Following on from our post last week on the ways that you can work towards improving your physical and emotional wellbeing post-lockdown, this week we’re looking at the steps we can take to make our travel greener. Since we’ve all spent the last few months staying in more, it’s inevitable that as the nation starts to brave venturing further afield, more of us will want to resume travelling and exploring a little more too. While there are restrictions on some places we can go to right now, there are still plenty of places that we can now visit – and this means that it’s more important than ever to consider how we do it.
During lockdown, carbon emissions reduced vastly, and our planet enjoyed some respite from the usual busyness of cars, trains, boats, and planes. So how do we ensure that we don’t simply return to our old habits that were having such a negative impact? Here are just three little tips for how to make your travel greener post-lockdown – do let us know in the comments if you have any to add…
Reconsider non-essential travel
How many of us even considered if travel was “essential” before? Before you jump in the car or book that flight, pause for a moment. Is this travel truly essential? Can you walk or cycle instead of driving? Can you take a different mode of transport to get to your well-deserved holiday destination – boat, train…? These are questions that we all now need to consider, especially when faced with the reality of how less travel truly impacted the planet.
According to reports, global lockdowns have resulted in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions due to less travel-related pollution. The drop in tourist flights, cruises, and other non-essential travel has seen ecosystems around the world begin to recover and thrive once more – and this surely leads us to one conclusion: we have to change our travel habits post lockdown. If we can walk or cycle rather than drive, or catch a bus or train then quite simply, we should.
One of the greatest pleasures in life is being able to travel to other countries to experience different cultures and create adventures that last a lifetime. We’re huge advocates of getting out there and living life to the fullest – but this doesn’t have to be at the expense of the planet. Once you’ve considered whether or not your travel is essential (and remember that the emotional benefits of taking a holiday are not to be ignored. It is ok to take some time out!), consider how you travel to your destination.
Flying business class is a luxury – but choosing this option means fewer passengers on the plane and therefore more planes in the sky. Emissions from tourists “add up to around 8% of the global total” (BBC) so flying less, choosing to fill a seat in a plane that carries more passengers, or travelling via alternative methods is always going to be a greener option if you’re going overseas. How we travel has a huge impact, and if we can get from A to B via a cleaner and more green means, then we definitely should.
Rediscover the joy of home
If lockdown has taught us just one thing, it’s surely an appreciation of our surroundings. Look at how you managed to stay home for four months! I bet you found things in your locality you never knew were there – walks, shop… Right now, travel options are limited and new restrictions are possible as we move through this pandemic. If you don’t want the added stress of potentially having to cancel your foreign travel this summer, plus you want to take a greener option too, then staycations might be the answer. Truly appreciate what is on our doorsteps without juggling with work for a week!
Staycations are the new vacations and for very good reason. We have some beautiful areas of the UK that are in need of a tourism boost right now – so why not stay more local this year instead? Slow travel is a great way to experience as much of the hidden gems on our doorstep as possible – so take your time, soak it in and rediscover the joy of being at home.