As conversations on environmental consciousness and climate action take the global stage, more and more travellers are starting to prioritise sustainability in their trips. In fact, a global survey among residents in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, South Korea, and Japan reveals that roughly two-thirds (65%) of respondents believe that it’s vital that tourism and hospitality become more sustainable, with more than half (53%) agreeing that people should be responsible for their own sustainable travel. At least one in three (35%) are even willing to pay more for environmentally friendly travel options. If these findings reflect your sentiments as a traveller, here are some steps you can take to ensure your next holiday is equally enjoyable and sustainable.

Book an all-inclusive holiday


The tourism sector is one of the major contributors to global carbon emissions, mainly due to air and car travel. However, booking all-inclusive holidays can help you reduce your carbon footprint since your chosen travel company can arrange your modes of transport mindfully and efficiently, from direct flights to local transfers. While easyJet has sustainable and budget-friendly options for cultural tours in Spain and Turkey or tropical destinations in Cyprus and the Greek Islands, you can also opt for nearby beach getaways like Croatia and Ibiza to spend less time in the air. The company also plans your dining, accommodation, and outdoor activities for you, partnering with local hotels and small businesses so you can experience the culture and contribute to the local economy more responsibly.

Pack eco-friendly travel essentials


Besides your transport and accommodation, it also helps to integrate sustainable efforts into your packing list. Since sun protection is critical in island destinations like Hawaii and areas in the Caribbean, pay attention not only to the SPF of sunscreen products but also their ingredients. Experts recommend avoiding certain chemical sunscreens that contain ultraviolet filters like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene, as these are otherwise harmful to coral reefs and oceans. You can choose to embrace environmental consciousness in your choice of clothing, too. A previous post highlights sustainable swimwear that will last you a long time, whether you go swimming, surfing, or snorkelling. Sand and Palm makes their high-quality swimwear with regenerated nylon while also minimising waste during production.

Adhere to local waste management policies


Tourists can also contribute to the environmental degradation of popular destinations through the waste they produce and leave behind. Travelling responsibly hence means minimising litter and adhering to the waste management policies enforced in your chosen destination. For instance, the coastal city of Larnaca in Cyprus has a recycling vending machine to encourage tourists in the McKenzie Beach area to recycle plastic, glass, and metal packaging instead of simply throwing them away. Meanwhile, as several Mediterranean countries struggle with biowaste, you can help reduce your environmental impact by properly segregating your waste, in line with their small-scale composting facilities in tourist areas and door-to-door waste collection programs in hotels, resorts, and restaurants.

Just because you're on holiday doesn't mean you have to completely forget about your responsibility to protect and conserve our natural environment. If you're looking for more ways to live sustainably beyond your travels, feel free to check out the articles and eco-friendly products here at Plastic Freedom.

September 14, 2023 — Beth Noy