Buy a hand-crafted ceramic daffodil from the Ten Thousand Daffodils installation

30 Steps: Leisure

Step 19 : Holidays

The Problem: flying, carbon footprint, waste, biodiversity loss
The Solution: local, public transport, small businesses
  • Flying abroad on holiday will increase your carbon footprint significantly and is no longer a sustainable practice if we want to keep on target to a zero carbon world. Flying not only requires huge amounts of aviation fuel but the carbon dioxide released is also more potent as a greenhouse gas as it is higher up in the atmosphere.
  • The good news is, there are lots of other options when it comes to holidaying and travel. Having more staycations in the UK or in the country you live in is a great option. Travelling closer to you by train or bus, or with a full car is a much greener alternative and means you can explore places you may have overlooked. You can also take the train to many foreign countries, such as Interrailing around Europe or taking longer sleep trains to Asia and beyond. If you live in the UK, there are a few car and passenger ferries to Europe, such as that from Newcastle to Amsterdam or from the south coast, although big boats still have a large carbon footprint.
  • When you reach your destination, it is important to protect and help conserve the area you are enjoying during your holiday. Taking public transport or cycling instead of driving will help to improve air quality in the area and decrease congestion and danger as well as your carbon footprint. Try and support local schemes regarding sustainable tourism, such as donating to conservation charities, restoring footpaths or planting trees. Maybe there is a local zero waste or ethical shop you could support and there are even volunteering days available in some national parks to integrate into your holiday. You could help improve the local area by picking up any litter you may find and sticking to rules regarding camping and fires.
  • When choosing accommodation, look out for hotels or B&Bs with the Green Tourism award or that promote themselves as sustainable and ethical. Campsites are also a great low impact choice. Make sure you come prepared with your own plastic free toiletries so you can avoid any single use plastic ones that may be provided. It may also be a good idea to come prepared with some homemade snacks if you are going somewhere remote to avoid packaging and ensuring you have your reusables and shopping bags in your luggage.

Initial cost


Lifetime savings


Environmental benefits


Health benefits