13 SIMPLE SWAPS THAT WILL REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Climate change is a reality and in case you didn’t know, tourism currently makes up 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst the challenge to combat rising temperatures and reduce our global carbon footprint can often feel intimidatingly huge, it’s actually pretty simply to make a few little changes in your life and business that will reduce, if not completely erase, your carbon footprint.
As John F Kennedy once said, ‘one person can make a difference, and everyone should try.’ Ultimately, mass change will not come from incentives and regulations but by changing behaviours: every person can implement sustainable swaps in their life and business that will help pave the way towards an educated and accountable industry. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Switch old light bulbs to long-lasting LED bulbs - in doing so, you’ll not only reduce your environmental footprint but also your monthly energy bill.
2. Stay online and minimise paper waste by managing activities online. Also request all guests and customers store their bookings on their phone rather than printing or create an app that stores this information securely on a smart phone or computer.
3. Print better. If you do have to print, there are a couple of ways to make the process more sustainable – set your printer default to print double sided, use FSC certified materials and recycled paper, and refill your ink cartridges instead of always buying new ones.
4. Switch up your transportation. Cut the commuter carbon emissions by partnering with local transport agencies and offer packages that combine transport and accommodation or a tour. Alternatively, try carpooling, walking, or biking. When hiring a car, go with a provider that has eco options like hybrid or electric vehicles.
5. Do the maths. How many greenhouse gas emissions are you really producing? Calculate and offset your emissions by using Carbon Neutral, whose services include carbon accounting and sustainability consulting, carbon calculators, carbon offsets and green marketing support.
6. Get rid of plastic. If you’re an accommodation provider, swap those tiny plastic toiletries for dispensers or package free and eco-friendly options.
7. Be choosy. When it comes time to buying new equipment, do your research and buy the most energy efficient items within your price range. Got outdated or broken equipment? Give it to goodwill or recycle it properly.
8. Become a fan of pressing buttons. Get in the habit of turning power points off at the wall at the end of each day or when not in use, including TVs, heaters, fans and kettles. While you’re at it, why not switch all those remotes and electronics to rechargeable batteries?
9. Reduce food waste by installing a composting system and donate your scraps to a community garden if you don’t have your own.
10. Buy locally as often as possible. This will not only save you money but will boost the local economy, decrease carbon emissions from transport and give a story to what you purchase that you can tell your guests.
11. Limit or ban water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and plastic bags within your sustainable workplace. Encourage everyone to have keep cup or two for use around the office and when visiting the local coffee shop. Create a share system for bags for your office by buying (and branding, if you wish) canvas bags that can be circulated around the office and cleaned periodically.
12. Lead by example by minimising print marketing and focusing on online marketing campaigns, solar billboards and word of mouth advertising.
13. Offset for your guests. By incorporating a carbon offset levy into each sale, you’re not only educating each individual but also demonstrating accountability and leading the way to a carbon neutral business.
What changes have you implemented that have made the most significant difference to your emissions? We’d love to hear about them!