Going Green is a worldwide phenomenon at the moment and is no longer just a buzz phrase. Almost everyone is taking conscious action to move towards helping the planet, and in South Africa, we don’t really have a choice. We are subjected to water restrictions, load-shedding, and a massive litter problem. The only way to improve the country is if we all start making an effort to change the way we live. It all starts with us, and your Going Green efforts don’t have to stop when vacationing!
Obviously, travelling green takes a bit more time and effort at first, but it becomes very easy once you are used to it and know what to expect. Remaining green in your travels will also make you feel better about going away – as you are still contributing to the initiative.
Take a look at the Going Green travel tips we have compiled to help you stay green during your holidays with us:
Before you leave home:
- Pack light
Yes, you heard us right. You can start your travel green process before you even leave the house! The more weight you carry with you affects the amount of fuel your mode of transport will use. Therefore, the heavier your luggage, the more greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. So travel light! This also allows you to buy more on your travels, as you will have space in your bag. You would have already reduced your carbon footprint on the way to your destination, so a little heavier on the trip back won’t hurt anyone. 😉
- Bring reusable water bottles and shopping bags
Every time you purchase a new water bottle or plastic shopping bag, you are possibly adding to the litter crisis. You may throw these away in a rubbish bin, but you don’t know for sure where these items will end up, so reuse the items you purchased before leaving home. Shopping bags are a small and light item to add to your luggage that you can use en route. Water bottles have also become a lot easier for us to keep these days, with many of them having built in infiltration systems to keep your water clean and healthy. Don’t have one yet? Just pop around to your nearest store – you are sure to find one there! This allows you to drink water from anywhere without being worried about its contents – no need to buy 10 pre-filled water bottles! And if you are determined to use bottled water – please ensure you throw them away in a recycling bin. Most of our properties have these on site!
- Turn off, unplug and recycle before you go
Unless you have a pet sitter or a roommate, there is no reason for you to leave any of your appliances on, so make sure to turn off all lights and unused appliances before you leave. This will also help you by minimizing your electricity bill…Don’t switch the fridge off though! 😉 Another thing you can do is recycle your rubbish before you leave. We all like to go on a trip with brand new essentials, such as toothpaste and cereals. Throw these cardboard boxes away in a recycle bin before you leave, so that your mind can be at ease, knowing you have contributed to such a fantastic cause!
- Picking your vehicle
We know that travelling requires a lot of packing, but try to travel in the smallest vehicle you can; this will ensure that you emit the least amount of greenhouse gases possible. Another great way to travel green is by taking the bus – they tend to be the best option when trying to be environmentally conscious. A bus ride can be long, hard and draining but their environmental benefits cannot be ignored. A couple travelling by bus will automatically cut down their carbon emission by half! Yes, half! Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is by using bicycles to get around the area you are visiting. Leave the car at your holiday destination, get some exercise and continue your going green initiative. There is nothing better than feeling the wind in your hair, breathing in some fresh, crisp air and getting those muscles working. Plus, many of our resorts have bikes for hire so you won’t need to cart yours all around the place.
- Plant along the way
Want to make up for the carbon dioxide that will be released during your trip? Why not plant a few trees along the way? Trees produce oxygen, which is vital for us to survive. Who knew? 😉 So stop along the way and plant a tree. This is a great way to encourage the whole family to participate in a travel green initiative, PLUS you can watch it grow by stopping and taking a look at it every time you drive past to your holiday destination.
- Pick a holiday destination with a green initiative
Choosing a hotel that makes an effort to be environmentally friendly is definitely a plus when it comes to travelling because then you know that your stay will contribute as well. Most of our properties strive to be as green as possible and provide recycling bins for guests to use. So let’s all work together to reduce our carbon footprint. There are also a few things you can do during your stay to contribute towards remaining green and being economical, such as keeping your showers short, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, turning off the TV while it’s not being used, turning off lights and air-conditioning while you are out and about, and using sheets and towels for longer than 1 day, so that they do not have to be washed as often – you do this at home, so why not on holiday as well?
Eating locally sourced and produced food is a great way to give back to the community you are visiting. It’s so easy to purchase a meal that is contributing to an internationally based company such as Mc Donalds while on holiday but why not try something different? Get in touch with the area you are visiting, try their traditional meals and help out the community – they are the ones who need it most. There is nothing better than treating yourself to some scrumptious food while on holiday. Don’t think about the carbs, sugar or fat, just enjoy yourself while also helping out our fellow man! And if you have any leftovers, don’t forget to carry it back with you in one of those reusable shopping bags we mentioned earlier.
Going Green, taking the initiative and being environmentally friendly is something that we should all consider and care about. We only have one world, so let’s take care of it….Please follow the Going Green tips we have provided during your next stay at one of our properties. Don’t forget, you are not only helping yourself, you are helping all of us too!
Travel safely, we look forward to seeing you during your next holiday…