The travel industry accounts for a high percentage of the Earth’s carbon footprint, with our holidays often representing a time of us splashing out on food, travel, and gifts, that brings carbon pollution with it.

The main source of holiday carbon emissions come from transportation. Not just from the flights and long drives to see family and friends, but also from the holiday gifts and food purchased that have a travel carbon footprint in addition to carbon pollution that often goes into manufacturing those goods.

We can all be more responsible in our travel – from choosing more sustainable methods of travel and our consumables, to the travel agency you choose to travel with. Some tourist operators can help you plan a more sustainable trip, taking into consideration everything from the accommodation, routes, and vehicles to the environmental impact of the activities you do on your holiday.

Could understanding your impact help you choose a greener, more sustainable holiday?

Imagine if holiday websites showed the carbon emissions created by each trip – from the flights and accommodation, to the food. It could help consumers make more sustainable choices.

Which? research found that a spa break in the Maldives would produce a whopping 2,931kg of CO2 per person – that’s the equivalent of eight years of 15-minute power showers every day!

Contrast that with a rail holiday in Switzerland of similar length, that would equate to one tenth the carbon footprint at 290kg of CO2 per person – equivalent to leaving a 100-watt lightbulb on for nearly a year.

Knowing that, in the context of the impact of carbon on our planet’s ill health, as a responsible global citizen, which would you choose?

How to make greener choices for your holidays

  1. Take the train
  2. Choose greener flights
  3. Avoid the crowds
  4. Book eco accommodation
  5. Avoid imported food
  6. Car-pool and use public transit for holiday gatherings
  7. Choose local ingredients for holiday meals
  8. Try your hand at homemade holiday gifts