Green Getaways: How to make your staycation sustainable

What do you look for in a staycation? Interesting destinations? Convenient travel? Affordable quality accommodation? How about sustainability? 💚

Ecotourism is a growing movement where travellers are more concerned with sustainability and natural attractions. It’s easy to let our commitments to the environment slide when we go away. We don’t have the convenience of our home comforts at our fingertips.

From choosing where to go to packing, travel and eating out, our latest blog makes planning a green getaway staycation easy.

Choose green cities

Castlefield Viaduct ManchesterChoosing a green destination doesn’t necessarily mean one with a lot of parks or green space. Towns and cities that are easily walkable or have good cycling infrastructure mean you’ll rely less on carbon-emitting transport. York, Brighton and Bath are among the most walkable, while Norwich, Newcastle and Nottingham are great for getting around by bike.

Check out our recent articles revealing the most environmentally-conscious cities in the UK here.

Crunch the numbers

Person using phoneIt’s not just your budget you can calculate ahead of your trip, why not make use of a carbon footprint calculator too? Apps such as Earth Hero utilise scientific tools to enable you to make environmentally conscious decisions. By inputting your travel plans, you can work out the carbon footprint of potential trips and make informed decisions.

The app also helps you discover ways of offsetting your carbon footprint through climate-friendly actions. Suggestions are categorised based on their environmental impact and how easy they are.

Think before you print

Person using digital ticketDid you know that paper makes up about 26% of landfill waste? Plus, paper production contributes to deforestation and uses enormous amounts of energy. Chemicals in printer ink can also be harmful to the environment and the plastic casing found in some ink and toner cartridges is often non-biodegradable.

Store digital eTickets for travel and keep your itineraries and hotel bookings on your phone.

Reduce and reuse

Person packing suitcaseOpting for lighter luggage not only eases your travel experience – it also benefits the environment. Lighter bags mean reduced fuel consumption, however, you travel. With a few clever strategies, it can be easy to shrink your luggage and reduce your carbon footprint. Consider investing in reusable travel-sized toiletry bottles and refill them before beginning your journey. You can also bring along your own reusable cutlery set and a refillable water bottle to cut down on single-use plastics during your travels.

Additionally, checking the weather beforehand helps you pack only the essentials, lightening your load even more.

Use public transport

Train by the coastNot only is public transport often more economical, it significantly reduces carbon emissions compared to driving. With robust transport networks in most cities, navigation is made simple with apps like Citymapper and Rome2Rio.

Rail travel accounts for just 1.8% of transport-related carbon emissions, while road users contribute a staggering 71%. Trains also typically offer faster and more direct travel, freeing up your time while being environmentally friendly.

Be energy aware

Travelodge bathroomWhile travelling, convenience and luxury can sometimes overshadow our environmental actions. But our individual consumption habits play a big role in greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for up to 60% of the total. The option of fresh sheets and towels daily may seem like a treat, but our planet directly absorbs the cost of laundering them.

We can conserve more energy by adopting simple practices like taking shorter showers and being mindful of turning off plug sockets. Every small action counts towards preserving our planet for future generations.

Shop local

Vintage Threads vintage shopping in LondonShopping and eating at independent businesses isn’t just good for the local economy – it’s great for the planet too. When you choose local shops and restaurants, you’re not just supporting jobs in the community, you’re also cutting down on carbon emissions. Local suppliers don’t have to travel as far to drop off their goods, which means less transport pollution.

Small businesses are often better at reducing waste too. They’re more likely to recycle, compost and use eco-friendly packaging. Local businesses usually crop in existing buildings too, unlike big chain stores which often build new structures with a heavy carbon footprint.

Waste not want not

Too Good To Go appEating out isn’t always budget or planet-friendly when you’re on the go. Apps like Olio and Too Good to Go can help you locate cheap or free meals on the go while reducing food waste. These apps link you to surplus food from nearby stores and eateries at discounted rates. Using them can cut down on food waste and ease the strain on your wallet.

By rescuing perfectly good food that would otherwise go to landfill, you’re not only saving money but also doing your bit for the environment.