Every trip has some environmental impact, from your individual plastic consumption to the impact of your hotel on local conservation. Being aware of this impact allows you to be more responsible and eco-friendly in your daily choices whilst travelling. If you want to make sure your trip does not have a negative impact on the planet, take a look at our top three essential tips for being an eco-friendly traveller.
Be environmentally aware when booking accommodation
The Rainforest Alliance is a well-known organisation which, among other things, can rate South American tourist accommodation according to its local environmental impact. This means tourists to the area are able to easily navigate the local accommodation market whilst keeping their environmental impact low. Yet did you know that there is a US equivalent (LEEDS Approval) and an organisation which covers the UK, Canada and Italy (Green Tourism)? These offer an environmental seal of approval process designed to let tourists know the eco-friendly rating of the accommodation they choose, as well as any extras the hotel might offer, like being a plastic-free zone, or recycling 100% of food waste. All these organisations offer tips and tricks for getting the best out of your eco-friendly tip, so check out their website here.
Bring reusable toiletries with you
Lots of hotels report that although they try to cut down on plastic waste, many tourists bring, or buy, plastic-based toiletries which then make their way into the local waste. Our advice is to support the efforts of local businesses by bringing your own sustainable goods with you. Toiletries are a great place to start – try to use sustainable packaging, and take your rubbish home with you. This is a great technique for saving money, so you might also consider bringing your own water bottles, travel coffee mug, and even reusable straws!
Make sure your travel company is eco-friendly too
Whether you plan on flying, like to book an all-inclusive package deal or want to take a tour when you get there, the company you use will have a big impact on the eco-friendly credentials of your trip. If the company is seriously considering the impact they have on the environment, then they will advertise this: check out their website for information on whether they are part of a carbon-offsetting program, and whether they have a partnership with local business to limit their environmental impact.
It can help to do a bit of research on how environmentally friendly companies make a difference in their local environment. So take a look at this recent ranking for the eco-friendly travel companies out there to help you make environmentally friendly choices.
Either way, with over £4 trillion spent in the travel and tourism sector every year, make sure that you keep your travel eco-friendly by taking the time to plan ahead and keep your trip local.