I love a city break. For me, they’re a means of coping with a very persisting travel bug whilst in-between Big Travel Trips. That being said – I think it’s still important to be mindful whilst on these adventures. Cities are major sources of pollution, and as tourists, we are not exempt to that. To help, I’ve put together my top tips for eco-friendly travel.
Revealed: 5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel
1. Choose an Eco-friendly Destination
They say you should start as you mean to go on, so choosing a destination that makes an effort to protect and preserve its natural environment is important.
Check out this round-up of the most eco-friendly cities but also make sure to check out the city’s online tourism board. If a city is making an effort to be more eco-friendly, they’ll no doubt be shouting about their sustainable values online.
2. Book Yourself Accommodation With a Green Tourism Policy
Did you know that hotels are the worst culprits for negatively impacting a city? When you think about the number of single-use items used in a hotel and the amount of water used for showers, cleaning and laundry, it’s not all that surprising.
Fortunately, in this digital age, most hotels make it clear what their values are on their website. If a hotel makes no mention of sustainability on their website, then I guess it’s safe to assume that they don’t pride themselves on being more friendly to the planet.
3. Top Tip for Eco-friendly Travel in a City? Walk or Bike as Much as Possible
In Europe, most cities can be explored via foot or bike. Sure, you might have to hop on public transport for longer trips across the city – but try to keep the short hops to a minimum.
By using your own two feet or pedal power, you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint but you’re also more likely to truly soak up a city. By exploring at a slower pace, you’ll no doubt stumble across more surprises across the city.
4. Pick Cafes with Eco-friendly Values
Swinging by coffee shops for a pit-stop is one of my favourite things to do – especially when exploring a city in the colder months. It’s a good way of people watching and witnessing a snapshot of life in a place far away from home. It’s also a good way of unwinding – which is exactly what a holiday is about, right?
However, it’s important to be making conscious decisions when thinking of taking a coffee break. Does the cafe use disposable paper or plastic cups? Do they only serve plastic cutlery with their food? If so, try and find a place close-by that doesn’t use single-use plastic. By buying into this, you’re only encouraging the wasteful practice.
5. Use Apps Instead of Paper Maps
Whilst there’s something nostalgic and romantic about using paper maps, it’s important to refrain from using paper maps. They’re, without question, a waste of paper when we live in a digital age. I mean, think about it – you’re only going to use the map for a few days, and then it will end up in a landfill.
Before I visit a new city, I create a Google map of must-see attractions (i.e. mostly restaurants) I’d like to visit. I even go as far as giving each ‘attraction’ an icon so I know exactly what it is, as well as a bit of info if I’m feeling extra pedantic. Once I’m on holiday, I use the Google Maps app to get around – it’s easy, convenient and I also end up visiting the majority of places I had planned.
So, are you going to give these tips for eco-friendly travel a try on your next city break? Or do you have any alternatives that I’m yet to think of? If so, leave them in the comments below!