and cut your waste while travelling.
Pack a reusable water bottle so you don’t have to keep buying single-use plastic bottles during your holiday. Most airports will have taps you can use to fill up your bottle before and after your flight, and you can top it up at your accommodation before you go exploring for the day. This will save you from using harmful plastic water bottles that could end up in landfill. Anything else you use daily, like a coffee cup or straws, you can also pack one of these for your trip. The foldable travel mug is perfect for saving space in your luggage. If you are planning on eating out at food markets or having street food, reusable cutlery is also a must. If you like shopping as much as I do, then an organic cotton bag is great to keep on you.
It is also really important to be aware of the single-use plastic surrounding cosmetic and beauty products that you pack for your trip. It is best to avoid using the plastic packaged products provided at hotels and use your own. A handmade plant based shampoo bar is perfect for washing your hair while traveling. For removing makeup, a reusable bamboo makeup remover pad is great for the environment and doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase.
While you are deciding what to take on your trip, try and pack lighter! I know this is one thing I struggled with at first, but the more you travel, the more you realise what you really need on your holiday! I usually opt for just taking carry on luggage, not only will you save money but it is much better for the environment and you wont have to wait for your bag after you get off the plane. If you have lighter luggage, it means the plane will weigh less and help with fuel consumption.
When you are booking your accommodation, be mindful to choose an eco-hotel. There are heaps of these sustainable choices popping up all over the world, that make better choices to help offset emissions. They will often use electricity responsibly, lower water waste and are located in areas that won’t damage the ecosystem. For instance, AccorHotels are financing smart-tree planting schemes for local farms, and have already planted thousands of trees.
If you aren’t travelling too far make sure you book a non-stop flight. The biggest impact from the flight is the take-off and landing, consuming large amounts of fuel. It will mean you won’t have the hassle of a layover and you will be helping the environment! Carbonfootprint.com is a website that allows you to work out your total carbon footprint while taking flights, so you can compare how much you will be helping by not stopping over. The popular travel planning website Skyscanner also offers more environmentally friendly choices when it comes to flights, with the option to search for flights that have “lower carbon dioxide emissions.”
Be mindful to eat local cuisine at your next holiday destination. Buying and eating local produce helps support local businesses and will mean no one had to travel across the country to deliver the produce. You will also get an authentic food experience during your holiday!
About Alsha Coppolina
Alsha decided to pack up her life in Australia and move to Dublin, where it is in fact greener! While the weather is a little drizzlier, it means she can travel throughout Europe all year.
She has lived in three different countries and travelled to more than 50 cities around the world. She has spent most of her career as a radio and television journalist telling other peoples' incredible stories and now she's sharing her own!
She lives by the following motto: No matter where you are in the world, taking care of the environment and the Earth we live on should always be a huge priority.