July marks ‘Make Holidays Greener Month’ and this year, the focus has been on beach clean-ups.
Did you know…?
- Around 6.4 million tonnes of litter enter the seas and oceans every year
- About 50 - 80% of sea turtles found dead are known to have ingested litter
- It is estimated that on average there are more than 13,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square kilometre of ocean
As always, here at Explore, our staff and customers have been rolling up their sleeves to get involved in Make Holidays Greener Month, and we hope you can too. Here are just some of the beaches our groups have been cleaning: Cayo Levisa beach (Cuba), Essaouira (Morocco), Granada city beach on Lake Nicaragua (Nicaragua), Laughing Bird Caye (Belize), Manuel Antoinio beach (Costa Rica) and Orikum beach (Albania).
Although you can rest assured that when travelling on an Explore tour, you are travelling on a responsible one, there’s always more you can do to make your experience an even greener one. Explore already use local and family run hotels and restaurants, travel on local transport, support local charities and interact with the local people as much as possible (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!) but there’s always more that can be done.
Whenever you are travelling, why not consider making some small changes to the way you travel to further reduce your impact on the environment? Here are just a few tips from our friends at Make Holidays Greener...
- Reduce. Remove packaging before you travel and, if you can, take any new packaging back with you to dispose of properly at home. This is particularly important if you are visiting island nations where recycling or landfill might be limited.
- Re-use. Take a re-useable water bottle and bags to the beach with you rather than relying on disposable plastic – a major source of pollution.
- Down the drain. Some areas of ocean contain six times more microscopic plastic particles than plankton. Avoid contributing to the "plastic soup" by avoiding bathroom products that contain microplastic particles (for example some exfoliating scrubs) and don't use the toilet to flush away objects that might end up as ocean litter.
- Choose sensible souvenirs. Large numbers of animals, like corals, sponges and shells, are taken off the reef every year and sold to tourists as souvenirs and jewellery. Reef animals are already a gift – don’t buy them as presents.
- Snorkel safely. Coral reefs are incredibly fragile and can take many decades to grow. Practise your snorkelling away from the reef, and be aware of where your fins are – try not to stir up sediment as this can smother animals living on the reef. Do not touch or stand on the reef or other marine life – even the lightest touch will damage coral.
- When you dispose of your litter take care not to add to already overflowing public bins. Also, ask your hotel about its recycling policy and give feedback about the facilities on the beach.
- Choose sustainable seafood. Avoid fish that are endangered, including shark and bluefin tuna. Check out the Marine Conservation Society's www.fishonline.org and the Pocket Good Fish Guide for a list of fish to avoid.
- Balance your carbon emissions. Although you don’t need to worry about this when travelling with Explore! We offset the carbon emissions from all of our staff and customers flights through our partnership with Cool Earth. Further information can be found here.