This year, travelling for the holidays comes with an added dimension of stress for many. We all understand that we should be doing all we can to keep ourselves and others around us safe and well. If you are also trying to live in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way, the holidays can be even more of a minefield. But there are ways to travel more sustainably this holiday season that could help you to enjoy a worry-free holiday.
Ask Yourself, Do You Really Need To Travel At All?
First of all, it is worthwhile mentioning that the safest and most sustainable thing to do over the holidays is simply to stay home. We all like to be around our loved ones for the holidays – but it is important to ask yourself whether travel is really necessary. This year has taught us that we can often stay connected online, even when we are physically separated.
The best thing for the grandparents, for example, might not be to have the family descend. Instead, you could have them be part of your day by setting up a video call – so they can 'be there' at the table, and when kids are opening their presents... it might not be ideal. But this year at least, it might be the best way to have a worry-free holiday and keep everyone safe.
Co-ordinate Travel Plans
If you do decide to travel to stay with friends or family over the holiday season (and this is permitted where you live) then it is a good idea to co-ordinate your travel plans with anyone else who is also travelling. For example, siblings who might also be travelling to see your parents this year. Think about where everyone is travelling from, and whether it might be possible to safely car share to your destination. (Bear in mind that if you have not been interacting, it may not be the best idea to congregate with others at this time.)
But if you deem in sensible, travelling in one vehicle will be better for the planet than taking to the road in multiple vehicles. You might even be able to arrange to hire an electric vehicle, or at least a more fuel-saving vehicle, for the trip.
Meet At A Mid-Point, To Cut Mileage
If you are planning to meet up briefly with several different friends or family members, consider cutting down on your carbon emissions (and saving time) by meeting at a mid point rather than travelling around from one home to the next. Ideally, meet outdoors to cut down on the risks of transmission and – as an added bonus – to enjoy the wonders of the natural world. Don't do the rounds from one point to the next to the next – make a sensible rendezvous point and meet all the different people there over the course of a day. If you can walk there – that is even better. Slow travel options are always better for people and planet.
This Christmas, think about keeping everyone you love, and our beautiful planet safe. Travel as little as possible, be organised, and be adaptable. This Christmas might not be the same as the one before. But if we all behave in a conscientious and sensible way, we can all enjoy many more to come.
Respecting Safety Protocols and Celebrate Holiday Responsibly
In this uncertain time, maintaining common health is something we must prioritize. Even if we can't travel, just think of it as protection for ourselves and our loved ones. Instead of gathering in crowded places, let's gather at home and make healthy homemade food. It will also reduce waste! Sharing with friends will make the moment more meaningful and festive.
Happy Holiday, Net Zero Fam! Be safe and take care!