How to travel more sustainably

We're travelling more than ever, but as the climate crisis intensifies, how can we make our trips more sustainable? International tourism accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions, with transport leaving the largest carbon footprint of all. Here are some tips for planning a planet-friendly holiday; because the earth needs to chill too.

Take the train

Saying no to flying is the single most impactful thing you can do to lower your carbon footprint. If you must fly, consider a destination with less flight miles and select the shortest, non-stop flight path. If you live in Europe or the UK, there are many alternative train routes or carpool options available.

Waste not, want not

While travelling, pre-packaged food and drinks are difficult to avoid. You can limit your reliance on single-use plastic by packing wisely: think reusable water bottles, coffee cups and wooden bowls. Limit toiletries by opting for an all-purpose soap.  

Sleep green in an eco-hotel

When choosing your accommodation, look for places that respect the local environment. Local guesthouses are better than newly-built resorts. Certified eco-hotels have a proven commitment to sustainability.

Live like a local

Immerse yourself in a new culture by eating locally-sourced food that hasn't travelled hundreds of miles to get to your plate. Buy handmade products from small businesses and check out flea markets or artisanal shops. Avoid chain restaurants, shopping malls and expensive airport gift shops.

This lady is not Yuen Qiu. If you know the lady with the cigarette in the movie Kung Fu Hustle, Yuen Qiu is what I see in her. I took this during the pre-Chinese new year photowalk.

Hit the streets

Explore your destination by foot or bike whenever possible. Many tourist destinations offer rental bike schemes and you'll be guaranteed to have a richer experience. In large cities, opt for public transport over a car or taxi.

Have a staycation!

As temperatures across Europe reach record highs this summer, you don't need to go abroad to get some sun. Book a week off to unwind, visit that new restaurant you've been eyeing up, look up your nearest beach or natural park, and use the opportunity to connect with your local environment.

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