While holidays give us the chance to relax, grab a few lie-ins and generally ease back on the rules a bit, that doesn’t mean we have to compromise on our ethics.
With so many people taking regular breaks, the environmental impact of traveling is phenomenal. Add to this the additional services provided by the hotel – such as laundry and air conditioning and the environmental cost can be great.
But, there are lots of ways you can still enjoy your holiday, while making sure you’re doing your bit for the environment. Here are just some of the tips we made use of on our recent trip to Mallorca.
Image credit: flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/4585277198/
With a wealth of low-cost flights available to destinations around Europe, getting to your destination has never been easier. But, if you want to think about reducing your environmental impact, then how about carbon offsetting? While this doesn’t automatically reduce your carbon footprint, it does mean you counter some of the negative effects caused by your journey.
Also, don’t feel too bad – aircraft produce just a tiny amount of C02 emissions compared with other sources of pollution. According to the Stern Report, aircraft produce 3% of C02, in comparison with road transport, which produces 12%.
Act like a local
Be considerate. While you might only be there for a week or two, those who live in sunnier climes have to face potential water shortages all year round. Try to consume less by taking shorter showers, sharing bath water (or even the bath if you’ve managed a romantic break without the kids). Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth and make sure you switch off the air conditioning and lights when you go out.
Support the local community
Think about giving back to the community that has welcomed you. If you’re self catering, or half-board, then shop at local markets and buy local produce to make up a picnic. Take locally made handicrafts home for souvenirs, and search out a local guide who can take you to areas and give you tips you might otherwise have missed out on.
We visited the glass blowing factory in the traditional, working village of Campanet, which is an easy half hour drive along the motorway from our base at the Sol Mirlos in Palma de Mallorca. You can see the techniques here that create the beautiful chandeliers that hang in homes and businesses across the island.
Check out our your accommodation
If you’re concerned about the environmental credentials of your hotel, then you can always call or email before you go to ask what they do to help reduce and offset their carbon footprint. Most hotels will have policies in place, including only washing your towels if you leave them on the floor rather than hanging them up or using keycards that automatically turn off electricity in a room when guests go out.
Choose a nature reserve rather than a zoo
While there are some notable exceptions, some of the zoos around Europe have little regulation. Instead, why not find a nature reserve? In Mallorca, they have a foundation to protect the nearly extinct Black Vulture. Local guides take you up into the hills of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range, where we had the rare opportunity to see a bird which may well have been extinct if it wasn’t for the efforts of conservationists on the island. Whereas, in 1982, there were only 20 vultures left on the island, there are now 110 individuals and 14 reproductive pairs. Seeing these magnificent creatures soaring high above us was a truly unforgettable experience.
Just by spending a little time researching the eco credentials of the organizations you book your holiday, and your trips, with, you can make sure you are rewarding the ones with environmental policies which fit in with your own ideals.
This post was written by Katie who is a rookie travel and food blogger based in the UK. You can follow her adventures on twitter.com/delightsomeblog.