As the warm days begin to become more frequent and the suncream makes its way out of the cupboard once again, it might be time to start thinking about your summer travels post-covid. As restrictions continue to fall and more countries enter the green list, tourism is back on the rise, with many quickly booking their ticket’s abroad to fulfil that 2020 holiday void.
With many experts fearing a long road to recovery for the tourism industry, many vacation reliant countries are happy to see their economy back in business post-pandemic. However, with this influx of post-covid travel, it’s not only an increase in the spread of disease we need to worry about. As more of us jet-set off, swap the cityscape for the beachfront and buy a brand new holiday wardrobe, our carbon footprint is at risk of growing rapidly.
After rising steadily for the last decade, 2020 was the first year that our global carbon footprint decreased. With a 6.4% reduction in carbon emissions or 2.3 billion tonnes, lack of air travel, tourism and general waste production saw our globe become the greenest it has been in 10 years.
As we repack our suitcases and jet-set off to our favourite location post-covid, it has never been more important to keep reducing the global carbon footprint. With this easy guide, learn how to travel in sustainable style post-pandemic, and contribute to an eco-friendly future for a new era of tourism.
The first and most important question to ask yourself is, how am I getting to my dream destination? Is it local? Can it be reached by Eurostar, a boat or bus? Is flying essential for my travelling plans? For those of us who are travel-hungry, one of the easiest ways to increase your sustainability while travelling is to reduce your air miles. We understand that not every country can be reached from the ground, so for those of us who have to fly, here are some eco-friendly travel tips to help you minimise your own carbon footprint.
- Try to fly directly: Not only is the route often quicker and less stressful for the traveller, but reducing the amount of different jets you’re boarding can seriously improve your sustainability.
- Select Eco-Friendly Airlines: Search for a carrier that is powered by aviation biofuel for ultimate sustainability. Airlines such as United, KLM and Qantas are amongst these and are paving the way for a sustainable future of travel.
- Take The Train: Reducing the amount of time you spend in the air is the quickest way to reduce your travelling footprint. If you can’t travel the whole journey on the ground, fly a shorter distance and continue your travel by train. Studies suggest that travelling by train generates up to 10 times fewer carbon emissions than an aeroplane.
Preparing To Go
Once you’ve secured your holiday destination and booked those tickets, it’s time to start packing. As exciting as it can be, our packing habits can be just as wasteful as our air travel if we’re not careful. To become the ultimate sustainable traveller, here are some of the ways you can reduce waste while packing for your getaway:
- Ditch That Holiday Wardrobe: Yes we’re talking to you. We know you’re browsing the internet for the perfect holiday outfit, ready to take that perfect Instagram pic. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. One of the easiest ways to stay sustainable while travelling is to ditch that new clothing haul, and rekindle your love with last year’s summer styles. Fast fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet, so upcycling and reusing your favourite pieces, is a small step closer to an eco-friendly future.
- Plastic-Free Packing: Ditch those plastic ziplock bags and opt for reusable makeup bags, tote carriers and waste-free storage containers that can be used for future trips. Reducing your plastic footprint is important too!
You’re finally there. The sun is blaring and you’re ready to explore. One of the best, and innovative steps you can take to travel more sustainably, is to aim to improve an area while you’re there, rather than add to the problem. Instead of visiting busy tourist spots, opt for smaller business and local restaurants in order to inject money back into the local economy. Instead of joining the crowd on the beach and within the high street attractions, why not visit a new area that could do with a boost. You may find some real hidden gems while saving both your pocket and the planet.