It’s that time of year when we start to look at booking our annual holiday here are some tips that can reduce your environmental impact.
Flying has a big environmental cost but I am realistic enough to recognize that if you want that holiday of a lifetime in the Caribbean or to see family in Australia you are going to have to fly. If you do fly try to keep you baggage weight to a minimum, you can always buy stuff like toiletries once you arrive and leave it for someone else to use after, you can also do this with any books or magazines.
Flying does not need to be the default option, travelling by ferry or train can be an exciting addition to your holiday and much more comfortable. For everything you need to know about travelling the world by train see this brilliant website: http://www.seat61.com .
If you can, try to book a family run hotel, they tend to employ locally and spend their money locally. This means that their impact on the environment is reduced because they are not buying goods on a global scale that need transporting saving pollution and greenhouse gases (and possibly made in unsafe and unethical working conditions).
Some countries have trouble with water supply yet this may not be obvious in tourist areas as these can be given preferential treatment, keep this in mind and try not to use too much. Please also note that golf courses too need a lot of water, if you want a golfing holiday try to pick a country that is not drought stressed. Currently Spain and California are struggling with drought, for more information visit http://www.drought.gov/gdm/current-conditions
Similarly some countries have trouble with electricity supply and again this may not be obvious in tourist areas. Vietnam has problems with electricity supply which means that local businesses can be cut off to keep domestic supply going. Try to minimise the amount of electricity you use so that the local grid can supply everyone. Don’t leave your TV on standby and lights on, close windows and curtains to keep your room cool and keep the air conditioner use to a minimum.
Check that your souvenirs are made locally and not “Made in China” (unless you’re in China of course). Be aware of what your souvenirs are made from. Rosewood and Mahogany are endangered and the trees are illegally felled. Souvenirs made from parts of animals are probably best avoided as you may be prosecuted if you try to bring them home, this can include items made from coral and shells. For more info see here. Importantly ask yourself: 1. Can you get it home easily and legally? 2. Do you really need it, a memento is one thing, tat that ends up in the bin (and ultimately landfill) is not the same?
If you need any advice on how you can be more environmentally friendly give us a call on 01746 552423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org