If you could avoid harming the planet on vacation, would you choose to do so? The answer in most cases is, Yes!
Ask yourself this, if you had the choice to stay in a property that offers all the comforts and service of a luxury villa BUT the homeowner has gone that extra mile to make it eco-friendlier, would you choose to stay here? Perhaps the homeowner has chosen local and natural materials to build the home and has added solar panels to generate electricity, maybe they have cleverly designed the home in a way that has a minimal impact on the environment, would you prefer to stay here?
In most cases, the answer is Yes! Not only is it up to the homeowner to be more conscious of the environment but for the guests who stay here to be to. Eco-travel has never been more important than it is today.
The truth is that it’s actually quite easy to take responsibility and be more environmentally conscious when you are travelling. Put simply, it’s about making small changes and doing little things that will have less of an impact on the local environment you choose to travel to. Eco-friendly travel has become more and more popular. But what exactly does eco-friendly mean and how does it relate to travel and tourism? The definition of being eco-friendly is living in a way that is both earth-friendly and is not harmful to the environment.
Studies have shown that taking vacations and a break from work is critical to people’s health and wellbeing. Scientists have even found that a proper break without any stress can lower your Teleromese readings which are the measurement of your biological age versus your chronological age. That means a vacation can make you younger! So how do we travel without ruining our environment further? It turns out that even small things can have a big impact especially if we can get as many people as possible taking steps in the right direction.
Eco-friendly villas and luxury Vacation Rentals or hotels. It is great to support owners who have made an effort to be more environmentally conscious and reward them for it.
2. Rent electric cars
By choosing electric, you will reduce harmful air pollution from exhausts and in turn, reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Eat and drink local produce
Chose organic produce whenever it is possible. Not only will the environment thank you, but your health also will too.
4. Walk or go by bike
When possible if you choose to walk or travel by bike you are reducing your carbon footprint and admiring some incredible views along the way. This is one of the best ways to enjoy eco-travel while on vacation.
5. Switch the air-conditioning off
Switch the AC off when you don’t need it and when you do, keep the doors closed to the outside.
6. Lower the temperature in your bedroom
This is especially true if you are in a cold climate. You will save the planet, and you will also get a better night’s sleep.
7. Take Public Transport
Share journeys with others or go by public transport – you may meet new friends and experience some local culture in the process.
8. Don’t use plastic bags for anything
Plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade, we suggest you take a re-useable shopping bag with you when you go to local markets. Many hotels and resorts provide these during your stay and are a nice keepsake to bring home to use regularly at home and abroad.
9. Reuse your water bottle
Bring your reusable water bottle when you are travelling and refill it instead of buying plastic bottles. There are lots of
eco-friendly travel products you can bring with you for your vacation.
10. Choose a natural mosquito repellent
By choosing a natural mosquito repellent rather than one full of chemicals. Many people do not realize that Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea tree, Citronella and Soya bean oil are all great at resisting pesky mosquitos.
11. Pack a light suitcase
Pack light when you are travelling. Every kilo you take on a plane adds to the carbon footprint. Take some time thinking about exactly what you need while you are away and discard everything else.
12. Choose Non-motorized watersports
Go sailing, snorkelling or any number of fabulous non-motorized water sports instead of jet skiing.
13. Re-use your towels
Re-use your towels and only change your bed linen and towels when you need to.
14. Turn the lights off
Turn the lights off when you are leaving your room or villa. Even this small gesture makes a difference to our carbon footprint.
15. Recycle when you are away
The majority of hotels and villas offer an easy way to recycle while on vacation. It’s a simple thing that can really help.
16. Purchase Carbon offsets wherever possible
Many airlines give the opportunity of paying to offset your emissions from the flight. But before you commit, authenticate where the money goes. It is important to ensure that the offset contribution goes to a reputable company such as eco-securities or first carbon.
17. Stay longer in your destination
By staying longer in one destination rather than going for lots of short breaks during the year, you can minimize the CO2 emissions and who doesn’t prefer to go for one or two long breaks. The health benefits are greater, and you will save money, and your carbon emissions are lower.
18. Support a local business that offers sustainability
Support restaurants, bars, villas and tourism-related businesses that have a sustainable policy in place. Look out for companies that are ecofriendly and are for example adopting the United Nations Sustainable Development goals which support everything from no poverty, responsible consumption, peace, education, clean water and climate action. Always book with a reputable company that has a sustainable policy and sustainable goals already in place. Give your business to local companies that are demonstrating their commitment to their destination.
19. Support “Green” countries
Support destinations that take sustainability seriously and are considered to be green. The
Environment Performance Index or EPI already ranks nations according to how well they perform on a whole range of sustainable criteria. Costa Rica and Switzerland are two of the countries at the top of the list. So, why not chose a Luxury Ski Chalet in Switzerland or one of the beautiful Costa Rica Villas for your next vacation.
20. Be Reef Safe
Always use reef-safe sunscreens, shampoos and body wash while on vacation. The meaning of reef safe is products that are not toxic to marine life or the coral reef ecosystem. There should be no Oxybenzone in your products, so always check for that. Here are
21 Useful Eco-Friendly Travel Accessories you can bring with you.
21. Visit Zero Kilometer Restaurants
If you fancy renting an
Italian Villa next summer, consider visiting one of the Zero Kilometer Restaurants that have become popular. The term Zero Kilometer means that all food, eaten and sold is grown or produced in the gardens or on the farm of the hotel or restaurant. Not only does the food taste amazing, but you are also having a great positive impact on the environment with no transport, no storage and no chemicals.
22. Use Electric Modes of Transport
Many countries in the world operate either electric trains or electric trams. Watch out for these options and if they are available, use them instead of taking a taxi or driving.
23. Bring your own shopping bag
Whenever you go shopping whether it’s for clothes, groceries or souvenirs, bring your bags. You will save a huge amount of paper and plastic packaging, and you will feel very good about yourself.
24. Be mindful of your water consumption
Many destinations struggle with water shortages.
25. Stay somewhere car-free
Private Islands such as Jumby Bay, Necker, Calivigny island, Musique and all the islands in the Maldives are still car-free. In Switzerland, the beautiful towns of Zermatt and Saas-Fee are also car-free.
26. Reduce Your Plastic Waste
Microplastics in our oceans are having a hugely negative impact on marine life. By avoiding using plastics in the first place we can reduce pollution and ensure sea life is protected.
27. Last but not least, vacation with intent
Why renting a villa is more environmentally friendly?
So, let’s dive a little deeper into eco-travel and why renting a villa or vacation rental is more environmentally friendly. Many sustainable travel experts already recommend vacation rentals over hotels. Here are some of their reasons:
When you stay in a villa, you have more control over such things as recycling, re-using of towels and linens, heat and air-conditioning.
All villas and vacation rentals have kitchens which means that you do not need to eat out every meal. You can cook locally sourced organic produce.
More and more vacation rentals around the world are using solar panels as well as locally sourced and natural materials in their homes.
Why eco-friendly travel is important
We are living in an era where it has never been more important to take personal responsibility for living in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. There is very compelling evidence that rapid climate change is occurring and in particular that this climate change is caused almost entirely by human activity.
Scientists have proven that the surface temperature of our planet has risen 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost 1 degree Celsius since the mid-19
th Century. The impact of this increase in temperature is alarming with warming oceans, increasing sea temperatures and glaciers retreating at such a rapid rate that the glacial shrinking is visible to the naked eye. The net effects of these changes are seen in such things as animals dying and becoming extinct, weather patterns so severe that they can destroy entire islands and world treasures such as the city of Venice and the Maldives coming under severe flood threats.
Eco friendly travel has never been more important. By choosing to stay at eco-friendly homes you are helping the planet in a small way, but if everyone can assist in a small way this becomes an even bigger effort by the entire globe to be more conscious of our environment especially while on vacation. There can be no better way to vacation knowing that you are leaving behind the minimal carbon and ecological footprint.