Happy Earth Day everybody! 🌍
At Vagabond & Driftwood, we are always trying to make our impacts on planet and community more positive.
Top of our list in 2023 are our wonderful guests!
So read on, intrepid Ireland travellers, for our practical tips on travelling more sustainably...
🧋Avoid Single-Use Plastic
Combatting the climate emergency doesn't have to be complicated.
Break it down and there are so many easy ways that we can help make more positive impacts.
Consider bringing a reusable cup along with you when you're grabbing a beverage. For example, try a Keep Cup
Or, if you’re taking a small-group Ireland tour with us, use our compostable coffee cups.
That way, your tea or coffees won’t contribute to plastic waste.
Go one step further and use a reusable flask or water bottle instead of buying bottled water in plastic.
Many flasks have filters. But remember that water quality isn’t an issue in Ireland. Water is perfectly drinkable from most taps.
💡 Travel Tip: Use the convenient Tap Map to find free places where you can refill your water bottle, all around Ireland.
🧳 Travel Light
We always recommend travelling light (check out our packing guide for specific packing tips).
Travelling light is easier on your mind, body and wallet.
You'll avoid check baggage fees. You'll also avoid lugging multiple large bags through airports and hotels.
There are planetary and community benefits to travelling light too.
With lighter baggage, your aircraft will be carrying less weight and, therefore, burn less aviation fuel.
(Buy Local Instead...)
If you need extras when you reach Ireland, consider buying from a local retail outlet or, even better, an artisan producer.
Buying local keeps your cash in the Irish economy, with communities rather than corporations benefitting.
This adds an extra beneficial layer of positive impact to your vacation.
How do you know which businesses support the local Irish economy?
If in doubt, look for the Guaranteed Irish symbol.
Only companies that, “provide quality jobs, support local communities and are committed to Irish provenance” are Guaranteed Irish.
🤝 Seek Out Green Credentials
Look out for eco certifications when travelling.
Once you've done it a few times, choosing a product or service based on certification forms a habit.
Environmental and community accreditation schemes exist to help you make better choices when planning a trip and travelling.
When you’re in Ireland, look out for the distinctive green membership badge of Sustainable Travel Ireland, our sister company.
Seeing this badge above the door should reassure you that a business and its staff are actively reducing their environmental impacts.
Internationally, B Corp is one of the leading sustainability standards.
B Corps place as much importance on social and environmental goals as on profits.
As a B Corp, we must be transparent and accountable to our guests, our team and the wider community.
(Eat Organic & Sustainable Foods)
Look out for organic food and drink in Irish shops. This means that the food product has been grown or reared without the use of harmful chemicals.
The Irish organic standard is from IOFGA. In Ireland, you may also come across foods carrying the UK organic certification, from the Soil Association.
At home, look out for the USDA or Organic Canada Brands.
Read VagaGuide Brian's favourite sustainable restaurants in Dublin
🚊 Hop On A Bike, Bus, Train Or Tram In Dublin
It’s so easy to go green while exploring Ireland’s amazing cities.
Dublin has an excellent bus, tram and rail system.
The same goes for Cork. Belfast is also well-served by public transport.
If you are comfortable on a bike saddle, a whole new world opens up. You have a choice of two public bike rental schemes in Dublin, one in Belfast and one in Cork.
Simply purchase a day pass for a few euros, find your nearest bike and away you go!
Pedalling your way around all the best bits means you’ll also a) save cash and b) burn off the calories from pints an Irish breakfasts!
💡 Travel Tip: Affordable all-day, pre-paid Leap tickets are your best bet for daytrips to some beautiful spots in Dublin and beyond.
Read our expert guide to Easy Day Trips from Dublin by Public Transport
🤳 Don’t Contribute To Over-Tourism
Avoid major tourist traps wherever you go and you’ll get to see the real Ireland.
The added bonus is that you’ll skip the queues and lower your costs at the same time!
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your dream destination, only to find it thronged with selfie-stick wielding travellers.
Our simple solution to over-tourism is to head off the beaten track.
We love introducing guests to wild and remote destinations around Ireland.
The hidden gems that you won't find in guidebooks.
This has twin effects...
You'll be helping protect nature, biodiversity and landscapes
You'll also be supporting marginal communities who don’t otherwise benefit from mainstream tourism.
Of course, sometimes you just won't be able to avoid major attractions.
When we visit the Cliffs of Moher, we try to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon, to avoid congestion.
🐌 Practice Slow Travel
What is slow travel?
We reckon it's just another way of saying “responsible travel”.
Think about the journey to your destination as part of the vacation rather than something to be endured.
Try and choose modes of transport that emit less. That means choosing trains and ferries over cars and planes.
For many of you, of course, reaching Ireland by sea or rail is just not feasible.
Once you reach our little island, there are a myriad of ways you could practice slow travel.
You could choose to take longer vacations but travel less often, for example.
This allows you to stay in Ireland for longer and really get to know it properly.
Our 12 Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure — an epic coast-to-coast tour of the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland — is the perfect way to maximise your time in Ireland.
🛫 Fly Green
Let's face it, flying ain't green.
Airplanes are not going to be sustainable until airlines start using more green aviation fuel .
Or alternative energy sources like hydrogen are developed further.
The central problem is that most North American visitors are forced to fly to get to Ireland.
The good news is that, if you have to fly, you can make greener choices.
Before booking, consider which airlines are focusing on sustainability.
Flight comparison services like Skyscanner actually rate airlines by their fuel consumption.
Look for the 'Greener flights' filter when you search.
When choosing seats, fly economy class.
Economy means more air passengers per plane and a more efficient use of that polluting aviation fuel.
🌳 Offset Your Emissions
We offset the emissions for every guest by planting a native tree here in Ireland.
But you don’t have to wait to take a Vagabond or Driftwood Tour to offset emissions from other vacations or your household.
Sponsor a native tree to be planted in Ireland with Wolfgang Reforest.
Or simply avail of the offsetting option that your airline will undoubtedly offer you at the online checkout.
Calculate the carbon emitted by your flight right here, right now, with this free and easy-to-use calculator tool:
If you live in the USA, you can use this simple calculator tool to estimate the carbon emissions footprint of your entire household.
Ready To Start Planning?
Our friendly, expert team are here to answer any queries you may have about sustainable travel to Ireland in 2023 or 2024.
Get in touch with John and Deirdre on our Contact Us page.