A guide to being a green traveller

Our guest blog writer, Ruby Clarkson, is an emerging freelance writer with a passion for saving our planet and the animals we share it with. When she isn’t writing or joining petitions, she can be found either out in the garden or snuggled up with a book and a cup of tea.

With global attention on saving the planet, it’s no wonder that the tourism sector is having its fair share of time beneath the green searchlight. In Europe alone, transportation in totality accounts for about 30% of CO2 emissions.

The idea of traveling green is to have a keen sense of accountability regarding the effects of your movements across the globe on the environment. Traveling green doesn’t have to be a complicated feat and you can still have a blast on your holidays.

Here’s a couple of ideas to help set you on the right path towards minimising your personal carbon footprint while taking special consideration for other cultures and landscapes.

1. Go paperless

From booking your tour online, and thereby eliminating filling paper forms, to cancelling your local Newspaper delivery service, eliminate the paper route. You can also try to see if your airline accepts digital boarding passes and tickets.

2. Suspend energy usage at home

Turn off your electrical appliances – including the refrigerator if it’s a trip that will last more than a week (be sure to clear your food out first).  Vital items like security lights can be placed on a timer. Conversely, that old fail-safe, an obliging neighbor, can help you put on the porch light at night.  It might help to make a list so you can tick items off as you go along.

3. Packing really light

Do you really need your favorite loafers in two colors? Okay, maybe you do, but the point is that you can significantly reduce the load the plane, train or bus is hauling. Heavier luggage translates to more power needed by engines and hence more emissions. Your personal luggage is of course just a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps.

4. Choose eco-tourism

If possible, you could choose a green hotspot for your travel or holiday destination.  Popular areas include South Africa, Alaska and national parks in the US. You can also minimise your impact on the earth by opting for a green hotel that is eco certified.

5. Mode of transportation

Smartertravel.com has great suggestions for improving your carbon footprint.  Naturally, certain modes of transportation have a bigger carbon footprint than others. Traveling green extends to choosing the greenest way to get to point B from A.  Here are some of the best ways to do this:

i. Travel by coach:  One easy way to ensure your carbon footprints are reduced is by opting for a coach holiday,which is an approach advised by justgoholidays.com.This can also minimise lengthy steps such as driving to the airport, checking through security and finding your gate.

ii. Train: Another way to travel greener is by rail. The advantage of train journeys is that you can also use this for fairly long distances. Popular options include the Eurostar and for more a more upmarket experience, the Orient Express.

iv. Hybrid vehicles: Will your travel demand the use of a car at all? There are options to hire a hybrid rental. This can cut down fuel usage significantly, even over long distances.

v. Bike: Cycling is one of the best ways to get around locally and see the sites. Choosing a bike instead of a moped or other energy reliant vehicle is not only a great means for exercise and increasing your freedom but is also eco-friendly too.

7. Eating green

Eat local to eat green. Traditional foods and delicacy’s are part of a country’s heritage. Produce will most likely have been grown locally and cooked by those native to the region. You can also buy food at farmer’s markets and find farmers who practice sustainable farming methods. When grocery shopping, remember to bring your favourite reusable tote bag.

At Greenhouse, we support a wide variety of organisations pioneering climate action. Whether it’s fashion, finance or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk.