Want to enjoy your holidays while limiting your environmental impact?
If so, here are some sustainable micro-habits you could try before and during your next trip. These are small, easy and practical actions to reduce your carbon footprint and support local communities.
Before you go:
You can take a few simple steps before you even pack your bag, which will help keep your trip as green as possible.
- Choose a responsible travel company. Pick one that follows ethical and environmental standards. You can check their credentials on websites like Responsible Travel,
- Consider taking a train or a bus instead of flying, especially for short distances. You’ll save money, reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy the scenery along the way.
- Pack light and avoid single-use plastics. Bring reusable items like water bottles, bags, cutlery and straws. You can also use solid toiletries like shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets that don’t need plastic packaging.
- Offset your carbon emissions if you do fly. You can use websites like Climate Impact Partners or MyClimate to calculate and compensate for your flight’s impact. Some airlines offer this directly.
During your stay:
Once you’ve landed, you can continue using micro-habits to help the planet.
- Stay in eco-friendly accommodation that uses renewable energy, recycles waste and supports local initiatives. You can find them on websites like Ecobnb or Green Pearls.
- Respect the local culture and customs. Learn some basic phrases in the local language, dress appropriately and ask permission before photographing people or places.
- Shop locally and ethically. Avoid buying souvenirs made from endangered animals or plants, or which may have been made by exploited workers. Instead, support local artisans and fair trade organisations that offer quality products and benefit the community.
- Eat locally and seasonally. Try the local cuisine and avoid imported or processed foods with a high environmental cost.
- Use public transport or walk whenever possible. Avoid renting a car or taking taxis that contribute to air pollution and traffic congestion. You’ll also see more of the destination and interact with the locals.
- Save water and energy. Turn off the lights and appliances when you leave your room, take shorter showers instead of baths, and reuse your towels and sheets instead of asking for new ones every day.
- Volunteer on your holiday. If you’re able, you can join activities like beach clean-ups, wildlife conservation or community development that will enrich your experience and make a positive difference.
Once you get home:
The end of your trip isn’t the end when it comes to making a difference.
- Share your stories and photos with your friends and family. Inspire them to travel more sustainably and responsibly by showing them the benefits and joys of doing so.
- Give feedback to your travel company and accommodation provider. Tell them what you liked and disliked about their services and practices and how they can improve their environmental performance.
- Keep up the good habits. Keep your sustainable micro-habits from ending with your holiday. Continue to practise them in your daily life and make them part of your routine.
These small steps can make all the difference. By following these tips, you can have a wonderful holiday that is good for you, the planet, and the people you visit. Happy travels!