Travel Magazine

Hippy Holidays - Low Impact Lanzarote

By Eyeandpen @eyeandpen
Picture Conscientious travellers want to minimise their impact on their chosen destination. But there's no denying that travel in the modern world can have a huge, and often damaging, impact on the environment and local people. So how can you enjoy a trip to Lanzarote while still supporting sustainable tourism? Getting around
The sad fact for eco-friendly travellers is that air travel is very environmentally unfriendly. Unfortunately, there's very little alternative to flying to Lanzarote. However, Lanzarote Airport is making efforts to reduce its environmental impact, which is a step in the right direction. There are occasional ferries to the island, but since you'll probably have to fly to Spain anyway that doesn't really offer much of an improvement. What you can do though is use more environmentally-friendly methods of getting around the island. Public transport offers several bus lines, including routes from the airport.
Perhaps the best method of getting around is to hire a bike, if your fitness levels allow it. This also makes for a more leisurely and pleasant way of seeing the island, as you can go wherever you wish rather than having to follow bus routes. The island can be very windy though, which can make cycling a challenge on some days. A mix of public transport and bike hire could be the perfect green transport for your Lanzarote trip. You can also opt for "four-legged transport" - what about a horse ride, or even a camel trek!
A car is often the most practical way for a family to get around, especially if you have small children. If you need to hire a car, why not enquire about renting an electric vehicle? An island is the perfect place for this, as you won't be traveling the same distances as you would on the mainland, nor will you be traveling on motorways (which don't always have charging stations), so you don't have to worry too much about running out of juice on a long journey! In fact, you should be able to get several days’ worth of journeys out of a full charge on the island.
Low impact accommodation
Your choice of accommodation can also support responsible tourism. Camping is a great option for green travellers, with Lanzarote's warm climate making this pretty much a year-round option. There are three official sites, and, even better, they're free! Remember to dispose of your rubbish in the bins and be careful when cooking to avoid a risk of fire breaking out. There is also eco-friendly accommodation designed specifically to support local businesses and reduce the impact on both local residents and the island's environment. You can stay in a yurt or other "green" accommodation and use green energy throughout your stay, meaning that your conscience is clear but you can still enjoy modern comforts!
Respect the environment
Simple lifestyle choices can also help. Be careful to dispose of your rubbish responsibly, recycle wherever possible and avoid using plastic if you can. A good alternative is to carry a reusable bottle. And when you shower, be quick; water can be a scarce resource on islands.
Support local businesses and be courteous to locals
An often-overlooked aspect of tourism is the impact on the daily life of the local people. Remember that they have to get up for work, so avoid making noise at night when you're in your accommodation or in the street. Your support for local businesses will also be appreciated. Look out for farmers' markets and locally caught fish. You might even find souvenirs made from sustainable materials.
Article by Nina
(Photo by igeociencias via Flickr)

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