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At UnTours we are big boosters of thoughtful, responsible, and sustainable travel. We love the lessons Europe has to teach us about environmental conservation and stewardship. We have learned a lot over our decades of European travel and progressive business. Here are some eco travel tips for travel in Europe, the UnTours guide to green travel.

Green Planning

  • Choose tour operators and hotels that have responsible environmental business practices.
  • Use e tickets and PDFs for as many of your trip documents as possible.
  • Favor local guides and independent tour groups over big operations.
  • Plan your trip with as few flight transfers as possible.
  • If you have the option of hopper flights and rail transfers, choose rail.
  • If you book a rental car, choose the smallest, most fuel-efficient model possible.
  • Blend in when you travel. Choose small-group tours when possible.
  • Stay in an apartment.

Before You Leave Home

  • Turn off all lights. If you must use some lights for pets or security, set timers.
  • Unplug any electronics that use phantom power, like TVs and stereos that use remote controls.
  • Turn heat or air conditioning off or to the lowest possible setting.
  • Buy carbon offsets for your trip.

Stay Green on Your Trip

  • Pack light. If possible, travel carry-on only.
  • In your sightseeing, travel by foot or bike whenever possible.
  • When hiking and visiting natural and archeological areas, stay on marked trails.
  • Use rail and mass transit for sightseeing when it is available.
  • When staying in a hotel, reuse towels multiple times to save laundry.
  • Spend your money in smaller, locally owned shops rather than chains.
  • Eat local, patronizing small, independent restaurants and farmers’ markets.
  • Pack and use a reusable water bottle.
  • Pack a small foldable tote bag in your day bag to carry any purchases you might make.
  • Seek out recycling bins when you are on the go; make an extra effort to find bins by asking a local.
  • If you are shopping for souvenirs and gifts, look for handmade things that you can buy from their maker, local goods, and fair trade chocolate.

Green Your Vacation Apartment Stay

  • Turn off air conditioning or heat when you leave your vacation rental apartment for the day.
  • Line dry your clothing as the locals do in Europe.
  • Close shutters in summer to keep your apartment cooler.
  • Understand and follow local guidelines for residential recycling and sort your recycling accordingly.
  • Bring your own bags to market.
  • If you are staying in the countryside, ask about composting.
  • Don’t leave phone and tablet chargers plugged in when you are not actively charging your devices; they use electricity. (This is an important tip for home too!)
  • If you need extra light at night, buy a night light to use rather than leaving on an overhead light all night.


Buy carbon offsets for your trip with Native Energy.
Book your hotels and get free carbon offsets with Trip Zero.
Get some eco travel tips from the New York Times.