11 Ways to be a More Sustainable Traveller

11 Ways to be a More Sustainable Traveller

Global warming is far from cool. As we wake up to the
impact of
climate change
travel is becoming less a trend, more a necessity.
From reef-friendly sun cream to carbon offsetting, we’ve rounded up
some of the best ways you can travel more sustainably.

world is waking up to the impact of climate change. In March
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace
Prize. Earlier this month Extinction Rebellion convinced the UK to
become the first country to declare a “climate emergency”. New
Zealand has unveiled plans to go carbon neutral by 2050.

Does travel have a place in our more sustainable future?
According to a recent report by booking.comalmost three quarters of
UK travellers believe that more people need to make sustainable
travel choices. In light of this, here are 11 things you can do to
travel in the most eco-friendly way possible.

Research alternative travel options

For many of us, cheap travel is a priority. However, air travel
is one of the chief contributors to environmental damage caused by
tourism. Research alternative ways to reach your destination; avoid
unnecessary short-haul flights and excess carbon emissions by
opting for coaches, trains or boats. If a plane is
necessary, choose direct flights.

This image is on holiday

Get to know new destinations by foot

The best way to truly get to know a place is on foot. Zooming
past tourist hotspots in private rental cars may appeal to some,
but by exploring slowly you’ll be able to understand the
destination, build a mental map of the area and learn about new
cultures as you go. If you need a vehicle to get around, use public
transport where possible.

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Only participate in responsible wildlife tourism

Many of us are foregoing the city break and beach flop in favour
of getting up close with animals. Yet lots of operators promote
irresponsible or unsustainable wildlife experiences. Research tours
that advocate ethical interaction – in particular, look for those
that practice admiring wildlife from afar, avoiding any unnecessary
disturbance of the animals.

Support local economies

Wherever you go, choosing to spend money at local institutions
will help the economy and infrastructure. This doesn’t need to be a
huge difference to your typical spending choices; just opt for a
family-run restaurant, shop or local market when it comes to
buying snacks, souvenirs and the like.

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New “eco-mmodation” and green hotels are popping up all over the
world, from Greece to Nicaragua. While it’s easy to
opt for the cheapest or most centrally located hotel, it’s worth
researching the best sustainable places to stay in your destination
– chances are there will be an eco-friendly choice that suits your

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Be respectful of your surroundings

Many of us want to travel to
the world’s most remote corners
, where daily life is entwined
with the surrounding environment. Although it’s tempting to bring
all of your electronics, be aware of the impact you have on local
habitats; noise emissions from speakers, for example, can have a
negative impact on nearby animals and fauna.


Quick to book flights to far-off lands, many overlook the
destinations on their doorstep. Emit less travel
pollution – and save a pretty penny – by making the most of your
country’s various locations and attractions. Explore a new city or
escape the daily grind and see
what the countryside has to offer.

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Be a slow traveller

While our holiday entitlements often make several short breaks a
necessity, taking one prolonged trip to a single destination has
several benefits. Having time to settle gives you more opportunity
to truly grasp a new culture while flying less means you’ll be
saving money and reducing your carbon footprint. Win, win.

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Check your beauty products

The beauty industry has a huge carbon footprint. If you’ll be
swimming in the sea, wear reef-friendly sun cream. Many products
include nanoparticles and chemicals that pose danger to marine
ecosystems, particularly by contributing to the bleaching of coral
reefs. Check the labels on your products.

Don’t leave anything behind

Whittling down an essentials-only packing list is no mean feat. Try to pack mindfully
and steer clear of items you know won’t last the trip. Avoid
unnecessary plastic by decanting beauty products into small,
reusable containers, and don’t forget insulated cups, reusable
water bottles and cutlery for on-the-go dining.

This image is on holiday

Carbon offsetting

One of the newest developments in sustainable travel is carbon
offsetting, a system whereby passengers pay a little extra to help
compensate for the carbon emissions produced from their flight. The
money is spent on projects such as planting trees or installing
renewable energy sources. While not many airlines offer this
alternative at present, the future looks promising. Opt for
airlines such as Ryanair and Lufthansa to try the scheme.