Keen to cut your carbon footprint? Here’s how to holiday in the New Year and be environmentally friendly

You can still enjoy your holidays and be environmentally friendly (Unsplash)

In the past we generally choose our holiday destination based on our budget, time frame and interests.

As we become more and more environmentally conscious, consideration towards our carbon footprint will become a more important part of choosing our way of vacationing.

It may be easier said than done, when flying is often the easiest and most cost-effective method of travel. So here are some tips to help you choose your eco-friendly holidays in the New Year.

Most forms of aviation release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases contributing to the acceleration of global warming.

Flying has become such a big part of our lives that it has become very difficult to switch to alternative modes. For those us living in the UK, we are fortunate enough to be able to travel to the rest of Europe via train or ferry. Europe has an extensive rail network meaning that almost every destination is accessible by train. Taking the Eurostar from London to Paris or boarding a ferry to cross the English Channel allows access to the rest of the European Rail Network.

But if you have to fly, choose your airline wisely Easyjet, Lufthansa, aiGroup, are among the air-carriers that have set ambitious goals aiming to achieve carbon neutral flying. Also, whilst on your holiday consider opting to hire an electric vehicle instead of a conventional one, but of course walking or cycling should be your go-to choices.

Choose eco-friendly destinations and lodges

Truly low carbon holidays encompass more than just the transportation. To make a substantial impact, reducing greenhouse gas emissions should also influence your destination and accommodation decision.

There are several organisations highlighting the most sustainable destinations as well as eco-friendly lodges and hotels. If you are looking for some guidance and inspiration a good start is the Green Destinations website that offers the 100 most sustainable destinations across the world.

If you are looking for something more focused in the Med Ecobnb is a good start where you can find eco-friendly accommodations including amazing tree houses, organic farmhouses surrounded by nature and castles in the clouds.

Don’t over-pack

It doesn’t matter whether you are travelling for a week or a weekend.

Many people assume that the more time they travel, the more things they need to bring. This is wrong. Most of the times people over-pack carrying clothes they never end up wearing. What’s more, the heavier your suitcases the more energy required for your transportation. So in 2020 go lightweight, better for the environment and for your pocket considering some of the astronomical fees most airlines charge now for checked baggage.

Avoid plastic

Say no to anything plastic on your travels: from straws, single use coffee cups, plastic bags for your shopping, water bottles and hotel toiletries.  Instead use your own carry-on bags and refillable toiletries.  On Responsible Travel you can find a small list of holiday destinations aiming to eliminate plastic across the entire travel experience.

Calculate and offset your carbon footprint

Eliminating your carbon footprint should be the main goal when choosing your holiday destination. You can calculate here your greenhouse gas emissions so you can plan how to best offset them and enable you to do your bit for the environment. There are multiple offsetting portfolios with different projects out there that will help you balance out your pollution.

You can find a variety of UK’s community projects here, from solar schools to tree planting and conservation projects. If you are looking outside the UK. C-Level, which stands for (c)arbon level innovation and action has teamed up with the worlds most holistic carbon offsetting indigenous projects from Nicaragua all the way to Tanzania and Kenya.

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