Eating the food, drinking the local tipple and buying souvenirs are just a few ways we try and immerse ourselves in a destination. We want to embrace the culture and truly enjoy our time on holiday. But what about our holiday footprint? Are we paying enough attention to the effect we leave on the local environment once we have packed our cases and departed?
Here at James Villas we’re making a conscious effort to go greener.
For villas that have gone the extra mile to reduce their impact on the environment we now give them an award, also making it easier for our green holidaymakers to choose a home away from home that suits them.
Contributing to the local community can be a great way to do your bit, so there are lots of fun ways to reduce the impact of your stay. We’ve shared our top tips for not only having an amazing time, but for also doing your bit for the environment…
Eat local drink local
Shopping for food produced locally not only tastes better but also supports local businesses and helps the economy. Long after you have left your contribution it will help in raising the local living standards. Browsing the local market is a great way to spend the morning, so steer away from imported products and pick up some delicious fresh treats here instead.
Look after the natural environment
In the words of Chief Seattle: ‘Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints’.
When you are packing your bags make a point of leaving any surplus rubbish at home to reduce pressure on the recycling facilities in your holiday destination. Plastic packaging or cardboard, like a toothpaste box for example will just take up room in your case – so it’s a win win!
Disposing of your litter carefully is another important tip. Remember in hot countries fires start very quickly; so an empty bottle or a badly put out cigarette stub can in fact be a real hazard. You’d be surprised at how many people need reminding to not drop litter in the street, and leaving rubbish on the beach can get swept in and pollute the ocean.
Buy local souvenirs
With shops full of imported products to buy, why not hunt a little deeper and buy a handicraft made by the local community? Not only will you have an authentic souvenir as a memory of your holiday, but you will have contributed to local businesses and enterprises. A unique piece of pottery or jewellery make really special gifts!
Talk to the locals
You’d be surprised by how much the locals appreciate visitors trying to speak their language. They may return your simple phrase with a long string of incomprehensible words – but hey, it’s important to try! With a few hand signals and help from a phrase book you will soon be able to understand one another. This is a fabulous way to not only stretch your own mind but to gain insights into local customs and traditions.
With this in mind we have some handy phrases for our destinations to help you learn the lingo. Why not visit our Facebook page to download them? They can be saved to your phone and glanced at when on holiday!
Respect the local customs
Be aware that walking around town with no t-shirt on may not be a problem for you, but can be terribly offensive to others. Read up on local dress code and etiquette especially at religious and cultural events.
Say no to plastic
Make a mental note to say no to plastic, keep a fabric reusable shopping bag in your holdall or beach bag and when buying goods in the supermarkets steer clear of plastic containers, cups and straws.
Switch it off
Yes, we sound like mum but it’s true! With just a little care and attention you can make a big difference. By turning off electrical appliances when you leave your villa, you will reduce your carbon footprint on holiday and help the environment.
How about showering together? Ok, maybe that’s a bit far! But by taking a shower rather than a bath and limiting it to 3 minutes per day you can help save water.
Spread the word
There is nothing like an honest review to raise awareness which promotes sustainable practices and responsible travel. Once others see people acting in a certain way, they too will follow. Use your social media channels and shout about it!