Greener Travel Tips

There are fairly simple things ways we can help reduce carbon emissions, pollution and degradation:

1.  Select a destination with good rankings in terms of environmental protection.

The online site Ethical Travel rates countries based on an environmental performance, social welfare and human rights The ten best ethical destinations for 2013 ( in alphabetical order ):

  • Barbados
  • Cape Verde -striving to reach 300% renewable energy- moving away from fossil fuels
  • Costa Rica -signed a ban on shark finning
  • Ghana- announced new taxes to establish appropriate prices for natural and environmental capital to provide incentives for reducing environmental degradation
  • Latvia -scored highest with Lithuania in environmental protection among the Ethical Destinations
  • Lithuania- -scored highest with Latvia in environmental protection among the Ethical Destinations
  • Mauritius
  • Palau -strong emphasis on sustainable development programs
  • Samoa- consulting with local communities to create national parks and improve coastal management
  • Uruguay


2. Select Environmentally focused Travel Companies

For example Air New Zealand has been experimenting with alternative  fuels, Responsible Tours in the UK organise more environmentally friendly tours and Green Globe certify sustainable tourism


3.      Fly Coach/Economy

Travelling  in Business or First Class can be five times as damaging for the environment as a seat in Economy or Coach.


4. Travel by train

Trains are more energy efficient and less polluting than individual motor vehicles or plane flights. In cities, where you can use subways and intercity rail travel.


5.      Choose to carbon offset

You can calculate your carbon pollution and choose to pay a fee to offset your emissions. This website explains some of the things to consdier when doing  this. One of the best calculators is here.


6.      Hotel Stays

There are  environmentally friendly hotels. When staying, reduce your clean towel usage, aim for shorter showers and switch off TV, lights and air-conditioning when you leave your room.


7. Pack light

Every kilo counts when flying. I am a huge advocate of lighter bags for a host of reasons. Yiu can add environment to the list. One saving: You can buy quick dry underwear and t shirts reducing how much you need to travel with.


8.      Take a Stylish fold up Shopping bag

While, some countries and cities have banned plastic, others seem to offer a proliferation of bags and saying no to plastic feels impossible. Get used to saying “no” and taking your own bag.

9.      Eat Local

Eat and drink as much as you can from the local area. Read the labels. Do you need to eat strawberries from South Africa in Edinburgh? Some people when travelling seek out food and drink from their own country. Why travel?

10.   Avoid disposables

Plastic bottles, disposable containers, disposable silverware (cutlery) and chopsticks all generate huge amounts of waste. Use non disposables or even take your won. I bought a pair of travel chopsticks and a Sporf (pictured) from a camping goods store

a group of colorful plastic forks

Any more tips?


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