Spending summer in a two-piece? In a cosy mountainside cabin? In your garden with a drink in one hand and not a single care in the other?

Wherever your summer holiday may be, make sure it’s plastic-free.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle: we’ve heard the phrase countless times yet aren’t always told how to apply sustainability to our daily lives beyond ditching plastic straws and keeping a stack of reusable bags in our coat closets. 

And that goes double for holidaying sustainably during the summer months when the temptations of air conditioning, single-use amenities, and odour-free private transportation urge us to think selfishly, not sustainably. 

So let’s upcycle some old habits and create new ones with Trainline’s summer sustainability tips.

Image credit, iStock. 

Simple ways to reduce your plastic use when travelling

First thing’s first: mark your calendars for Plastic Free July

This annual global movement by the Plastic Free Foundation encourages all of us to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. It provides educational resources to help us refuse these instantly-disposable items at home, in school, at work, and even when visiting restaurants or cafes. 

(Cheat code: You can use these tips in the 11 other months, too, to stay plastic-free all year.)

Whether you’re travelling around the block or around the world, you can reduce your plastic use in a number of ways, including:

  • Bring your own reusable bottles, cutlery, handkerchiefs, and straws. 
  • Use a reusable bag when shopping or opt for a recyclable paper bag at grocery stores.
  • Refrain from using lotions or cleaners with microbeads.
  • Make sure you’re recycling plastics according to your destination’s laws and limitations.

Image credit, iStock, Imgorthand. 

How to have a more sustainable summer in 4 easy steps 

#1: Plan for Plastic-Free Packing

Prior preparation prevents plastic-producing practices. If you want to keep your single-use plastic use to a minimum, you’ll need to plan ahead. Go through your normal packing list and identify single-use plastic items that you can avoid. For instance, instead of bringing a disposable plastic bottle of hand sanitizer or toothpaste, purchase reusable silicone containers that you can refill. 

#2: Seek Out Green Activities & Accommodations

Although some companies do intentionally or accidentally mislead consumers about their sustainability practices (which is known as greenwashing), there are still plenty of players in the tourism industry who are truly trying to be as sustainable, regenerative, or eco-conscious as possible. Research tour operators and hotels, noting not only their claims of green operations but also any case studies, awards, or third-party articles that prove they’re making sustainability a priority

#3: Research Your Destination’s Sustainability Commitments

You’re doing your part to stay sustainable, but is your destination just as eco-conscious? Dozens of countries are pledging carbon neutrality within the near future and many encourage travelers to help them reach their sustainability goals. If your destination is carbon-conscious, research how you can support their efforts in-country. If they aren’t, investigate other ways you can interact with the destination as responsibly as possible. 

#4: Let Trainline Help 

We don’t mean to toot our own train horn, but environmental sustainability is fundamental to our process. Rail travel is an alternative to flying that creates less CO2 emissions, and where our rails don’t roam, our bus routes offer an opportunity to avoid excess CO2 emissions created by single-passenger rideshares. That means you can generate up to 7x less CO2 and avoid the hassle of air travel by choosing a train over a plane.(1) Plus, you can download the Trainline app to swap paper tickets for digital tickets that won’t end up in a landfill.

Swap to train and save the planet one journey at a time

Swapping to train is one of the biggest impacts you can make on your carbon footprint(2), and we think that’s pretty amazing. So, join us in moving just one journey a year you would otherwise have taken by car or plane, to rail.

Header image credit, iStock, Visual Art by Gajic. 

Pledge a journey

See www.icamebytrain.com/FAQs for the facts

(1) 7 x better: train travel is 7 x less polluting than planes / travelling by train instead of plane creates 7 x less CO2

Calculations are based on CO2 / passenger km:
Plane = Domestic flight with radiative forcing 0.24455 kg CO2/passenger km
Train = National Rail 0.0351 kg CO2/passenger km
0.24455 / 0.0351 = 6.967. Plane emissions are 6.97 times greater than train emissions.
Statistics and conversion factors published in the governments’ greenhouse gas reporting conversion factors published 2 June 2021 and revised in January 2022.

(2) https://www.thetrainline.com/terms/sustainability-faqs