· How to have fun and take care of our environment? ·
The summer holidays are finally here! We all want to relax and enjoy the sun and discover new destinations. But wait, there’s a little problem…
You want to enjoy your holidays while trying to have the least negative impact on the planet. According to nature climate change, the tourism sector is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. From air travel to leisure activities and disposable hygiene products in hotels, this sector is one of the most polluting in the world.
This worrying figure is the result of consumption habits and mental models that have been ingrained in us for decades. But all is not lost. There is still time to make the right choices this summer to have fun and protect our natural ecosystems at the same time.
To help you on this journey, we have collected 10 good practices to apply this summer with family, friends, couples, or simply solo.
1. Avoid flying as much as possible
Yes, it may seem logical and common sense, but with flight prices defying all competition (60 euros for a trip from France to the United Kingdom), it’s hard not to succumb to the temptation. Instead, opt for other means of travel that have less impact, such as train, bus, or even a sailboat with the company Sailcoop for example.
2. Show your cycling and hiking skills
Once you arrive at your destination, walk or cycle to not use a car, which is responsible for the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the transport category. Cycling and hiking are also good ways to discover the place you are visiting.
3. Discover the mysteries of your country
You don’t have to go far to discover beautiful landscapes. So explore the far reaches of your territory and discover its mysteries! We are sure you will make wonderful discoveries. The “no need to fly” campaign for German rail proves it by showing to travelers that they can find the same landscapes from Italy or China in Germany.
4. Go camping while respecting your environment
Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in nature while enjoying the peace and quiet it has to offer. But be careful to leave the place as it was originally, no waste will be allowed for Mother Nature.
5. Book accommodation with eco-tourism labels
If camping doesn’t appeal to you, we suggest that you book your accommodation in establishments that are committed to the environment. There are now many labels to help consumers identify eco-friendly establishments, but it is difficult to distinguish between those that are genuinely committed and those that are not. Don’t worry! Platforms such as GreenTrip and Fairbnb.coop exist to help you in your choice.
6. Consume local products
The local economy of an area can often be affected by mass tourism. Instead of opting for Made in China souvenirs, buy a souvenir made by locals. You can also eat at a local restaurant to enjoy culinary specialities that you could bring back into your kitchen.
7. Bring out your best Tupperware
No more picnics with sandwiches protected by plastic or aluminum foil. Use containers that are more durable over time. This will prevent plastic or other waste from ending up on our beaches, in the sea or in our cities. However, if this is not possible for you, think about sorting!
8. Turn away from unethical attractions
Yes, we all dream of swimming with dolphins, taking pictures of elephants, and being close to rare species, but many animals are abused to satisfy the most sensation-hungry tourists. Think about the welfare of these animals and turn away from establishments that make a business out of them. Instead, why not use the summer downtime to get a different perspective on our planet and our societies, by visiting the Museum of trash in Luxemburg?
9. Use environmentally friendly sun protection
As you know, the sunscreens we buy in the supermarkets are very harmful to the environment and in particular to the corals, which are subject to significant damage due to chemical components such as parabens and oxybenzone present in our sunscreens. So before buying your favorite cream, look at its list of ingredients and make sure that it respects our marine spaces.
10. Regulate your water and energy consumption
We are all particularly prone to heat during the summer season and it is very tempting to turn down the heat by taking lots of showers and using the air conditioning. Unfortunately, these actions are not without repercussions, so do something for the planet and reduce your consumption!
With all these good practices, your summer can only be better! And as a bonus, Greenpeace has put together a guide to the best destinations in Europe from France, all by train! Among these destinations, discover the Auvergne Volcanoes in France, Andalusia in Spain, the Black Forest in Germany, and many other destinations full of surprises.