The world is gradually beginning to reopen, which means more of us are now booking our highly-anticipated holidays and staycations.
Unfortunately, remaining sustainable when travelling isn’t always easy to do, especially considering that transport makes up nearly half of the global carbon footprint for the tourism industry.
If you’re a regular traveller looking to make changes to be more eco-friendly, we’ve got you covered! As the UK’s first lifestyle and ethical marketplace app, we’re truly passionate about making ethical changes in your life, reducing your carbon footprint and helping live a more sustainable life.
In this guide, we’re going to talk you through some of our top tips for eco-friendly travel, whether that be in the UK or abroad.
1. Travel Wisely
Travelling is not sustainable, so we recommend reducing the environmental impact of your travels by using the most efficient ways of transport, such as public transport.
Choosing to walk or cycle – rather than jumping into a taxi or hiring a car – can massively reduce your emissions while on your travels. Not to mention it saves you money, keeps you fit and healthy, and allows you to get a real taste of the local experience!
2. Opt for More Sustainable Accommodation
Did you know? The hotel sector alone accounts for around 1% of global carbon emissions. This will only increase each year. According to a 2018 study by Booking.com, 87% of travellers said they would like to travel sustainably, but only 39% often or always manage to do so.
When choosing your accommodation for your travels, you’ll most likely choose somewhere without considering much other than what is convenient and affordable. However, if you really are looking for an eco-friendly trip, you might want to consider searching for a sustainable hotel with sustainable initiatives. These could be solar power, energy-efficient lighting, renewable building materials, as well as many others. You may also find that there are some 100% renewable source energy hotels available which are extremely affordable!
Some hotels may also be part of ‘giveback’ programs and give back to local communities and global causes, so if you are looking to travel outside of the UK, this may be something you’d like to consider.
If you’re looking to explore Southeast Asia, we would highly recommend a stay at NIHI Sumba Island, located in Indonesia. Not only does the remote island stay give back through village-based projects to improve health, water quality, education and income, it also has its very own turtle hatchery. Over the last 15 years, the hotel has managed to set up primary schools, build wells and clinics, and reduced malaria by 85 per cent in affected villages.
3. Go Camping (Or Glamping!)
Choosing to go camping (or even glamping, if that’s more for you!) is a great way to save money and have an authentic experience of the area you’re visiting. There really is nothing like hearing the world wake up around you after a night sleeping under the stars!
The great thing about camping is that it is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to go on holiday. Research also shows that camping in the great outdoors can improve your blood pressure, improve digestion and give your immune system an extra boost.
4. Invest in Eco-Friendly Travel Products
Whether travelling abroad or in the UK, we’re far more likely to be investing in unsustainable products, including disposable plastic water bottles, make-up wipes, toiletries, disposable razors, and other disposable products that we pick up on the go.
Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste and often end up polluting our beaches and seas. Rather than buying bottles of water that eventually end up in a landfill, consider purchasing a reusable bottle. Two brands that we stock on the GoEthical marketplace and we would highly recommend are Leiho and One Green Bottle, which are designed to help you reduce your plastic usage and keep your drinks hot (or cold!) on your travel adventures.
Some other brands that sell eco-friendly travel products include Purple Marble’s bamboo facial pads, Bambooth’s biodegradable bamboo toothbrush, KIND2’s plastic-free shampoo bars (that are equivalent to 500ml of shampoo!) and Truthpaste’s plastic-free toothpaste.
5. Avoid Buying New Clothes
We’ve all been guilty of buying brand new clothes at one time or another for the purpose of a holiday. However, fast fashion is the second-highest polluting industry in the world, meaning that investing in fast fashion contributes to its devastating effects on the environment.
If you can avoid buying new clothes for the sake of it, this can really help make your trip an eco-friendly one. Instead, you can opt for charity shops, second-hand shops, or even shopping for sustainable fashion from a number of sustainable brands.
Some of the sustainable fashion brands we recommend include Morcant, Boki, Y.O.U Underwear, Elbow Bump, Cariki, We Are Not Them, and Cody & Co.
6. Avoid Travel Leaflets and Brochures
When going on holiday, we are likely to accumulate a collection of travel leaflets and brochures, most of which get thrown away or littered. This is a massive waste when you can most likely access all of these leaflets and brochures online!
Instead of throwing them away, we recommend returning any leaflets, brochures and maps so that other travellers can reuse them in future. If you’re staying at a hotel, you may wish to leave this literature with someone behind the front desk.
If you can, we also recommend photographing any information you need rather than taking leaflets and brochures.
7. Prevent Excessive Usage
Another great tip is to treat your accommodation like you would your own home by limiting your resources.
When you leave the room, turn off the air conditioning, turn off all heaters, switch off the lights and turn off the TV. You could also avoid having long showers and getting clean towels for the sake of it by hanging your towels up to dry for use the next day.
Buy With Purpose with GoEthical
Shopping from GoEthical during 2021 makes it easy to make sustainable lifestyle choices when on your travels. Whether you have a specific product in mind or you’re looking for items to reduce your waste on the go, the GoEthical app has something for everyone.
We also recommend reading our guide to eco-staycations this summer which includes a few helpful packing tips for a sustainable staycation.