How to Be An Eco-Friendly Tourist in London
London is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, with around 30 million visitors every year. But whether you’re coming from afar to experience all the city has to offer, or you’re one of the 8 million people who call it home, it’s worth being mindful of waste and the environment. (We already have enough pigeons. We don’t need any more). That’s why we’ve come up with some easy ways on how to be an eco-friendly tourist in London.
6 Ways to Be An Eco-Friendly Tourist in London
Hotels can be green too
When looking for a place to stay, keep an eye out for eco-minded hotels. So that even when you’re maxing out your fun of the city, you can be sure you’re minimising your impact on the planet, without even lifting a finger. But really, wherever you’re staying, ward off nosy neighbours and save the world by switching lights off. And if you’re lucky enough to have air con, make sure to turn it before you go exploring. Finally, don't use a different towel to dry every limb, one is quite enough, and avoid having long showers. Shorter showers are better for power.
Black bin, green bin
We all know that recycling can be a bit of a minefield. So many bins, so many possibilities. Never fear, we’re here to tell you that green is good. That’s the recycling bin, and handily, most packaging in the UK has numbers on them to let you know if they can be recycled. Look out for the numbers 1 and 2 on the underside of the packaging. These mean you can safely and confidently throw them in the green bin. Just don’t forget to rinse them out before you do. There’s nothing worse than finding a stray baked bean nestled in your recycled coffee cup. Again.
Be thirsty for the environment
With so much to explore in England’s capital, you’ll need to quench your thirst at some point. If you want to stay hydrated on the move, be sure to pack a reusable bottle and coffee cup for those ice-cold lattes. Trust us, it gets pretty warm on the tube. And if you’ve thought ahead and brought your own lunch, pack some cutlery too. Single-use knives and forks are notoriously bad for the environment, and they’re frankly pretty rubbish at picking up anything besides a slice of cucumber.
Strength in (smaller) numbers
If you’re looking to tour any number of the cultural delights London has to offer, we wouldn’t blame you. When you're looking at how to be an eco-friendly tourist in London, be mindful that before you join a tour, group size matters. Why? Not because people are the worst, but because smaller groups tend to have a smaller impact on the environment. So always ask what the size of the group is before joining, and if the groups are too big, just wait for a smaller group to come along. Remember - be wise. Downsize.
Let’s get digital
With so much to do and see, you’re going to need lots of tickets, passes and wristbands. But juggling all of these every day will be an absolute nightmare. The ancient proverb states that if the wind blows your ticket away, it’ll ruin your whole day. It does! But fear not - it’s 2019. Who needs tickets, when you have a phone? And with The London Pass’ mobile sightseeing pass, you can visit over 80 of London’s top attractions like the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey, all with a quick flash of your phone.
And when your day of fun is at an end, you’ll likely be lugging around your fair share of Big Ben statues, British flags and Spice Girls memorabilia. That’s an awful lot to carry in your two human hands now, isn’t it? But wait! Don’t reach for the evil plastic bag. Go tote-ally plastic-free with a tote bag. They’ve got enough room to carry around all your essentials like water (in a reusable bottle, remember) and some sweet sunglasses, with more than enough room for all that pride you’ll feel for staying sustainable. And for the fashion-conscious, there are even some with inspiring messages on them like ‘Don’t Look At Me’. Very cool. These are just some of the ways you can go green while sightseeing in London. Are there any we missed? We'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. And if you want to know all the places you can be a conscientious tourist AT, check out the best places to go this summer.