Travelling, whether across town, the country or the world, is something many Australians look forward to during the holiday season. However, it’s important to remember the costs that this travel can incur - to the environment as well as your wallet! Vehicles make up 80% of carbon monoxide emissions and 8% of carbon dioxide emissions in urban settings2, and these have both human health and environmental impacts. Jet fuel is extremely emissions intensive, with the aviation industry accounting for 4-9%3 of the total climate change impact of human activity.
Luckily, a few simple actions can help you reduce emissions and waste, improve safety and even save money.
On the road
If you’re heading out on the road, check out our tips to getting your car trip-ready. If you want to avoid holiday driving altogether, take the train or the bus so you can spend time relaxing, napping or reading with less time worrying about directions! If you’re staying close to home for the holiday period, turn your transport into a fitness challenge and work off the festive feasting by walking or cycling to your social gatherings.
In the air
Taking to the air instead? Try to book non-stop flights whenever you can as it’s takeoff and landing that creates the most carbon emissions. There are also plenty of organisations and airlines that will offset the carbon emissions of your flights.
At your accommodation
Just because you’re not paying the bills at your holiday home doesn’t mean it has no costs to the environment! Turn off all your lights and appliances when leaving your room and leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door unless the room really needs cleaning. This not only cuts down your energy use, but also the water and chemicals used in cleaning. And when you’re at your favourite holiday spot, remember to search RecyclingNearYou to check out the local recycling guidelines and ensure you are recycling right.
Out and about
Check out Planet Ark ambassador Anita Vandyke's zero waste travel guide and how to avoid the single-use plague while on holiday. Going interstate? Find out which states have Container Deposit Schemes that you can use during your holiday.