The world is opening up, we’re all feeling tantalisingly excited that holidays may be back on the agenda again, but we know that raises environmental concerns. The question is: how to have a sustainable holiday? Whether you are looking forward to a beach holiday in the sun, exploring a new country on a city break or getting adventurous on the ski slopes, it is well documented that holidays can have a harsh effect on our planet.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your holiday while protecting the environment at the same time. It’s possible to have the wonderful holiday you’ve been craving for the last few years and take steps to be more eco-friendly about it.
So, if you’re planning a well-deserved getaway this year and want to know how to have a sustainable holiday that minimises any impact on the planet, read our eco-friendly holiday tips to get yourself in the mood for sun, sea, sand and sustainability!
Choose your transport carefully
The big whammy to start with is your travel, predominantly to and from your destination. Many eco-friendly holiday tips start here for that very reason. Most forms of travel come with a carbon footprint – and long-haul flights contribute massively to climate change. Where possible, choose a destination closer to home, or use another mode of transport. If you do fly, take steps to offset the impact.
Many travel companies now offer flight-free travel itineraries for the UK and Europe, where the journey is more leisurely and takes in all the scenery and plenty of hidden gems that you’d miss if you travelled by air.
Eco-friendly travel is growing increasingly popular, with 83% of travellers feeling that sustainable travel is an important consideration worldwide. This is contributing to the increasing number of ‘slow travel’ companies specialising in holidays that stray away from the traditional package holiday. Instead, they focus on using trains, ferries and even bikes to enjoy a more eco-friendly holiday away from mainstream travel.
Be a responsible guest
Treat your hotel room in the same eco-friendly way you treat your home but also try to be aware of the processes behind the scenes and choose accommodation which takes sustainability seriously.
Many guests use a stay at a hotel as an excuse to demand clean towels and fresh bed linen everyday – something you would never do at home. But by reusing towels and linen and taking shorter showers you can reduce your accommodation’s impact on the environment.
Similarly, turn off the lights, TV and any air-conditioning when you leave your room to save valuable resources.
Offset your carbon footprint
It’s almost impossible to travel without creating a carbon footprint, but the good news is that there are plenty of carbon-offset holiday adventures out there.
With a little preparation and planning, you can compensate for any emissions by choosing a carbon-free holiday or by making carbon savings in other areas of your life ahead of your trip. When considering how to have a sustainable holiday, you need to think beyond the holiday itself.
Travelling lightly is essential for an eco-friendly holiday. If everyone who travelled by air reduced their luggage by just 25%, then it would save a whopping 7,537 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. This is one of the simpler eco-friendly holiday tips and something that makes travelling easier for you too!
A lighter suitcase will also make your life much easier at the airport. After all, does anyone really want to lug a heavy case through an airport terminal? By packing a capsule wardrobe, you can still look stylish when you arrive at your destination and minimise your carbon footprint.
Say no to single-use plastic
While we are on the subject of packing lightly, we need to talk about toiletries. They often form the bulky weight of our luggage, as we try to cram in all our important skincare products, shampoos and sunscreen.
If you opt for mini-sized products to save space, make sure they are sustainable skincare minis. By choosing products that are sustainably packaged, you can still take your favourite beauty products on your travels, knowing that the packaging can be safely recycled at your holiday destination. Choose from our range of UpCircle skincare products – bring the empties home with you and we’ll give you a 20% discount if you send them back to be refilled.
During your holiday, say no to single-use plastic straws with your drinks, and take a refillable water bottle with you to avoid buying single-use bottles of water.
If you’re in a destination where drinking the local water is not advisable, buy a large bottle of water upon arrival and decant it into your refillable water container so you do not have to keep purchasing small single-use bottles when you are out and about.
Choose your souvenirs carefully
It’s always lovely to bring home a memento of a happy holiday – but think twice when deciding which souvenir to purchase. Avoid anything that may be made from an endangered species, such as coral or ivory – as some destinations have less stringent rules than the UK on such products.
Instead of physical souvenirs, make sure you take plenty of selfies in the sunshine, which will make you smile every time you relive your holiday, safe in the knowledge that photographs have no detrimental impact on the planet.
Enjoy our astounding planet
And finally… get out there and enjoy nature, new experiences and the environment.
Our planet is amazing and should be explored – by following our tips for a more sustainable holiday, you can discover all it has to offer safe in the knowledge that you are helping to preserve it for future generations to experience too.
Find out more about how our values and vision align with creating an eco-friendlier world to explore.