We all know that we should be taking more care of the world around us and being greener, and this shouldn’t just be when we’re at home, but when we’re travelling too. 

To help you find easy ways to travel greener, here’s our A - Z list of sustainable travel full of tips and ideas to give you some inspiration on how you can travel to South Devon in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way.  

A - Awards

There are many awards and accreditations which businesses can gain which demonstrates their commitment to implementing sustainable policies and greener ways to operate. One award to look out for is the Green Tourism Award, the Bronze, Silver or Gold awards acknowledge the business’ environmentally-friendly practices.  

B - Bring it With You

One way to reduce your use of plastic is to limit what you buy. Buying in bulk and using reusable tubs to bring things like washing powder, shampoo and tea bags with you will help cut down the amount of plastic you use. But if you do use the travel sized tub often found in hotels, take them home and finish them instead of throwing them away, keep the bottles to re-fill and use on your next break.   

C - Car Free

A great way to have a greener holiday to South Devon, and see more of the stunning landscape, is to cut down on the use of your car. You could catch a coach or train to your holiday destination, or even if you wanted to plan a few car free days out whilst here then a day out cycling, walking, catching a local bus or even hiring an electric scooter lets you slow down and explore areas of the county which you might miss when travelling by car.

D – Do Your Bit 

Everyone can do their bit to help the environment, even making just one or two small changes will have an effect, but the more each of us do, not just at home but at work and on holiday, will help in the fight against climate change and our impact on the world. 

E – Energy

Whether it’s a biomass boiler, hydro power, wind turbine or solar panels there is a wide range of sustainable and renewable energy being used by tourism businesses across the region.     

F - Fabric Bags

We’re all used to taking our re-usable bags with us when we go shopping at home, but don’t forget to pack some for your holiday too. 

G - Green Businesses 

Whether it’s renewable energy, biodegradable food packaging, electric vehicles used on site, paperless booking or environmentally friendly toiletries, South Devon’s tourism businesses are implementing a whole host of green initiatives and policies. They’ll be sharing news of their green schemes and accreditations on their websites and social media accounts.   

H - Have Fun

Travelling responsively doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Whether its walking and exploring new places instead of taking the car, joining a beach clean day, or taking part in a bird or insect count to track numbers, there are lots of fun, educational and exciting green activities which can be included in your holiday planning.    

I - Independent & Local 

Shopping independently and locally can not only help reduce plastic and help reduce transportation emissions, but it can also has a huge positive benefit on the local economy by supporting local jobs and supply chains. 

J – Just Leave the 'Do Not Disturb' Sign Up

From new towels, changing bedding, using cleaning products or replacing part used toiletries, if you don’t need your room cleaned leaving the 'Do Not Disturb' sign up will save on water and energy in laundering items and chemicals from cleaning your room daily. 

K – Keepsakes

Wherever you go for your holidays you’ll find lots of fantastic gifts and keepsakes to buy as a reminder of your travels. When picking a souvenir or present think about what you are buying, will it break easily, get forgotten about and end up in the bin or is it wrapped in unnecessary plastic? Can you find souvenirs made from wood, sustainable or recycled materials or if you’re going home soon think about picking an edible present which will be enjoyed and the wrapping recycled or composted.  

L - Lists 

If you want to cut down on buying unnecessary plastic, or making unnecessary journeys in your car heading to the shops to pick up bits you’ve forgotten, then make a list before you start packing. Have a think about what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be going and what you might need during your break and make a note of it. If you’re near the beach take your bucket and spade, if you’re self catering take washing up and condiments or research local bus stops so it’s not a rush in the morning.     

M - Mend Things

Just because something rips, breaks or gets a hole in it it doesn’t mean it has to be thrown away. Even if you don’t have the tools or materials to fix it while you’re on holiday, you can always take it home and mend it later. 

N - Nature

Discarded rubbish, global warming and air and water pollution doesn’t just effect humans, it’s also having a massive effect on nature and the plants and animals that live in the oceans and across the land. We all need to do our bit so that we can protect the world for every living thing. 

O – Out of Season

Devon is home to many wonderful food and drink producers who use the land and sea to grow, rear and make local seasonal products. By avoiding out of season foods and sticking to local products which are grown and served up within days and sometimes hours of when they are picked, you’ll be cutting down on food miles and in season food also taste so much better. 

P - Plastic Alternatives 

There is a wide range of plastic alternatives already on the market with more coming all the time. As well as fabric shopping bags and metal drinks bottles which we’re all aware of, you can get shampoo blocks which are wrapped in paper, bamboo toothbrushes, paper and bamboo straws and even natural beeswax coated cloth wraps which can be used instead of plastic cling film.  

Q - Quality 

If you’re going to buy something new for your holiday, a new suitcase, a tent or hiking gear, try and look for options which are not only ethically and sustainably made, but also look for quality. By buying the highest quality you can within your budget, it will last a lot longer than the cheaper options, helping to keep broken items out of land fill and saving you money in the long run.    

R - Re-fill Shops and Re-usable tabs

As we think more and more about what and how we buy stuff a larger number of re-fill shops are opening and we have our fair share in Devon. If you’re going on a self catering break popping to a re-fill shop will allow you to buy the amount of pasta, beans, cereal and rice that you need for your stay minimising waste and you can use your own reusable container.

S - Staycations 

By taking a staycation in the UK you not only get to enjoy all the wonderful areas of this diverse and spectacular country but by not flying in an airplane you’ll be dramatically reducing the air miles of your holiday and the CO2 emissions that come with flying.

T - Take it Home 

Every council and even county has different ways to collect and recycle their rubbish. If you’re out and about and can’t find the correct bin or aren’t sure where to take your rubbish, take it back to your holiday accommodation or even home where recycling options are available. And if you can’t find a litter bin or they are full from a busy day, don’t leave your rubbish lying around, take it home or keep it with you until you find a suitable place to dispose of it. 

U – Unused Maps and Brochures

If you’ve picked up lots of maps, leaflets and brochures after your visit to South Devon return unused ones to the Visitor Information Centre or your accommodation reception, so other guests can use them and get inspiration on where to visit. Or you can access apps and downloadable maps instead on your phone or tablet to cut down on paper waste.

V – Vegetables

Meat and meat products have a higher environmental impact than plant-based products. And when visiting a county like Devon which is so rich in farm land you’ll be surrounded by fresh local vegetables which you won’t be disappointed to include in your meals. 

X - eXplore New Places

OK, so it’s not quite X, but it’s pretty close. By walking, cycling or taking holiday’s closer to home you’re not only reducing the impact of your travels but you get to explore some great new places that you might not have thought of visiting before.  

W - Water 

Saving water isn’t just something we should do at home, there are a few easy ways you can cut your water usage on holiday. If there’s a laundrette, washing machine or dish washer at your accommodation try not to put half loads through or use the eco load. You could also be a minute quicker in the shower or if washing your car before the journey, use a bucket and sponge.  

Z – Zoo’s 

Many of the countries zoo, animal and environmental attractions are heavily involved in conservation work. By visiting these attractions you are not only supporting this vital work but their education work can make for an informative and awesome day out for the whole family.

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