12 tips for a sustainable holiday
It is summer, the sun shines, life goes slower and we a lot of us go on holiday. Delightful! To get away from it all, discover new places and spend quality time with the person with whom you go on holiday. If you try to make more and more sustainable choices in your daily life, then you can also do that very well on vacation. How? These 12 tips will help you make your vacation as sustainable as possible.
Prepare a sustainable holiday
1. Book with a sustainable travel organization
2. Flying: don't do it, compensate or at least fly direct
Flying causes a lot of CO2 emissions, most of which is released when a plane takes off and descends. These days, airline tickets are very cheap and it is often even cheaper to fly at short distances than taking the train. But although it is much more advantageous in terms of time and money, it is not sustainable to fly. Try to go by bus or train for short distances within Europe. The bus remains a very cheap option and the train takes you through the most beautiful places and is more comfortable than the plane.
Even if you are going on a longer trip, it is good to visit the different countries by boat, train or bus instead of booking short flights. On long distances, it is almost impossible not to fly. Real die-hard environmentalists go by cargo ship or travel by sailboat, but that is not possible for everyone.
If you are going to fly, whether that is on a short or long distance, you can compensate for the CO2 emissions. This can, for example, be done at Greenseat or My Climate. It is also better to book a direct flight because the C02 is mainly released when taking off and landing.
3. Book an ecological stay
Whether you want to sleep in a hostel, a campsite, a hotel or a holiday home, first see if you can find an ecological stay. Nowadays there are more and more of them! You can recognize them by a GSTC or a Green Key label.
4. Go on holiday in your own country
There is so much to discover in your own country! Have you been to all the national parks in your own country? Or to all the big cities? I'm sure there is a part that you have not seen yet. If you discover your own country it is a great sustainable way to discover it by bike. You can leave straight from home and you might be able to stay at friends and family on the way.
5. Sustainable sunscreen
Sunscreen protects your skin against the sharp rays of the sun but is unfortunately harmful to everything that lives in the sea. The coral, in particular, cannot stand the chemical agents that are found in most sunscreens. Therefore choose a coral-friendly and sustainable sunscreen from for example Caudalie, Lavera or SMPL.
6. Switch off all electrical devices
Turn off all electrical devices as much as possible just before departure. Turn off the fridge, check if all the lights are off, and don't forget to turn off the heating or air conditioning.
Sustainable tips for during your holidays
7. Eat locally, vegetarian or vegan
Eat as locally as possible! That is not only fun, because you taste the local culture, but what comes from closeby is also more sustainable. And whether you eat vegetarian or vegan at home or not, definitely try to do this on vacation. Do you find that difficult? For example, choose to eat meat fish and/or dairy only in the evenings. To prepare for the holiday, write down the addresses of some nice vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
8. Take a refillable bottle with you
Also on vacation, it is important to keep yourself well hydrated. Therefore, take a refillable bottle that you always carry with you. This way you can always top it up. Do you stay in one place for a long time and is the tapwater not drinkable? Then buy a very large bottle of water with which you can refill the smaller bottle daily. This way you save on plastic waste.
9. Take a cotton bag with you
A cotton bag is very light and can easily be carried in your handbag or backpack. Very useful if you do some spontaneous shopping or buy souvenirs! This way your purchase does not have to be put in a plastic or paper throw-away bag.
10. Go shopping sustainably
Shopping is also part of the holiday, especially if you visit cities during the holidays. When you buy new clothes on vacation, it is a practical souvenir that will always remind you of the time there. Find out in advance if there are sustainable clothing stores at the destination. In most Western countries there are sustainable clothing stores in the big cities and other countries, there are often fair trade shops and cooperatives in touristic places that pay a fair wage to the locals. Write these addresses down somewhere. Here you will find tips for sustainable clothing stores in Amsterdam and ethical clothing stores in Paris.
11. Rent a bike or go by public transport
On vacation, it is wonderful to wander around, but you won't get too far with it. Do you want to visit the edges of the city or go further into the countryside? Then rent a bike! You can see much more by bicycle. Do you want to go even further away? Then go by public transport. The best way to get in touch with the locals. Take the transportation whatever the locals take and do not go on a special tourist bus. Then you often come home with good stories. In Albania, for example, not only do passengers travel on the bus, but half the farm also goes on the bus as well. ;) Both public transport and cycling are more sustainable alternatives to a rental car or taxi.
12. Set the right example
Is there trash everywhere on the street? Then you probably tend to just throw the wrapper of your ice cream on the street. Do not do it. Set the right example and throw it in a trash can. Your action may inspire other people.
These are all my tips for a sustainable vacation. Do you have a tip? Feel free to leave this below.
Happy Holidays ;)