5 tips to help you become an eco-conscious traveller



From floods to earthquakes and tornadoes, its clear that the planet is going through a lot.

As a result, experts are sounding the alarm that swift and co-ordinated actions are necessary to prevent irreversible damage.

It therefore falls onto all of us to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations and reduce our carbon footprint as responsible global citizens and travellers.

According to Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, we have the opportunity to contribute to this crucial cause even while enjoying a well-deserved holiday.

“By embracing eco-conscious practices during your next getaway, you are not only likely to experience the endorphins that come with relaxation and rejuvenation, but you will also experience the satisfaction of making a meaningful impact on the environment,” said Lamont.

He said First Group Hotel and Resorts recognises the urgent need to address environmental challenges.

“We remain committed to being a responsible hospitality brand, and we’re always looking for ways to reduce our ecological footprint and encourage our guests to do the same.”

Here are 5 eco-conscious tips that all holidaymakers can employ when travelling at any time of the year, according to Lamont.

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Lamont recommends that you avoid single-use items like plastic bottles, straws, and bags wherever possible.

“Instead, bring your refillable water bottle and tote bag. Remember to reuse towels and linens at your accommodation to conserve water and energy.

When it comes to personal care, choose eco-friendly toiletries. They are good not only for the environment, but you too,” he said.

2. Conserve energy

Lamont said that during this winter holiday, your family develop a routine of switching off lights and electronics when these are not in use.

“Embrace the cosy ambience of natural sunlight and make the most of the comforting warmth provided by fireplaces in self-catering accommodations (if available), or even gather around an outdoor fire in the evenings.

This way, you can reduce your reliance on energy-intensive air conditioning systems while maximizing comfort and charm.”

3. Respect wildlife and nature

Appreciate wildlife and natural environments without littering, feeding, or disturbing vegetation. Follow designated trails and maintain a safe distance from animals, Lamont urged.

4. Opt for eco-friendly transport

According to the managing director, if you’re travelling with a group of 3 or more people, consider self-driving instead of flying to reduce your carbon footprint.

He said once you reach your destination, choose eco-friendly transportation alternatives like biking or walking whenever possible.

“This is especially convenient if you’re staying at a resort, making it easy to explore on foot or pedal your way around while reducing your environmental impact,” said Lamont.

5. Conserve water

And finally, the managing director suggests that you use water responsibly by taking shorter showers, reusing towels, and reporting leaks or dripping taps, especially if you are holidaying on the KZN South Coast or the Eastern Cape.

He said you should look for waterless or low-water alternatives for personal hygiene, such as dry shampoo, hand sanitiser, or eco-friendly wipes.

“This holiday season is a perfect chance to kick back, unwind and create magical lasting memories, all while actively preserving our magnificent planet for our children’s children.

By embracing sustainable practices and making mindful choices even on holiday, we can contribute to a brighter future,” said Lamont.

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