A Sustainable Holiday
Looking for a more sustainable lifestyle? Make sure it extends to your holidays, too. Below are a few hands-on hints from Karin Löfström, sustainability strategist of the Kalmar municipality.
Karin is originally from Nyköping, but spent some time in London before she moved to Kalmar in 2010. Among her first reflections were “I can walk anywhere!”
– I feel that’s one of the major advantages of Kalmar as an environmentally sustainable destination for tourism. You can get around basically anywhere on foot, and to me, personally, that’s the best way to experience a new location. If you want to venture a little further, biking is an excellent option. There are several bike rentals available, in case you didn’t bring your own bike, says Karin.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind for a more sustainable holiday?
– I’d say you should maintain your everyday approach to it. Usually it’s “your pad, your plate and your petrol”, that is, your home, your food choices and your car, that matter most when you want to up your climate game. Check beforehand which hotels are sustainability certified before you make any reservations, and think twice about how your food is sourced before you order in restaurants. It’s also worth considering the options for reaching your destination.
How do you like to spend your own time off?
– I’m really partial to a staycation, that is, a holiday at home. I think Kalmar has very much to offer in many different respects. There are so many things here, from amazing museums and heritage sites, to lovely beaches and events. I also enjoy taking the ferry across to Öland for a day of cycling. We might go to a garage sale over there, and then grab a snack or a more substantial meal in one of the cosy restaurants.
In Kalmar you can get around basically anywhere on foot, and to me, personally, that’s the best way to experience a new location.
How’s the selection of locally sourced food?
– The regional food culture is really impressive, with loads of locally sourced, organic products. Many of the restaurants offer Öland mutton, for example. That’s really good, both because of the short transports, and because the lambs graze freely, and contribute to maintaining an open landscape. There are also a great many restaurants with a good vegetarian selection. That’s the best choice from a sustainability point of view.
Sounds like small choices may make a great difference?
– The most important thing is to think things over. If your everyday lifestyle is already a sustainable one, there’s no reason to let that go simply because you’re on holiday.
- Explore your destination on foot or by bike.
- Find a hotel with sustainability certification.
- Ask where your food and drink is from when you dine out, and go for locally sourced and vegetarian options. That’s good both for the environment and for local business. Don’t be shy about asking for a doggy bag to bring any leftovers home.
- Shop for souvenirs that you can actually use, preferably things that are locally made.
- Find vintage or second hand places to shop.