Close Menu

Holiday footprints – environmental case study

Footprints in the sand

Holiday footprints – environmental case study

Article Written:

We often hear that flying is bad for the environment, but just how much difference do your holiday choices make?

I’m shocked honestly. It’ s a big difference.

Eco Residents group member

To investigate, our Eco Residents looked at two different holidays and worked out their carbon footprints. A carbon footprint is a measure of how much greenhouse gas is produced by making, doing, using or disposing of something.

To work out the carbon footprints of the holidays, they added together footprints for travel, food and accommodation. The figures came from the book How Bad are Bananas by Mike Berners-Lee, who is well respected in environmental work.

One holiday was a week in a caravan in Wales. The other was a week in a hotel in Menorca. Nobody was surprised that the Menorca trip had a higher carbon footprint, but everyone was shocked by just how big the difference was.

The Wales trip worked out to have a footprint of 500kg CO2e, while the Menorca trip was over seven times higher at 3,600kg CO2e!

A large part of the difference was the flight. The other major difference was that hotels often don’t focus on environmental concerns, with aircon and heating that can’t be controlled and food that all about luxury. Self-catering in a caravan gives a lot more direct control (and cost), meaning people are typically a lot less wasteful.

You can read the full report for more details.