Top 12 tips for how to enjoy an environmentally green holiday this summer
With school holidays starting this month many families will be getting ready to pack for their annual trip away.
But for those flying abroad the difficulty is how to reduce their carbon footprint as emissions from planes continue to soar with experts predicting aviation energy use will triple by 2050.
So how can people enjoy their break without destroying the planet? Green energy expert Ron Fox gives 12 helpful guidelines.
- For nearby places, go by train instead of flying. Short haul flights use more fuel per kilometre than long haul and so generate more carbon.
- Use public transport wherever possible. It’s the greenest option as hailing a taxi or hiring a car contributes to congestion and pollution. The bus gives a better insight into local places, customs and people.
- Stay in the UK. The greenest holidays are the ones closest to home. There are now 500 UK communities accredited plastic free by Surfers Against Sewage with Anglesey the first UK county to win this award and Guernsey is well on its way to becoming the second area.
- Try an Airbnb as homes use less energy and water and generate less waste than a resort or hotel.
- Travel light as much as possible. Heavy luggage needs more fuel to transport it which means more emissions.
- Head to a ski resort in the summer to preserve the environment and tourism income. Climate change is affecting winter breaks as snowfall is so unreliable in some traditional sports areas that it has led to a leap in energy-intensive fake snow.
- Don’t use disposable plastics, especially in coastal areas and countries with a lack of waste infrastructure, such as some Far East destinations. Take your own empty water bottle in your case.
- Check your sunscreen doesn’t damage the coral reefs. Some contain chemical components such as oxybenzone which can be absorbed by corals, disrupting their growth cycle and possibly leading to bleaching. Look for the reef safe options.
- Don’t take wet wipes as they are not biodegradable. Take a face cloth instead.
- Don’t print out your boarding pass unless the airline makes you. It is better environmentally to download it to your smartphone.
- Avoid all-inclusive holidays as industry standards call for 5 kilograms of food per guest per meal, nearly 40 times the average daily quantity of food, adding to the problem of waste and the effects on the environment.
- Finally, voluntourism is not just for gap-year students but for holidaymakers. There are now expeditions where you can enjoy a trip at the same time as helping clean up the litter and plastic at a destination.
“I don’t want to put a dampener on peoples’ holiday plans,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park. “But I want people to enjoy themselves as the same time as helping protect our planet.”
For more information on going green contact Ron on 0845 474 6641.