How you can experience a sustainable summer holiday in 2024

Do you prefer Airbnbs to hotels? Check out the site’s newly introduced Categories section for unusual listings in lesser-known places (such as the convenient Earth Homes), rent a private room from a local if possible, and use the ‘I’m flexible’ filter for more popular listings during quieter periods, to spread the traveling over the year. Off-season vacationing is another broad shift simultaneously caused by and in response to global warming: travel company Black Tomato reports increased demand in May and October in Italy, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and France, especially as travelers “the baking heat of Europe”. The alternative home rental site now has 2,500 loyal landlords throughout Europe and you can forward 50 percent of every booking to a local social project.

Do the positives of your travel footprint so far outweigh the negatives? In reality, it’s hard for anyone to do that math. Recent research from Intrepid Travel found that the majority (66 percent) of Brits have “no idea what their carbon footprint is” but 70 percent are willing to change their behavior to minimize it. While there are numerous carbon emissions calculators – such as the new CO2 labels from Byway.travels and Intrepid – and independent certifications – BCorp, LEED and Global Sustainable Tourism Council are some of the big ones – none have symbols that are widely seen anymore .

The most important thing to do is ask questions: about the travel company you book with, the hotels you visit and the locals you meet, about their climate initiatives, where food waste takes place, where to eat and where to go invest your money in the right places. Also, ask yourself questions – don’t take a vacation from the eco habits you’ve started practicing at home, pack a reusable shopping bag and straws and keep recycling on the go.

You never know, like Southan, who recently took a kayaking trip from Richard Branson’s Necker Island around some mangroves on a nearby island, that you might return after experiencing something that changes your mindset to make you more aware once you are at home. “I learned how important the trees are for absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. It’s these mind-expanding possibilities that help us all do better and motivate us to be more responsible. Even though we may not be perfect.”