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There are few things in life better than a holiday. However, although holidays may leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised, they come with a cost – an elevated carbon footprint. The amazing thing about the rise in staycations is that by cutting out the flight alone, you’re already making a huge difference. If you want to go a few steps further to make your staycation more eco-friendly then here are seven simple steps to try.

8 of the most eco-friendly outdoor brands

1. Stay in eco-friendly accommodation

Eco friendly places to stay in Ireland
The Black Sheep Hostel, Killarney, Co. Kerry

The customer has spoken and the businesses are answering the call! More and more accommodation providers are turning eco, with everything from running their electricity from renewable resources to growing their own herbs and vegetables. Check out our full list of ten of the coolest eco-friendly places to stay in Ireland here.

One sure way to have a low-carbon holiday is to camp! If you’re heart just dropped when you read the word camping then don’t worry, we know it’s not for everyone. Even if you are staying in a luxury hotel, there are still steps you can take to lower your impact. For example, saying no to daily changing of your bed sheets or towels in your hotel room.

2. Bring your reusables

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

According to mywaste.ie, 22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour! If you own a reusable coffee cup and bottle, don’t forget to take them with you and use them. If you’re out and about and don’t know where to refill your water bottle, take a look at refill.ie. Bringing your own toiletries is also a handy way to reduce your waste.

3. Plan ahead

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

You’ll be amazed at the difference a bit of planning makes. For instance, if you’re renting a car, opt for an electric one, or if you’re going on a city break, why not leave the car at home and take public transport? Or if you are going rural, take or rent a bike for a few days so can cycle in and out to your closest town or village instead of driving. Every little helps!

4. Shop sustainably

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

The Irish are an incredibly creative bunch of people. Support and nurture this culture and heritage by shopping in the local markets and dining in independent restaurants. Opting for sustainably sourced/made products is key. For instance, if the rain is bucketing down and you need new waterproofs, head into the local outdoor shop and pick up items from a brand like Craghoppers where sustainability is at their very core, rather than going for cheap and cheerful where the item ends up in landfill before the year is out.

5. Go offline

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

Stay active, beat boredom and go offline for your holiday. Did you know that watching online videos generates 300m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which is roughly 1% of global emissions (The Shift Project)? Enjoy time with the people your on holiday with, get outside or if the famous Irish weather is ruining your fun, read a book, play board games or talk to each other!

6. Offset your carbon

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

Still feeling that eco-anxiety? Why not offset your carbon? There are loads of carbon calculators online and loads of rewilding and restoration projects happening across the country. Make a donation or better yet, get involved and spend a day with them learning about the grassroots project, meeting new people and making the world a better place!

7. Leave No Trace

Eco-Friendly Staycation Tips

This may be an obvious one but there’s no harm in reiterating it, please remember to leave no trace. Wherever you choose to go and explore, when you leave it and return home, it should be left as you found it or better! This encompasses everything from litter to watching where you walk.

Craghoppers

Looking to dress more sustainably on your next outdoor adventure? The following items don’t just look great, they are hard-wearing and are all made from some recycled materials.

Craghoppers Hanson Jacket Winter Lagoon

Price: €164.50 (reduced from €235)

This unisex insulated waterproof jacket is a stylish yet super functional jacket that will keep you warm and dry on even the bleakest winter days. Approximately 450g of recycled material went into making this product.

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Craghoppers Anderson Cagoule

Price: €112 (Reduced from €160)

craghoppers anderson cagouloe

Another cracking unisex offering from Craghoppers! We absolutely love this colour-block cagoule. Made from a waterproof rip-stop membrane it will last you forever (or for several years at least!). It comes with everything you need for the outdoors including a concealed hood, half-zip fastening and zipped pockets.  Approximately 110g of recycled material went into making this product.

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Craghoppers ExpoLite Hooded Jacket

Price: €112 (reduced from €160)

This super-light insulating jacket features diagonal baffles which are filled with a synthetic fill to help trap body heat in the same way that a natural down does. It’s super sleek and packs away into one of its zipped pockets. It also comes in a women’s knee-length version which is perfect for winter swims and colder days. Approximately 40 bottles were recycled to make this product.

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By Orla O'Muiri

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