Sustainability Flies: our guide to sustainable travel
Is there anything better than going on vacation? You get a break from your daily life. You get to enjoy the company of loved ones (or yourself, if you’re a bold, solo traveller). You get to experience something new, something exciting. No matter where we’re going, we love to go on holiday.
But with all that go-go-going, we’ve started to do a bit of harm to our beloved planet. You may be escaping your everyday life when you are jetting all over the world, but you can’t escape your responsibility to our earth. After all, it’s the only one we have.
Sure, you could only take staycations – and trust us we do love them – but sometimes the urge to explore is just too strong! And we think it’s great to answer the siren call of wanderlust, as travelling is an incredible way to learn about other cultures and the world around us. We just want to make sure we’re all doing it as sustainably as possible.
Scratching your head? Not sure how to tackle sustainable travel? We’re here to help.
Keep calm and carry on. This time, we’re not telling you to chill (though that certainly never hurts). No, this time we are encouraging to pack as light as possible, only bringing a carryon bag. Avoiding bringing hold luggage keeps the weight of the plane lighter, which will reduce CO2 emissions.
All for one and one coral. Sunscreen is important! It helps prevent skin cancer and ensure you don’t end up looking like a lobster. Unfortunately, conventional sunscreens contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, which do more harm than good, damaging coral reefs when they slide off as you swim. Instead, opt for mineral sunscreens to protect your skin and our coral reefs.
Be direct. Not only will taking direct flights give you more time where you’re going but also keep your CO2 emissions in check. Win-win.
Hang me up to dry. We adore staying in hotels. They’re fresh and clean and have amazingly comfy beds. But many hotels change the towels and sheets every day, particularly if you leave your towels on the floor. Hang the towels on the hooks in the bathroom and ask the housekeeping staff to change the linens less often to save water and energy.
LEED the way. When looking for places to stay in America, we highly recommend trying to pick a hotel that is LEED certified. Those with the stamp of approval excel in energy efficiency, material selection and water savings.
Hoof it. Or bike. Or take public transport. Whatever you do, don’t bother with cabs or driving around a city yourself. Walking, cycling or opting for public transport is better for the environment and also helpful for getting your bearings in a new city.
Bottle it up. With all the exploring you’ll be doing, you’ll be sure to get thirsty. Or have a coffee craving. Rather than throwing a way innumerable plastic water bottles on your trip or tossing paper coffee cups, travel with your own reusable water bottle and travel mug. Bonus points for bringing a cloth shopping bag to transport new purchases.
Buy local, be local. Supporting the local economy has a direct and positive impact on the community you’re visiting. Local crafts, restaurants and cafes may seem unfamiliar or even be a little more expensive than chains or commercially produced products, but the quality will be worse. Plus, you won’t really be engaging with the place you’re going.
So, tell us. Where are you headed this year?!