Eco-Friendly Travel is Possible in Prague!
It’s difficult to do much these days or go many places without seeing or hearing something about how our everyday actions, habits and travels are not eco-friendly and are potentially damaging the environment, and is certainly true for the travel industry. Recent advocacy from vibrant, energetic individuals such as Greta Thunberg, as well as long-time and distinguished figures such as David Attenborough and the Blue Planet II team, have caused quite a stir among politicians, policy makers, advocates and common folk alike in regards to the harm that travel can have on Mother Nature.
Luckily, there are many ways in which we can all be a bit more environmentally conscious when traveling and make a difference, small or large, in our daily lives and when traveling, to help reduce our carbon footprints. We invite you to have a look at our top 5 ways that you can travel in an eco-friendly manner and help reduce your carbon footprint while traveling by reading below and then go out and try some of these today, on your next vacation or when you are visiting friends in a few weeks. Go ahead, your planet will thank you 🙂
We have outlined a few ways in which interested travelers can learn how to be a bit more eco-friendly while traveling and help to reduce their carbon footprint when traveling to Prague and the Czech Republic. And of course, feel free to use these tips for your daily life as well!
5 METHODS HOW TO ENGAGE IN ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVEL IN PRAGUE AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
1. Take the No-Plastic Challenge:
Plastic bottles and plastic bags are two of the worst polluters in the world. They seem so handy and convenient in the moment, but they have lasting effects. In the case of plastic bottles, they can take nearly 500 years to decompose and in the case of plastic bags, up to 1,000 years!
Plastic bottles and plastic bags, due to their light weight, can easily be blown out of trash cans and become litter on the streets. From there they can end up in ponds, rivers, lakes and eventually the ocean. This can have devastating effects on the plant and animal life in these bodies of water.
And remember that while recycling is important, it is much better and more efficient to simply consume less and thereby reduce our waste production. In order to do so, we can all reduce the number of plastic bottles and bags we decide to buy/use in our daily lives, including when traveling. In most Czech supermarkets, they will charge you a small fee if you request a plastic bag. But why not bring a fabric tote bag from home? They fold up nicely and can be very useful during your trip, whether out for a day tour in Prague and can’t fit everything in your normal bag, or when you go souvenir shopping. Better yet, buy yourself a tote bag as a souvenir so that you’ll have something that you can use during your time in Prague as well as a memory of Prague once you’ve gone back home. It’s a win-win situation!
For plastic bottles, you can also bring one from home or buy a new one as a souvenir when you first arrive. That way you are both sure to drink enough water during the day and also you are drastically reducing the number of water bottles you would buy. If you follow the doctor’s order of 8 glasses of water a day (about 2 liters), that would be anywhere from 2-6 (depending on the size bottle you buy) plastic bottles / person / day if you are traveling.
The great thing about Prague and the Czech Republic is that all tap water is drinkable! So you can fill up your water in the hotel or your accommodation before you set out for your spectacular day of sightseeing around town.
2. Pay to offset your carbon footprint:
You may have seen this offer before when buying a plane ticket, “Pay to offset your carbon footprint” or “Make a donation to reduce your carbon footprint” or “Buy carbon credits here.”
These programs and others like them receive your payments and use them for projects around the globe that are taking steps to reduce our carbon footprints.
Excursions to do in Prague and ISLANDICA are happy to be able to offer the opportunity for all people to donate a small sum of money to offset their trips to and within the Czech Republic. This option will be made available at the time of booking the trip. The entire sum of the donation (none of which stays in our company, nor do we receive any commission or payment for this service) is used to plant trees here in the Czech Republic to replace the hundreds of thousands that have been cut down in recent years for farming purposes.
3. Take the ‘No-Towel Policy’ (or at least reuse your towels while in one location).
Most people do not change their towels nor their bed sheets daily while at home, so why do so when you are on the road?
National Geographic reported that in the US, laundry use at hotels and accommodation accounts for 16% of all water usage (second only to toilets and showers–see below about reducing showers). Imagine if you brought your own towel so that valuable resources were not used to wash towels after every guest.
Another study done in the Canary Islands at a luxury hotel determined that by simply reminding visitors to reuse their towels, there would be a yearly reduction of water usage by 129,000 liters which would therefore reduce carbon emissions from this hotel by 1,676 kg.
4. Use Public Transportation
Prague in particular is known for having EXCELLENT public transportation. There are 4 metro lines as well as countless trams and buses, so that you can take some form of public transport at any time of day to nearly anywhere in the city and surrounding areas that you need or want to do. And to top it off, the price is amazingly cheap. (See more here about how to use public transportation in Prague.)
Efficient and reliable public transportation is not something you are guaranteed in every country you visit. In some places, you’ll be waiting hours to get a bus out of town. In other countries, you might not even have the option to take a public bus or tram but instead be obliged to take a car, whether rented or through a taxi service, to get anywhere. Many Americans in particular are pleasantly surprised at the ease at which they can take the trams throughout Prague, enjoying their journey as they go.
But you’re in luck because you’ve chosen to visit Prague and the Czech Republic, where you have both excellent service and a very low price for all forms of public transportation. And it’s just one more adventure to check off your list.
5. Travel locally:
We all travel for different reasons and to see and experience different things. Some people travel to see the tallest mountain, the largest lake, the most incredible building or the most beautiful painting. And each person should travel according to their tastes, their desires and their abilities so that their experience of the journey is a pleasant, positive and enlightening one.
Travel also allows us the opportunity to learn about new cultures and new people and also more importantly to learn FROM them. It is one thing to walk past houses and restaurants that seem full of locals but never enter, it is an entirely different experience to be able to enter these locations and speak with them and understand for good or for bad, the things that make us different, but surprisingly so, the things that we all share in common.
This is why To Do In Prague and ISLANDICA offer specialized tours which give visitors to Prague this utterly amazing and unique experience to meet locals, hear from them, learn from them and share a meal with them, all in order to fully appreciate the local culture and customs.
This wonderful encounter also gives locals the opportunity to interact with people from places that they may never visit.
We do not believe that travel should cease to exist, but we do believe that we can all do our individual part to make a difference in our lives, whether at home, at the office or on the road. Our eco-friendly travel tips are a great way to start you down the path to helping the planet by reducing your carbon footprint and helping us all breath a bit easier. Come enjoy Prague and the Czech Republic, it is a beautiful city and a remarkable country. And along the way, do something that will make an impact on the places you will come to fall in love with.