Make your holiday more environmentally friendlyBY DIONNE LISTER
For those of us going on holidays over the Christmas and New Year break we have our checklist: underwear - check, toothbrush - check, wallet - check, but have any of us thought about how we can reduce our impact on the environment whilst on holiday? Fear not, we’ve compiled some tips so you can enjoy your wonderful holiday without the environmental guilt.
Hands up who’s taking the car? There are some simple things you can do to reduce your carbon emissions when driving, which include:
- Pumping your tyres to the maximum allowable pressure so there is less friction on the road, therefore less wear and petrol used (check tyre pressure when the tyres are cold).
- Try and drive at a constant speed, the more acceleration/deceleration (taxi driver syndrome) the more petrol and brakes used. Try not to drive too fast - it makes you less fuel efficient.
- Make sure your air filter is clean, as a dirty one restricts air flow into the engine which harms performance and fuel economy.
- If you are in a traffic jam, turn off the car.
- Only take what’s necessary (yes, I know the bikes, bar fridge and spare mattress will all come in handy), the heavier the car, the more fuel you’ll use.
- When you get to where you’re going try not to use the car. You’re on holidays and you know you packed those bikes for a reason.
If you’re flying somewhere the only way to reduce your carbon footprint is to not fly (yes, I know you can purchase carbon credits but I’m not convinced. You’re probably better off planting your own trees before you go). Consider whether there are alternatives such as a bus or train? If not, at least you tried. When you get to where you’re flying, hire a car with the least amount of emissions - eg not a Hummer, preferably a smaller car, a hybrid would do nicely.
When choosing your destination, there are plenty of hotels and resorts that are embracing a greener philosophy. Try and choose places to stay that have implemented strategies for reducing their impact on the environment.
When you are away it is likely you will be eating outdoors, whether it be in a park, beach or boat - always take your rubbish with you when you leave.
Take reusable BPA free bottles for your drinks and save on plastic waste.
If you go to an exotic location don’t buy products, which contain endangered species, not only are you contributing to the animal’s extinction, your friends will probably disown you when you get home.
Hopefully this has given you at least one thing you can do that you hadn’t already thought of. Oh, I forgot the last idea! It’s the most environmentally friendly but least exciting idea of all, the one I’m doing - staying home.