How to have an eco-friendly holiday
Published: Tuesday 24th Sep 2019
Written by: Aimee Anderson
You would have to have been living under a rock to not be aware of the environmental issues being talked about at the moment. There are increasing concerns surrounding plastic pollution, air pollution and global warming.
It is hard not to feel somewhat helpless and overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. However, the good news is we have time to fix this!
We can't all be Greta Thunberg, but we can all do out bit towards making the world a cleaner and greener place for future generations. And, going on holiday is no exception. You can start making positive changes to being more eco-friendly whilst on your holidays. Simply read our top tips below to give you some eco-inspiration:
1. Go on holiday in Suffolk!
Of course, we're biased! But, it's not just Suffolk that is an eco-friendly holiday destination choice. Enjoying a staycation, here in the UK, rather than going abroad for your holiday is a simple and easy change you can make to be more eco-friendly. Scrap the fuel-guzzling airlines and reduce your carbon footprint with a staycation. Plus, discover some incredible destinations, right here on your doorstep. Luckily, we know of a few fantastic self-catering holiday cottages which would be perfect for your next staycation...
2. Public transport
Now this is easier said than done, however many parts of the Suffolk countryside do have excellent travel links to areas such as London, Cambridge and the Midlands. Where you can, ditch the car and hop on the train to discover stunning Suffolk destinations such as Bury St Edmunds, Woodbridge, Beccles and Halesworth. Many of our properties are within walking distance of the train stations, however if your property is a little too far for you to walk you could book a taxi or hire a car during your stay. Find out more about the rail links to Suffolk on the Greater Anglia website.
3. Be plastic free
Single use plastic is a huge problem. But there are a great range of alternatives that you can bring with you on your holiday including metal straws, bamboo cutlery, travel coffee cups, reuseable water bottles, beeswax wraps and lunchboxes. If you don't already have these essential eco accessories you can stock up during your stay, the kitchen shop on the Thoroughfare in Woodbridge has a particularly good range. You can also cut down your plastic waste by bringing your own containers and refilling with dried goods such as pasta and lentils from Bury Whole Foods in Bury St Edmunds. There is also a travelling eco shop Cupboard Love who visits a range of locations throughout the county including the Framlingham Market every Tuesday, Woodbridge Market every Thursday and Old Jet market in Rendlesham the first Saturday of the month.
4. Recycle and reuse
We all know how important it is to recycle our waste, but when you are in a different part of the country sometimes the recycling rules differ to those you are used to. Do your research before you travel so you know what you can and can't recycle in the normal wheelie bins and find out where the nearest recycling centre to your holiday cottage is. If the recycling options near your holiday cottage are limited, or are too far for you to travel during your stay, why not consider taking your waste with you when you leave? You can then dispose of it correctly when you return home. For information on recycling in Suffolk visit the East Suffolk Council website.
5. Shop local
Avoid large supermarkets during your stay where you can, and buy your food from independent greengrocers, butchers and delis. Alternatively, many of the smaller supermarkets have an excellent selection of local produce. Here in Suffolk we are lucky to have so many local food producers as well as a vast range of farmer's markets including Bury St Edmunds Farmer's Markets which takes place on the second Sunday of every month. You will be spoilt for choice with a variety of local and seasonal produce as well as clothing, gifts and antiques. By shopping local, not only are you helping support local businesses but you are also cutting down your food miles and helping to reduce the demand for imported and out of season produce.
6. Visit local nature reserves
Support the local wildlife trusts in the area you are staying in by visiting a local nature reserve. Suffolk Wildlife Trust has a large number of nature reserves which are free to visit and they also run a variety of excellent activities and events, which you would need to book and pay for in advance. Find out more on the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website.
7. Leave nothing but footprints
Exploring stunning scenery, ancient woodlands, unspoilt beaches and glorious riverbanks are part and parcel of a staycation. Although it may seem obvious, one of the simplest ways to be greener on your holiday is to leave nothing behind when you visit these natural wonders. The basic concept is to not to leave any rubbish. You could take it a step further by picking up other people's rubbish that you come across. Or, if you wanted to take it further still, you could get involved with a local beach clean or litter pick during your stay too. If we can all be careful and considerate when exploring the countryside it will mean that these incredible landscapes will continue to exist and that the wildlife, that call these places home, will thrive and prosper for many generations to come.
Thank you taking the time to read our tips - have you got any more? Share your eco-friendly advice with us on our social media channels and we'll send you one of our handy re-usable travel cups for FREE!* You can share your tips with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Simply tag us in your post and use the hashtag #suffolkcottageholidays.
*Available for the first 10 people to share their with us on our social media channels. Limited to 1 per person. We will contact each person directly via social media to get their address details. If we do not hear back with 2 working days we will select another entrant.