Going on vacation is all about taking a break from your everyday life. Tuning out the hustle and bustle, and not worrying about the cares of the nine-to-five. But a vacation shouldn’t necessarily mean a vacation from taking care of the environment – after all, we’ve only got one planet to vacation on!
You might think that taking a great vacation and being green don’t mix, but there are loads of easy, simple ways to ensure that you have a great adventure and you do your bit for the environment. Here are five tips for making your next vacation a little more green, whether you are taking in the cultural highlights of New York or exploring must-see beaches in the Caribbean!
Think about how you travel
Pretty much everyone knows these days that flying is not a green option. If you have a little extra time, why not take a train to your destination? Train travel has a surprisingly small carbon footprint and is a wonderfully classic, almost old-fashioned way to travel. Plus you get to see the sights as you go, making the journey as important as the destination.
If you can’t get to your destination by train, there are still ways to make your journey greener. Look for airlines with green programs if you are flying, pack lightly, and consider renting a hybrid car if you are planning on driving.
Living like a local is a great way to get under the skin of a vacation destination anyway, and is a much more sustainable way to travel as well. Buy produce at local markets, and look to shop and eat at local, independent shops, restaurants, and cafes. You’ll get a more authentic experience, you’ll be supporting the local economy, and your carbon footprint will be smaller as goods won’t need to be shipped from far away.
See the sights by foot or by bike
Particularly relevant if you are heading off on a city break, but applicable to almost all vacations. Leave the car at home, ditch expensive taxis or Ubers, and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Walking around a new city is the best way to really get to grips with it, and a cycling tour of the local landscapes is a wonderful part of any vacation.
Take a reusable water bottle
Most people drink a load of water when exploring tourist sites and attractions, and the plastic bottles used can really mount up. Pack a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever you come across a drinking fountain, and you’ll make a big difference.
You should always endeavour to leave the places you visit on vacation better than you found them. The saying ‘take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints’ is corny, but absolutely spot on. Don’t damage the local flora, or scare or hurt the wildlife. If you are swimming in lakes, rivers, or the sea, try and find biodegradable sunblock. It is our responsibility to look after the natural wonders of the world now, to make sure they are still there to visit next year!