Summer Lovin’

Easy ways to reduce your holiday’s carbon footprint.

Ah summer holidays, sunshine, beaches and easy living. But, before you pack your suitcases and completely switch off for your annual summer holiday this year, it’s worth taking a moment to think about how you can reduce the carbon footprint of your trip.

We all know that flights make up the vast majority of our holiday’s carbon footprint, but even if you can’t choose to travel by land there are other ways to ensure your well earned break is as environmentally conscious as can be.

1. Use your feet!

Many cities offer FREE walking tours, which are a fantastic way to see a city often from a locals point of view. By joining one of these tours not only are you lowering your carbon footprint by opting out of an expensive coach tour but you are also funding the local economy rather. And many cities now offer pedal bikes to hire, so that you can commute from one sight to another without having to hail a cab or hire a car. Just think about your city break in a whole you light, not only to you get to see the best the city has to offer and keep your carbon footprint low, but you you’ll be burning calories as you do it.

2. Stay at an eco-hotel

There are more and more Eco-Hotels popping up these days. Hoteliers now realise that tourism is changing and as a result many more are moving towards using sustainable energy, achieving LEED accreditation and serving locally grown produce, just some of the indicators of truly environmentally conscious resort.

In fact, many now even offer their residents the use of bikes, shuttle services and even public transport packages for the duration of their stay.

3. Refuse, reuse and recycle

Reuse your towels — Many hotels now give you an option to re-use your towels rather than wash them every day. Take it, it will reduce the huge amounts of waste of water, harsh detergents and energy spent by the hotel every day. Why not bring your own beach towel with you, that way you don’t have to borrow pool towels every day too.

Refuse straws — 500 million straws are used daily in the US alone and it takes 200 years for each one to decompose. So unless you’re offered a biodegradable or paper straw simply say no to a straw with your drink at the hotel bar.

Reuse bags and refuse plastic souvenir bags — Bring a bag with you when browsing for souvenirs or shopping so that you can refuse plastic bags from local shops and sales people.

4. Pack a reusable ‘keep cup’

Just as you have your ‘keep cup’ for take away coffee at home, you can do exactly the same while on holiday. This small step will not only save disposable cups and plastic water bottles from the landfill, quite often coffee shops offer a discount to people who use reusable cups so it will even help keep your holiday costs down.

Chris O’Shea, Camping in Co. Kerry, Ireland.

5. Carry on Camping!

Take a leaf out of Chris O’Shea’s (CEO of LivingOffset) book and go camping this summer. There are so many great quality campsites now to choose from and if traditional camping is a bit too basic for you, ‘glamping’ — a more luxurious camping option may be more up your street.