Travelling and maintaining green practices may sound complicated, especially for frequent and business travellers. Fortunately, it really is much more straightforward than you might think to adopt some basic methods which will reduce your carbon footprint. We have compiled 9 easy tips to help you get started on being a green traveller. Remember, the Chilworth Hotel Paddington is committed to reducing our carbon footprint – we’re in this together!
1) Travel by Aeroplane Only When Necessary
The most obvious way to reduce your carbon footprint is to limit your travel by aeroplane. Try to travel overland by train or bus as much as you can. When in a city, take public transport such as the London Underground or equivalent services and use local buses and trams. Opt to use shared taxis when possible. From your base at the Chilworth Hote, you can take the train to major cities in the UK or you can even travel to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam using the Eurostar service. When you do fly, make a small donation to offset your carbon footprint – most airlines offer this as part of the booking process now. It’s a small cost and won’t chip into your Chilworth Spa Paddington budget.
2) Explore the Local Area on Foot or by Bicycle
Cities such as London are easy to explore without motorised transport. You can hire bicycles in London and cycle safely by staying within the designated bike lanes in the city. You will find that a lot of the main attractions are close together and it is often quicker to walk in the city than to take the tube for some short distances.
London is very pleasant to walk around, so pack comfortable footwear and reward yourself for being an eco-warrior by tucking into the Chilworth Paddington afternoon tea after a day of exploring.
3) Pack Light and Take Only What You Need
When there is no alternative to travelling by aeroplane, remember that the lighter the luggage onboard the less fuel the plane uses. Try to travel with only a carry-on as much as you possibly can. Not only it is cheaper for you, but it also helps to save the planet!
Avoid packing your own toiletries as most hotels will supply these to guests on a complimentary basis. Make the most of the Chilworth Spa once you check into the hotel, to purge yourself of the flight and cleanse yourself from head to toe!
4) Avoid Food Waste
Be mindful when ordering food. Share a starter or dessert, and work on the basis that you can add extra sides if your main meal doesn’t fill you up rather than over-ordering. If you do have leftover food, ask that the server package it up and you can take it back to your room at The Chilworth.
Go a step further and travel with your own Tupperware box for situations such as this! Take time out of your day to indulge in the quintessentially English afternoon tea at The Chilworth and pack up any leftover sandwiches and cakes; they will make a delicious picnic lunch the next day or for when you take your eco-friendly train ride.
5) Eat Sustainable Food
The carbon footprint of the food on your plate is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and then disposing of the waste food. When searching for a restaurant, opt to eat at those who support ethical practices such as organic, locally sourced produce and free-range livestock.
Ask the friendly staff here at The Chilworth Hotel Paddington for local recommendations. Reducing meat intake will reduce your carbon footprint. Meat, cheese and eggs together have the highest carbon footprint of all foodstuffs whilst fruit, vegetables, beans, tofu and nuts have much lower carbon footprints. Consider having meat dishes only a few times a week as a treat. It is healthier for you too.
6) Avoid Single-Use Plastic
A hot-topic as more and more cities and nations ban plastic straws and add charges to single-use plastic shopping bags. Do your bit by investing in a BPA-free reusable water bottle and fill it up with tap or filtered water before you leave.
Say ‘no’ to plastic straws. Consider investing in your own bamboo straw and adding it to your packing kit if you really prefer to sip your drinks. Carry a tote bag or two in your day bag so when you shop you can also decline the plastic bag.
If you must use plastic, be sure to deposit it in the relevant recycling bin. Familiarise yourself with local recycling practices when you arrive at a new destination and understand what the recycling symbols mean on the packaging. Try to help by rinsing food containers before placing them in the recycling and flattening cardboard. If you are unsure about where to recycle an item whilst you are out and about, take it back to your hotel. Remember the manta, ‘leave nothing but footprints.’
8) Adopt Eco-Friendly Practices at Hotels
Support hotels like ours that are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and maintain sustainable systems. Only request fresh towels when it’s necessary, and the same goes for changing the bedding. Hotels invite you to feel like you’re at home so think about how often you would launder towels and sheets at home. Always switch off the lights and electrical appliances when leaving your bedroom and limit your use of heating and air-conditioning to preserve resources. After using the jacuzzi and steam room at the hotel’s spa, be sure to switch off the facilities once you are finished.
9) Avoid Printing Unnecessary Documents
An easy one to wrap-up. Most tickets are produced as e-tickets nowadays, so rather than printing travel and admission tickets, save a tree by having them saved on your smartphone as PDFs or download relevant apps.