Do you love travelling and seeing the world, yet feel guilty about your environmental footprint while holidaying?
Luckily there are lots of things you can do to make your holiday more sustainable with minimal effort. In fact, many of those things will make your holiday even more enjoyable – and I am going to share some of my favourites in this blog post.
Travelling in the age of climate change
We are all familiar with climate change, and in an ideal world every single one of us would change our lifestyle to become 100% sustainable starting today.
I am a big admirer of those people who give their lives a complete overhaul; abstaining from travelling, eating vegan and only buying sustainable products.
However, the majority of people, including myself, find the thought of such significant changes to their lifestyle overwhelming. Our philosophy at VILDNIS is that you can continue to enjoy many of the things you love, including fashion and travelling as long as you do it in a responsible manner.
How to holiday responsibly
Below are 7 easy tips on how to make your holiday more sustainable without compromising on the things you love:
1. Carbon offset flights – or holiday close to home
There are lots of beautiful places to be explored in every country and a holiday close to home is the easiest way to cut down carbon emissions significantly. However, if you do want to venture further away once awhile, take a direct flight and pay to offset your carbon emissions online through Climate Care or a similar organisation.
Caption: eco hut in Madeira with natural 'air con'
2. Choose accommodation with a low environmental footprint
Swap the large hotel with a sun facing glass façade with a smaller boutique hotel or eco-resort using cool breezes instead of aircons and solar power to heat the showers and pool.
As an added bonus, a lot of them will grow their own vegetables and berries. Hello organic food and homemade jams – and goodbye constant hum in the background. Pure bliss!
3. Bring a water bottle with water purifying filter
Most of us follow the advice of only drinking water from water bottles when on holiday. It can easily amount to 1-2 large plastic bottles a day per person. Seasoned adventurers have however taken to reusable water bottles with purifying filters and these are now so good that they clean the water 99.9% and purifies around 1000 litres of water before they need replacement. No plastic waste and no more trips to the supermarket to fetch water.
Caption: getting around by train in Sri Lanka
4. Use public transport to get around
If you are travelling solo or with a partner, using public transport to get around instead of a hire car can give you a unique glimpse into a different culture as well as some unexpected experiences. Not to mention having the time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and watch the world go by instead watching the GPS. Good for the planet – and good for your wallet!
5. Bring a solar phone charger
Only slightly bigger than a kindle, a portable solar power charger will become your new best friend. It may only save limited amounts of energy charging your mobile phone, BUT it will earn you loads of street credit and gone are the days when you run out of battery (or your power bank overheats) at the beach. You literally have an endless supply of power as long as the sun is out. It’s also your personal contribution to the wonderful world of sustainable energy.
Caption: soaking up the sun by the sea in Denmark
6. Use an eco-friendly sun cream
This is such an easy thing to change and it can have such a big positive impact on coral reefs and sealife in general. A lot of traditional sun creams contain oxebenzone (benzophenone-3), ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and zinc oxide; ingredients that are toxic to sea plants and animals, proven to bleach coral reefs and altering the gender of fish. Fortunately, it’s easy to get your hands on an eco-friendly sun cream with none of these ingredients. My personal favourite is the Green People sun cream in SPF30 and SPF15 - they take a little longer to absorb into the skin but once they have, they are exceptionally long lasting and effective.
7. Support local businesses that care about their environment
Enjoy spending time seeking out restaurants using local produce, the independent coffee shop serving coffee in real cups and artisans selling handmade clothes, jewellery etc. It’s incredibly satisfying to help local communities/economies grow rather than big chain stores, and apart from making someone happy, you are also gifted with a truly unique holiday memory.
Caring greatly about the planet, these are all part of the sustainable habits that my husband and I have adopted during our travels, and hence tried and tested with good results.
If you have any easy-to-implement sustainable holiday hacks to add to the list, please share below in the comment section - I would love to know about them.
Happy Summer :-)
Main image: bounty beach in Mauritius. You will have to carbon offset your flights when travelling to this one...