As summer rolls in, it's time to think about how to make your holidays more fun and more friendly to the environment. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is pushing for July to be a "Make Holidays Greener" month with a few tips.
A good way to reduce your footprint from your destination is to take away the packaging from your toiletries, cosmetics and other things to be disposed properly at home. This step will help a lot, not only to lighten your baggage, but also when you go to island destinations with limited garbage management facilities.
2. Bring re-usables
Reusable water bottles and bags go a long way in saving marine ecosystem from the damaging effects of disposable containers. Bring them with you when you go to the beach.
Always remember to turn off your lights and other electricity-consuming devices when you leave to save energy in your hotel room.
When picking out souvenirs, remember to choose those that are not endangering the ecosystem-from elephant ivory trinkets to coral souvenirs. Don't buy presents that require people to hunt down animals and plants.
5. Offestting emissions
When traveling by plane, you can ask your tour operator to offset flight emissions. Also, when traveling on land, car/taxi-pooling, hiring bikes and using hybrid cars go a long way in doing your part for the environment.
Some destinations have problems with drought and water shortages, so always be aware not to use too much water when you can.
Sometimes trash cans are already full to the brim or they are nowhere to be found. Instead of dropping them just anywhere, you can take them back to where you're staying in. It is also advisable to ask about the hotel's recycling policies and giving feedback about their facilities, or the lack thereof.
Remember to always throw your cigarette butts in an ashtray or wherever they can be disposed of properly.
One of the greatest perks of traveling is the unique experience you can get locally. Don't forget to ask your hotel for any experiences you can have that have low impact on the environment.
There are many hotels that practice environmentally sound practices that reduce their footprint. Try checking in to some of these hotels. A list can be found at www.travelifecollection.com.
11. For the real Eco-Warrior
26 beaches all over the world are gearing up for clean-up events for this month. You can take part in any one of them at www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk