According to Green Match, worldwide tourism accounts for 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. The tourism industry is booming with more people travelling the world than ever before, and as everyone looks to head off for their summer break, how to be sustainable is almost certainly the last thing on their mind.

Over the past few years, an increased awareness in single-use plastics and sustainable tourism has created a demand for responsible holidays.

Being more sustainable is easy, convenient – and anyone can do it. They just need to know how. Here are 8 things you can do this summer to be more sustainable on holiday:

  1. Sunscreen is a holiday staple, but make sure you buy one that doesn’t contain the chemical Oxybenzone as it bleaches the coral.
  2. Opt for a hotel that has a Travellife award. These are graded in bronze, silver and gold and help hotels to manage the impact they have on the environment.
  3. Explore your holiday surroundings on foot. Many places are walkable so perhaps head to the beach for a post-breakfast stroll, or trek to the view point rather than hiring a jeep. Speak to your tour operator or hotel staff about the local attractions.
  4. Respect the animals and wildlife when you are on holiday. An Instagram photo is not worth damaging the environment.
  5. It goes without saying, but take all litter back to the hotel with you and dispose of it properly.
  6. Unwrap items and recycle any packaging before you go on holiday.
  7. Buy from local shops and stalls. Supporting the local economy is a great way to be sustainable on holiday. Just make sure you do not buy anything that contains animals or wildlife products i.e. coral or ivory.
  8. When in the hotel:

– Switch off electricals when they are not in use, and make sure you turn lights and the television off before leaving the hotel room.

– Reuse your cups, straws and cutlery – and if possible, make sure they are not single-use plastic.

– Preserve water by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth and have shorter showers.

Another way to help, is to look for a travel insurance provider who matches your sustainability credentials, check the policy you are buying doesn’t allow activities, such as elephant riding or swimming with dolphins.  There are many sustainable ways to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat, which support the local economy and area.

No matter how big or small your contribution is, it all helps towards saving our planet. So, when you are away this summer make sure you practice sustainability.