Respecting the environment
Track your carbon footprint and follow some tips for saving energy and resources and reducing your emissions.
Most Europeans want to play their part in tackling the problems of climate change and protecting the environment. Here are some ideas for travellers wanting to save energy and resources and reduce their emissions.
- Track your carbon footprint by downloading mobGAS free onto your mobile phone. Then you can calculate the impact that your daily activities (transport, cooking, lighting, use of electronic appliances) are having on the environment and get practical tips on how to reduce that impact.
- When you can, use public transport, cycle or walk instead of driving.
- For journeys of a few hundred kilometres or less, consider taking the bus or train instead of flying.
- If you are driving, keep the engine, tyres and filters in good condition to save emissions.
- When buying a new car, choose a small fuel-efficient model and check its CO2 emissions.
- To help you find greener products, look for , the EU Ecolabel, on everyday consumer goods from shampoos to shoes.
- You can also use the EU Ecolabel to find an environmentally friendly hotel, bed and breakfast, youth hostel or campsite. The EU Ecolabel tells you that the tourist accommodation or campsite limits its energy and water consumption, reduces waste and uses renewable energy sources. Browse through the Ecolabel catalogue or find information about the Ecolabel scheme.
- Choose a green destination. You could visit a European Green Capital since they are chosen for their high environmental standards.
- Use bottled water sparingly. Tap water is safe to drink in Europe. Bottled water uses energy in production and marketing and plastic bottles can end up as litter.
- Buy seasonal fruit and vegetables from local sources to avoid the energy and resources used to transport goods long distances or for intensive production in greenhouses.
- Choose products with less packaging to cut down on waste.
- Take a shower rather than a bath - it can take up to four times less energy.
- To save energy, switch off lights and appliances and don’t leave them on standby.
- Don’t leave your mobile charger plugged in when you have finished charging your phone - it still uses electricity even if the phone is not attached.
- Hang your washing out to dry if possible, instead of using an electric drier.
- Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
Why not check out the EU resource efficiency website Generation Awake and start to think more carefully about the choices you make. The website has tips on small changes you can make in your daily life. There is also a special Facebook page where you can sign up for specific challenges.