1. Consider carbon offsets – Carbon offsetting is an attempt to counter-balance the effect of your carbon emissions. A carbon offset negates the release of CO2e (Co2 or carbon dioxide equivalent) by avoiding the release of, or removing from the atmosphere the same amount of, CO2e somewhere else. You can calculate the amount of carbon emission being generated by your air travel and purchase carbon credits to offset it. Your carbon credits fund various renewable energy projects, such as wind farms. Some of the carbon offset programmes include www.carbonfund.org and www.clear-offset.com
2.Consider how you travel - consider trains or book non-stop flights if you are flying as the majority of fuel is used during take off and landing.
3.Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations for your holiday and support the various partners and providers for whom the environment is a priority
1. Use Your Own Toiletries
A lot of energy goes into the production of the miniature soaps and shampoos available in hotel bathrooms which then contribute to thousands of bags of waste each year. Bring your own favourite toiletries in reusable bottles and encourage hotels to stock refillable dispensers.
2. Reuse towels and sheets – many hotels provide you with this option, it reduces the Hotel’s laundry load as well as their water and energy levels.
3. Reduce energy in your hotel/B&B/guesthouse room
- Lower the temperature in your Hotel room – If you have control of the room’s thermostat reduce the temperature by 2 degrees in the winter and raise it by 2 degrees in the summer, you will more than likely not feel the difference but you will be saving energy.
- Turn of all appliances (don’t leave on standby), including the TV when you are leaving the room or when sleeping – this can reduce its energy consumption by 25%!
4. Use Public or Active Transport
Avoid hiring a car or using taxis to get around. You'll see many of our Irish cities in a whole new light from the top of a double-decker bus. Alternatively, walk or try the various Cycle Hire Scheme as these are healthy, low-impact options. Take your bike on the train (or ferry) and cycle. On a bike you can take in the scenery and easily stop to take in the view. You can hear and smell the countryside - something you miss if you are sealed in a car. Plus, burning all that energy during the day gives you a hearty appetite for local food in the evenings.
5. Reduce Your Laundry
Laundry consumes almost 40 per cent of the average hotel's energy for hot water. Be willing to use your towels and sheets for more than one day and help hotels reduce their energy use by at least five per cent.
6. Minimise Waste
Reuse plastic bags or pack your own cloth or string bag to carry any purchases. Bring your own water bottle and some rechargeable batteries and a charger for your camera and other gadgets.
7. Buy Local and Support Independent Shops
Buy your souvenirs from small independent stores and support local traders. Their products are likely to be less energy-intensive in their production and you'll go home with a unique memento. You can also pick up some vintage clothing bargains.
8. Visit Local Farmers' Markets
Ireland has several farmers' markets and you can sample and buy a delicious selection of locally sourced meats, cheeses and organic produce, all with low food miles.
9. Recycle Your Guide Books or Use an App
Give them to a friend or leave them at your hotel for another guest to read. It also leaves your suitcase a little lighter!
10. Reusable Bottles
A plastic bottle often travels thousands of miles before you buy it, so carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water when you’re on the go.
11. Recycle your rubbish
Staying at a hotel? Make sure you ask about the hotel’s recycling program, and sort your rubbish accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home and recycle them there.
12. Hike Marked Trails
Don’t veer off marked trails when hiking, and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in areas where permitted and be sure they're completely extinguished before you leave. - LEAVE NO TRACE
13. Rent Hybrid Car
Choose the smallest vehicle or a hybrid when renting a car for travel. Decline any "free" upgrades that can cost you more in fuel Consider renting an economy car if your personal vehicle is a large, fuel feeder. You'll save fuel and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle.
Eating locally is one of the best ways to support a community - dine at restaurants with locally sourced ingredients.