There are a growing number of consumers who choose to live an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. These are the ones committed to a greener future for generations to come, and this is self-evident even when planning holidays. Whether you are new to a sustainable lifestyle or are seeking to gain inspiration by planning an environmentally-friendly holiday, here are some tips to help you on your journey.
Visit the Leading Sustainable Cities in Europe for Inspiration
One of the many things Europe can be quite proud of is the fact that this is the continent with the greatest number of sustainable cities on a global level. In fact, according to the latest ARCADIS Index of Sustainable Cities, Europe accounts for seven within the top ten. That is quite an honour in itself. The cities you may wish to visit with the hopes of learning how they have built an environmentally-friendly infrastructure, in order of ranking are as follows:
- Madrid (10th globally)
As a resident of the UK, you can visit London at any time, but when planning a holiday from Birmingham (BHX) to Frankfurt (FRA) on the continent, for example, you may wish to book a flight and leave your car parked whilst away. Take sustainable local transport in Frankfurt while your car is safe in the long stay Birmingham Airport Car Park 5. Book your car park space early on Birminghamparking.com to ensure there is space for your car and then you can travel unencumbered by worry.
Pack as Lightly as Possible
One thing which may slip your mind when planning an eco-friendly holiday is the weight you carry with you on that flight mentioned above. Did you realise that every extra kilo you pack uses more fuel and thus produces more carbon emissions? If you pack the bare minimum of what you will need on holiday, the environment will be that much healthier as a result.
Beware of Disposables
While you may be staying at a hotel on your environmentally-friendly holiday, you will be shopping at some point, won’t you? Whether picnicking to save money while enjoying the scenery or shopping to bring home treasures, make sure you meticulously avoid disposables. You want to make memories that last a lifetime, but you certainly don’t want to leave behind debris that will still be there generations down the road. Those bags you are disposing of? Did you know they can take longer than 500 years to break down – and at that, the chemicals they release are toxic to the ecosphere!
Enjoy Food and Beverages Produced Locally
Speaking of fuel and carbon emissions, what about the foods and beverages you will be enjoying on your holiday? Always opt to eat in restaurants and pubs that serve locally sourced edibles. Remember, all that food and drink on the table needs to be brought in from somewhere and as a result, those that travel long distances to reach your table are those which will cause the greatest amount of destruction to planet Earth.
Observe the 3-Rs Even While on Holiday
Whilst you are seeking to get away from all the trials and tribulations of life in the fast lane, you can’t let your guard down for even a minute when it comes to living a green lifestyle. Just as you would at home, observe the 3 Rs of sustainability – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When eating out, don’t order more than you can eat at a single sitting, unless you can bring leftovers back to the room with you. Reduce waste wherever possible.
You may be wondering how you can reuse anything on holiday, but this is easy as well. When staying in a hotel, for example, don’t use your towel once and then toss it on the floor to go into the laundry. Use it several times before asking for another set. Also, don’t use paper cups if at all possible. Use the hotel cup and rinse it in the sink between each use. Recycling may be a bit of a problem, but if you are in a sustainable city like the ones listed above, chances are your hotel may have recycling bins.
Choose Your Transport Wisely
One of the facets of going on holiday that so many people enjoy is in having the ability to get out and about. For 10 or 11 months out of the year they are behind closed doors in the office or in the stores and very little time is left for doing a bit of exercise. When on holiday, why not walk as often as possible? Why would you want to call a taxi if your destination is a 5-minute walk away?
There are so many ways to plan an environmentally-friendly vacation and these ideas are just for starters. Take time to think about the impact you are having on planet Earth before venturing out. While no one wants you to spend your entire holiday worrying about the damage you might be doing to the environment, it is still possible to lessen the damage by planning everything well in advance.
What are your favorite ways to make your holidays environmentally-friendly?
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