4 simple ways to make your next holiday more sustainable

Filed in Blog by on January 23, 2020 3 Comments
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sustainable holiday treehouseBooking a holiday can be a challenge when you’re living a sustainable lifestyle. All over the news for the past 18 months have been horrifying stories about climate change.

Scientists have warned that we have less than 11 years to address our habits otherwise we face catastrophic consequences. Around the world students have taken to the streets in strike action and Extinction Rebellion are causing non-violent disruption to call upon us all to take action.

One of the things I’ve always said about a Zero Waste lifestyle is that is isn’t about deprivation. You can still enjoy whatever you enjoy – good food, nice clothes, luxurious toiletries, celebrations, fun hobbies – whatever floats your boat. As long as you make conscious choices and look for sustainable alternatives.

But what are the alternatives when it comes to booking a holiday?

Travel well

Well, there are a surprising amount of things you can do to reduce the impact of holidays and vacations. First there’s the way you choose to travel. It might not have escaped your notice that campaigner Greta Thunberg travelled by yacht, rather than taking a plane. Making the journey part of the holiday is a good mindset to get into. My own daughter has proven this to me as she hasn’t learned to drive and instead relies on public transport. She particularly enjoys train travel, which is a brilliant way to travel to places.

If you do need to drive, you might consider hiring a hybrid or electric vehicle. And look into water travel too – we may not all be able to charter a yacht like Greta Thunberg did, but we can certainly give some thought to the way we get to our destination.

Off peak holidays

I personally prefer travelling out of season. It’s cheaper and less crowded. But it’s also better for the place you are visiting. Think about it – if an area relies on the tourist season, it’s pretty vulnerable the rest of the year. A heavy tourist season can also take its toll on the environment and wildlife as more people are moving in that area in a concentrated time. By ‘spacing things out’ locals get to spread their income and damage to the environment and demand based on resources is less.

Check your accommodation

Many companies now are waking up to consumer demand for more sustainable holidays. One year we were lucky enough to visit a completely off grid cottage! This year I’ve been looking at what’s on the internet, and it’s heartening to see how many holiday companies are making significant changes. The simplest thing to do is read through a company’s environmental policy. Check, for example if a hotel or resort uses local food, provides bulk refillable toiletries, has a recycling policy or has measures in place to conserve energy.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, then Nature House provide cottages in nature, in numerous destinations across the world. Guests can filter accommodation on sustainability measures, for example choosing a home with waste separation, green energy, close to public transport and even those that have access to food from their own garden! Not only that, but as well as traditional builds, you can choose from treehouses, tiny houes and yurts. Guests are encouraged to limit consumption of energy as much as possible and some landlords use eco friendly cleaning products. The team at Nature House also have a tree planting project in place, which as recent articles tell us, is an important piece of the climate change puzzle.

Support local

When you arrive at your destination, do as much as you can to support the local economy. Choose souvenirs that are made by local artisans, immerse yourself in the local culture and food, choose activities run by local people.

Buying local food reduces food miles and keeps money in the local economy. And let’s face it, it is more likely to be fresh and at its peak too! Eating in local restaurants, rather than chains means you get to sample local cuisine and help give local people meaningful employment and find a local guide for tours and activities – you’ll get much more personalised attention and you’ll be helping a person just like you, earn a living.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (3)

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  1. Hugh Counsell says:

    By taking a holiday in our country instead of flying to overseas resorts will result in reducing air pollution as well as supporting the economy at home.

    • Mrs Green says:

      That’s my personal preference too, Hugh. I haven’t been outside this country for 27 years and I have no intention of that changing. But I appreciate, when writing content for the site, that many readers are travellers and will not be giving up their international travel in a hurry!

  2. Anne says:

    Thanks for this informative article. I’ll definitely be checking out those gorgeous cottages on the Nature House website for my next holiday.

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