Some holidays are specifically designed to appeal to those who are environmentally conscious, yet you can inject a little ‘green’ into most vacations, so very few options need be rejected on those grounds.
Even when travelling to a progressive nation such as France – one which is vastly aware of environmental issues – holidaymakers are still encouraged to act responsibly. You can do your bit for the planet by following some of the tips below:
Flying may be quicker, but trains and ferries are considered more environmentally-friendly ways to get across the channel, followed by a train or bus connection. Statistics show the CO2 emission per passenger kilometre when travelling by Eurostar is 17.14g, 22.54g via ferry and a whopping 116g for a short-haul flight.
When there, why not hire bikes? Cycling along the banks of the river Dordogne is one of the highlights of any trip to the region. Alternatively, make use f the region’s low-cost bus service, the TransPerigord.
Before embarking on your trip, remove excess packaging from items, i.e. boxes from toiletries, plastic wrappings on magazines, labels on new clothes etc. Not only does this make packing your suitcase easier, but it means that you can recycle these products at home and not burden the French system with extra waste that, let’s face it, you would probably just throw in the bin.
In France, try to locate recycling facilities so that those empty wine bottles, gateaux boxes and copies of Le Figaro can be broken down and reused. Ask at the Mairie or tourist information office for information.
We’ve all done it when on holiday – left the lights on, the air conditioning running or the tap dripping. However, just because you’re not paying the bills, it doesn’t mean you should be careless with utilities. Do as you would at home and switch off the TV when no-one is watching. Be mindful of excessive water consumption, turning off the tap while brushing teeth, etc.
Another tip is to use rechargable batteries and bring the charger with you so that a) you won’t need to buy any horrid, non-biodegradable batteries and b) you won’t need to worry about disposing of them ecologically.
Contribute towards reducing carbon emissions by purchasing locally-produced goods from independent retailers. Don’t buy your bread and cakes from the hypermarket, instead visit the town boulangerie. Purchase meat from the charcuterie and other goods at weekly farmer’s markets, which also helps you support the local economy.
Pack a reusable shopping bag, too, in case the store you visit still uses plastic bags.
There are lots of ‘green’ activities in the Dordogne, including the aforementioned cycling. The region, famous for its winding river, is a great place for water sports like canoeing and snorkelling. Or strap on those comfy shoes for a walking tour of one of the many pretty towns. Hardier walkers might like to ramble about the lush and rolling landscape.