How To Make Your Family Holiday in Greece More Eco Friendly
Despite the fact that tourism has greatly benefited countries like Greece, specifically through their economic crisis, there is no doubt that it has also had major cons. The effect tourism has had on global warming is undeniable, and sadly Greece is one of the countries that has been experiencing a rise in temperature.
What can you do, however, when you love to travel but are also conscious about your carbon footprint? The tabloids have been publishing “panic-inducing” headlines to either deter tourists or push them into rethinking their travel plans/how they act on trips. Greek Islands are very protective over their natural habitat and local produce.
In this article I will talk about how you can enjoy and amazing summer holiday while being kind to Mother Earth.
Become the Traveller You’d Normally Look Up To!
You know when you travel and you meet people who are unbelievably environmentally conscious? People who know how to contrast having fun, traveling, and seeing the world while also respecting the environment is always admirable.
Here are some quick tips on what you can do:
- Really respect the environment. And by that we mean, stay on the trails, do not step on plants, don’t feed animals that you know you shouldn’t, don’t’ contaminate the water and always be mindful of your litter.
- Conserve water. We know, we know. You’re on a family trip to Greece meaning the amount of showers will be at an all-time high – but there are a few things you can do to stay environmentally friendly. The first thing you can do is take showers instead of baths. The second thing you can do is use refillable water instead of purchasing dozens of water bottles and getting rid of all the plastic.
- Be mindful of your energy consumption. Make sure your air conditioners are on all the time – you can alternate those with the fans. Always turn off all lights and taps when you leave your rooms.
- Flushing has rules too! Don’t flush down your cotton-based or plastic-based products down the toilet. Condoms, tampons and pads should also not be flushed down the toilet.
- Recycle, recycle and reuse! You can always do that by reducing the amount of plastic bags and napkins you use. Ditch the disposable cups altogether!
- Environmentally friendly transport…..Skip the cars and opt to use taxis, trains or buses. Don’t add to the carbon footprint!
Choose the Right Hotel & Place to Stay
Start by choosing an environmentally friendly accommodation. There are plenty of green hotels, and by staying in one you already are halfway there to becoming a more conscious traveler! Make sure your hotel has an effective waster treatment system, make sure that your hotel recycles and of course – that it uses environmentally friendly energy sources! You can check these out by seeing if they have solar energy or hydroelectric power as their energy sources.
If you can’t book an eco hotel, then look for one that usually has a lighter carbon footprint. Worst case scenario is that you can always ask the hotel to not wash your towels or linen every day for example or wash them as frequently as you’d normally do at home.
To have the ultimate family beach holiday in Greece, all you need to do is make sure you choose a hotel that cares about the environment, or become a more environmentally aware person.
Bring Your Own Reusable Bottles & Containers
Finding reusable materials is not always easy when you’re on the go and traveling. If you’re traveling with your family, it’s a better idea to get reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags. Grab a reusable water bottle with you too to reduce your amount of waste.
Eat & Drink at Local Shops/Restaurants
By eating local, you become a more conscious traveler. You support the local population, and you consume food that you know has a high chance of being grown organically. Local ingredients means that your food didn’t have to travel for miles be your plate! Don’t eat endangered species like over-harvested shellfish or turtles!
Be Careful When Disposing of Rubbish
If you dump your stuff, they can remain in landfills for years before they get disposed off. Some people pack their trash and take it home with them – if that’s too much for you, try and find places that already recycle items. Greece has incredible bodies of waters and it would be a shame to ruin them!
Travel With a Big Group
If you’re a family then you’re already almost a big group. As much as you can, try to travel by car, bus or train instead of a plane. This way, not only do you get to reduce the carbon footprint of planes, you get to have a fun road trip as well! There are lots of tours in Greece which cater for families - these can be a great way to explore like a local and meet other people.
When Visiting the Ionian Islands…
When visiting the Ionian Islands, learn a little bit about their natural history. These islands are considered the key breeding sites for the endangered loggerhead turtles. Most of the beaches are actually designated nesting beaches and some are off-limit between dusk and dawn. Try to avoid any boating trips there due to the risk of collision with the turtles, don’t put your umbrellas in dry sand areas and if you will make sure they won’t disturb the eggs. Don’t build sandcastles as these can also interfere with the turtles. There are also eco volunteer programs in Greece where you can help animals and conservation in places like the spectacular islands.
Don’t Light Fire in the Wild
A lot of places in Greece are very susceptible to wildfires. Don’t light fires in the wild, don’t discard your glass items as they usually collect sunrays, and don’t throw away your cigarettes carelessly.
Natural Sponges May Sound like a Great Luxury – But They’re Not!
Most natural sponges sold in shops have been collected quite irresponsibility and it’s our responsibility not to promote and encourage their collection.
Packing Tips & Tricks
Packing also plays a huge role in your eco-conscious trip!
- How you pack your suitcase can make a huge difference in how you can reduce your carbon footprint! Of course, the more you pack , the worse. Because the more you pack, the more weight you carry on, meaning the more fuel will be consumed!
- Make sure you take the decision to pack consciously and you’re already halfway there. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. Promise!
- Firstly, make a list of all the things you absolutely need. By writing a lit, it helps make everything clear and shows what you want and what you don’t want. It will also ensure that you’re packing light.
- After making that list….Reduce it even further.
- Get a small, lightweight, preferably duffel bag.
- Either roll your items or get packing cubes.
- Your reusable water bottle is convenient for all occasions. You’ll at least know that you are not contributing to already-overflowing landfill sites.
- Your reusable shopping/plastic bag is your new best friend.
- If you’re going to be buying travel essentials, strip away the packaging and recycle at home before you travel.
- As much as possible, get environmentally friendly toiletries. Ones that don’t have harmful chemicals, and don’t contribute to pollution.
It’s a great idea to travel with your family to Greece and an even better idea to all work together to ensure the safety and wellness of Mother Earth. It might be a little bit more work, but in the end, you know it’s all worth it. Just a few more steps than your normal vacation, but a hundred steps ahead of your fellow travelers!