You can find out how to do this on holiday in our Green Travel Guide on the following pages: There is no planet B! Because of the current political debate on climate change, more and more people are realizing that environmental protection is not an entertaining trend, but a necessary virtue. Many of us are trying, awakened by inspiring pioneers, alarming facts and figures and burning forests, to rethink our everyday lives and be more environmentally friendly.
An upcoming journey is no exception: A break from everyday life does not mean a break from environmental protection! On the contrary, those of us who love nature and want to explore the earth are keen to preserve and protect it for future generations.
10Choose The Right Tourist Location
The first step towards Eco-Friendly travel is the selection of a suitable holiday destination. As a general rule, the shorter the journey, the better.
Of course, each of us has at least one destination on the Bucket List that is not right on our doorstep – that’s fine, too. You shouldn’t ban long-distance travel completely, but make sure you don’t travel around the world once every two months. If everyone would act in this way, there would soon be no world left for us to travel …
9Choosing The Right Transporter
As far as possible, you should take a long-distance bus or train on your holiday, as these two means of transport are much less harmful to the environment than a car, plane or ship. Especially if you are only traveling to a neighboring country or within your country, you should avoid short-haul flights.
For air travel, on the other hand, it is a good idea to make at least a small contribution to the climate and compare providers: New aircraft that consume less fuel and an environmentally friendly airline program makes a big difference! The atmospheric Airline Index annually compares the 190 largest airlines in the world according to their climate efficiency – here you can see how the airlines performed last year.
8When You Fly: Book Non-Stop Flights
When flying, take-off and landing consume the most fuel, which is why you should give preference to non-stop flights over stopovers. You may have to pay a small extra amount for this, but it reduces your ecological footprint a lot – and that should be worth the world you live in.
7Choosing Eco-Friendly Accommodation
When choosing your accommodation, make sure that your hotel, hostel or Airbnb has an environmental certificate. Certified and sustainable accommodations pay special attention to low energy consumption, sustainable materials, recycling, local and seasonal products, and fair treatment and payment of workers.
To help you pack sustainably and produce less garbage on your journey, you can invest in some essentials such as a sustainable toothbrush, reusable cutlery or even a menstrual cup. In this way, you avoid unnecessary (plastic) waste and excessive chemicals in the environment. The more minimalistic you pack, the better.
5Make Your Home Holiday-Friendly
You must leave your own four walls so that they do not unnecessarily burden the environment during your absence. Of course, this includes closing all windows and turning off the lights – but you probably do that automatically. Which many people forget: Pull out all the plugs so you don’t waste energy unnecessarily. An exception is, of course, appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.
You should also turn down the heating when you leave. It is usually not advisable to turn it off completely, as in winter it consumes considerably more energy to heat all the rooms when you return.
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4On The Spot: Using Public Transport
Once you have arrived at your destination, you can also do a lot to protect the environment: Instead of renting a car, you should, for example, use public transport or change to a bicycle. Of course, if the route allows, you can also walk from time to time to do something good for the environment and get to know your holiday destination in a, particularly impressive way.
Also be economical on the spot with water, electricity, etc., so as not to unnecessarily increase your ecological footprint. If you are in a hotel, you can, for example, use the towels for several days in a row or cancel your room service completely. So often that daily cleaning is necessary, you’re probably not in the hotel room anyway and you can make your bed, can’t you?
If you are exploring the nature around your resort, it is important to follow some rules: Don’t leave a given path to avoid harming the flora and fauna. Pack your garbage and don’t just leave it in the woods or on the beach. Do not light a fire as it could spread quickly and cause a forest fire.
Never forget that you are a guest in nature and should, therefore, behave just as you would as a guest in a strange house.
1Critically Examine Attractions
Visit an elephant park, ride a camel or swim with dolphins? Sounds tempting. Unfortunately, a lot of attractions hide tourist traps at the expense of animal welfare. For the elephants, which you can observe and feed in many parks, to obey, they are snatched from their parents and tortured as babies. Moreover, the contact with such a high number of people is in many cases an unnatural burden that should not be expected of any animal – especially not for a stupid photo that you can show around at home.
If you really love animals, you should also respect their limits and find out in advance exactly which park or attraction you have chosen.