If you care about the environment but want to spend more time outdoors, you can take a number of steps to make your next vacation even greener. Green travel is becoming more popular than ever. One poll found 86% of US tourists have a green travel itinerary in place for future travels.
When you book a nature holiday, you will probably be looking forward to enjoying beautiful landscapes, seeing interesting wildlife and exploring the natural world. And of course, you will want to keep it this way so others can enjoy these places in the future. That is why it is important to ensure your nature holidays are great for the environment.
It is easy to both enjoy nature and look after it at the same time. There are even tour companies such as KE Adventure who specialize in outdoor adventure holidays where you can get closer to nature and enjoy a green holiday.
But however you choose to travel, there are a number of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint on the world around you. With these tips you can be safe in the knowledge you are impacting the natural environment less and enjoying the true joy nature has to offer.
1. Use the Greenest Mode of Transportation
Your holiday starts the minute you leave home and you should think about your method of transport to get to your destination. Although air travel is convenient, it can be quite impactive on the environment. This is why lawmakers with a focus on sustainability, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are interested in writing new laws that ban air travel.
Choosing to use public transport wherever possible is a great start with train travel being one of the best ways to reduce your travel impact. If you must drive, think about using an electric car rather than diesel which reduces your carbon footprint. Using transport with lower emissions is key and will help you get your nature holiday to a great environmentally friendly start.
2. Offset your carbon footprint
You can calculate your carbon footprint for individual journeys or for your entire life for a year. There is no limit to how much of your everyday emission you can offset. Offsetting your carbon footprint usually means taking steps to reduce the emissions that you are not able to in any other way. Carbon offsetting helps to tackle global climate change and also offers a positive effect on local communities.
Ways this is achieved can be as simple as planting a tree to donating to renewable energy projects. There are companies that will do this for you, so all you need to do is calculate and choose your project. Some eco-friendly airlines or travel companies will also give you the opportunity to offset your carbon footprint at the time of booking.
Which airlines should you use? A couple of months ago, Atmosfair provided a list of the greenest travel and airline companies.
3. Leave no trace
While enjoying a nature holiday, you should make sure you leave the place as you found it. This means picking up any litter, being careful not to wander over untrodden paths and not to pick local flowers or plants.
Of course, when hiking and camping there are small changes you will make to the natural world around you, but by being careful and respectful to your surroundings you will reduce the impact of you having been there. Staying in eco-friendly accommodation is also a great idea and will enable you to leave even less of a trace of your visit.
4. Conserve water and energy
Not only should you conserve your water and energy at home but while you are on holiday too. This is also a simple way to be greener on holiday. Turning lights and air conditioning off when you are not using them and using towels and sheets for longer to reduce the burden on the washing loads. Taking shorter showers and using water sparingly in the bathroom, as well as only boiling the amount of water you need rather than a full kettle also makes a difference. Small changes made by many people can have a massive impact on the environment and by taking these steps you are contributing to a greater good.
5. Buy Local
Tourism can be a lifeline to some destinations so you should ensure you are spending your money where it counts. It is important to pay a fair price for items but remember that depending on the place you are visiting bargaining may be a custom. Staying in local accommodation rather than chain hotels can make a difference to small rentals and hotels. Buying locally made crafts and souvenirs will help the local industry and residents to ensure the area is looked after in the future too. You should also be careful about buying products that may contain animal parts and plants ensuring they are not harmful or damaging for the destination. Eating is probably the biggest impact you can make when enjoying your nature holiday. Making sure you choose locally produced products and food will lessen the need to import products to cater for tourists.
6. Don’t forget to recycle
Wherever you are you should use recyclable products where possible and never ever leave litter behind. You should always look to recycle any disposable items that you use during your trip and if you can’t find the facilities to recycle at the time, you should hang on to them until you can. Other changes you can make include bringing along reusable items such as drinking vessels that you can refill instead of using plastic bottles. If you don’t think you will be able to recycle packaging whilst you are away, then leave it behind. Find a way to transport your luggage without bringing along unnecessary packaging.
7. Continue when you get home
The great thing about getting in the mindset of going a little greener on your holiday, is that you will continue to be greener at home. You may stop and think about your actions things that you do that have an impact on nature. Using less energy and water will not only help the environment but it will save you money too. Recycling will help cut down on your household waste and it will make you think about the packaging of the items you buy. The more you think about being greener the easier it will be and eventually it will be a part of your everyday life. People always like to bring a memory of their holidays home, why not make it one that will make the world better too?
What are the greenest destinations you can choose from?
Some of the most environmentally friendly places on earth are in the northern destinations of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and more exotic destinations such as Singapore, Ecuador, Costa Rica and some of Thailand’s Islands. In any of these places you can see some of the most beautiful natural places in the world and enjoy some great things to do too. Take a trip to explore the Fjords, trek through the rainforest or explore the wildlife in a tropical jungle.
Conclusion: How will you make your nature holiday greener?
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to think about how your travel effects the environment and to travel greener in the future. From offsetting your carbon footprint to using less water there are some small but effective ways to improve your relationship with the natural world. Which will you choose to do? Perhaps one or even all of them?