How To Have a Low-Waste Summer Holiday

deckchairs in a hotel people on a summer holiday

Having a low-waste summer holiday is really achievable this year.

Summer holidays are a perfect opportunity to unwind and explore new places, but they can also lead to a significant increase in waste production.

From single-use plastics to carbon footprints, our vacation habits often contribute to environmental degradation.

However, with a few mindful choices, you can enjoy a sustainable and low-waste summer holiday. Here’s how:

Table of Contents

a beach with a wave coming in during the summer

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations for Your Low-Waste Summer Holiday

Selecting destinations that prioritise sustainability can significantly reduce your environmental impact.

Look for eco-tourism spots that promote conservation and responsible travel.

For instance, Costa Rica is renowned for its commitment to ecotourism, with 25% of its land protected as national parks and reserves.

costa rica waterfall

2. Travel Responsibly

Transportation is a major contributor to carbon emissions.

Opt for trains or buses over flights whenever possible when choosing how to start your low-waste summer holiday.

If flying is unavoidable, consider purchasing carbon offsets to mitigate your travel’s impact.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), carbon offset programs can compensate for emissions by funding environmental projects.

a view from a plane someone on a summer holiday

3. Pack Sustainably for a Low-Waste Summer Holiday

Packing light not only makes travel easier but also reduces fuel consumption in transportation.

Bring reusable items such as water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils to minimise single-use plastics.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that single-use plastics contribute to about 50% of the plastic waste we generate annually (

overpacking a suitcase for a summer holiday

4. Stay at Green Accommodations

Look for hotels and lodges that have earned eco-certifications like LEED or Green Key.

These accommodations implement energy-saving practices, waste reduction measures, and use renewable resources.

According to Green Key Global, hotels with eco-certifications can reduce their waste by up to 30%!

a 5 star green hotel for a sustainable summer holiday

5. Support Local and Sustainable Businesses

Eating local and sustainable food can significantly cut down your summer holiday’s carbon footprint.

Farmers’ markets and local eateries typically have a smaller environmental impact compared to large, commercial food chains.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that local food systems can reduce food miles and support local economies.

shopping at a local farmers market for a low waste summer holiday

6. Be Mindful of Waste Generation on Your Low-Waste Summer Holiday

Avoiding single-use items and properly disposing of waste are crucial.

Bring along a small, reusable bag to collect recyclables and compostables.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, much of which originates from improperly managed land waste.

a tourist using a reusable bag to reduce plastic waste on summer holiday

7. Participate in Eco-Friendly Activities

Engage in activities that have a low environmental impact such as hiking, cycling, or kayaking.

These not only reduce your carbon footprint but also allow you to connect more deeply with nature!

Adventure travel that focuses on sustainability is growing, with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) noting a 65% increase in eco-adventure trips over the past five years.

people kayaking on their low waste summer holiday


By making conscious choices, you can enjoy a memorable low-waste summer holiday while reducing your environmental impact.

Let’s travel responsibly and make a positive difference for our planet!


  • What are some tips for reducing waste while traveling?
  • How can I make my summer holiday more eco-friendly?
  • What is the impact of single-use plastics on summer vacations?

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