09 Jul

Five ways to lower your environmental impact on holiday before you’ve even left home

This blog is written for Make Holiday Greener, ABTA’s campaign in partnership with Travelife. Find out how to win a carry-on bag by sustainability leaders Patagonia by making a pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle on your next holiday here: http://bit.ly/2JZmeCJ

Before you head off on holiday this summer, have you thought about how to reduce, reuse and recycle items in your suitcase? Managing what items you pack can help reduce your environmental impact on your destination.

Many destinations including Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Capri, Tanzania and Kenya to name a few are now banning plastic bags and encouraging guests to leave them at home in an attempt to take the pressure off their environment and protect wildlife. 

We can all do our bit to help protect the destinations we love by supporting local people and conserving wildlife and landscapes. One way to do this is managing our waste and pledging to reduce, reuse and recycle along our travel journey. This blog shares tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle items when packing a suitcase for your summer holiday.

Share a packing list
Whether you’re travelling with friends or family, set up a group chat and share a packing list. That way you can plan together what you could share, such as shampoo, sun cream and other toiletries. It might save you some room in your bags to bring home some locally made souvenirs.

Avoid buying anything you don’t need 
Think about what you already have and avoid buying anything you don’t need. Go over your summer wardrobe, sun cream supply and travel essentials – you might find that you have most of what you need already, which could help save you money as well as reduce the impact on the environment. 

Remove unnecessary packaging 
Taking a new razor, toothbrush, flip flops or new toys for the kids? They can often come with lots of packaging and plastic tags. So before you pack them, take them off at home. Your local council’s waste infrastructure and recycling facilities can often be better at home than in your holiday destination.

Take a lunch box and a refillable water bottle 
We’ve taken lots of inspiration from Travel Mad Mum’s blog who always travels with her lunch box to carry healthy snacks for her two little ones and a bamboo cutlery set. Though beware – don’t take a bamboo knife with you in your hand luggage as it may be taken away from you at security. 

We also suggest taking some reusable water bottles with you. Many airports now have designated drinking water points after security, which you can use to refill as opposed to buying bottled water, as well as restaurants offering re-fills too. This will help you save money at the airport as you won’t have to buy bottles of water after security.

Take your own earphones
If you’re going on a long haul flight, many airlines may give you complimentary earphones so you can tune into their in-flight entertainment. Before accepting them, see if your own headphones are compatible with their devices. You can then avoid taking an item you don’t need and reduce waste. 

What else could you do?
Make a pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle here: http://bit.ly/2JZmeCJ

Why not also challenge yourself to take one of our other 15 pledges for Make Holidays Greener. You can choose pledges such as only buying, eating and drinking at local restaurants and cafes, going meat-free or only staying in Travelife certified hotels on your next holiday, visit:  http://bit.ly/2JZmeCJ

Share your actions on social media using #MHG19

Check out our infographic for more simple tips on how you can ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ before going on holiday, en-route, while you’re away and when you return home.