Though it may not feel like it with the UK’s temperamental weather - summer is now in full swing! As we witness increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather around the world - with temperatures reaching above thirty-two degrees celsius in Suffolk earlier this month; 5 million people being displaced by floods in Sylhet, Bangladesh; and a wildfire that covered 5000 acres in New Mexico, California - the question on many of our minds is ‘how can we enjoy our breaks while contributing as little as possible to global climate disasters?’
We’ve got you covered! It’s difficult to travel in a completely ‘green’ way, but making more conscious decisions can allow us to enjoy memorable and much-deserved resets while circumventing some of their negative effects.
5 Tips for Greener Travel
Staying local doesn’t mean having to sacrifice on good views or a good time. In the UK, there are gorgeous sights to see on our doorstep: take a roadtrip or train ride to Durdle Door in Dorset, the Mediterranean-inspired village of Portmeirion in Wales, or see the Harry Potter bridge (also known as Glenfinnan Viaduct) in the Scottish Highlands. If you hail from beyond our great island, try researching the overlooked gems a few cities away, or holiday destinations within a train ride from home.
Even taking short haul flights over longer journeys means a much smaller production of carbon emissions. For instance, a return trip to Marrakech from London Heathrow Airport produces 371.4kg of CO2, while a return trip to Dubai from the same airport produces 685.kg of CO2.
There are a number of online tools available to help you calculate your carbon footprint including ICAO, the tool officially endorsed by the UN.
If you do decide to visit more tropical destinations, doing some research into environmentally friendly places to stay can go a long way.
Hotel developments can often be huge disruptors to the local ecosystem - but some go to great lengths to minimise the disruption, or even build back natural areas.
Nayara Springs in Costa Rica avoided cutting down a single tree during construction, and since opening in 2017, Wilderness Safaris has planted 20,000 trees at Bisate Lodge in Rwanda.
In Brazil, Pousada Literária de Paraty replenished so much greenery, it attracted enough birdlife to create the country’s first-ever private bird reserve.
Limit plastic waste
Plastic often ends up in nature, poisoning the environment and even directly killing wildlife, and of all plastic waste, single-use bottles may be the most harmful. Fortunately there’s an abundance of options of reusable water bottles, for every kind of traveller!
The World Tourism Organisation reports that of each one hundred dollars spent on a trip, only five dollars contributes to local economies.
By shopping at markets abroad you can ensure you’re supporting independent business owners who source ingredients more locally.
Offset your carbon emissions
With growing concerns around climate change and the environment, there are an increasing number of organisations offering the offsetting of carbon emissions in an effort to help reduce carbon footprints, including Carbon Neutral Britain, Clime Works, and Carbon Footprint.
You can also track the carbon footprint of your purchases through the Algbra app and contribute towards offsetting the emissions produced. You can sign up for early access to the app here.
Author: Maria Zitout