A brief green guide from the Home of Lässig. From A for awareness to Z for zero waste. Because the coolest holiday in the Alps can also be made a little greener.
A great holiday with a minimal footprint. Is that possible? Yes, you just have to look at the bigger picture. In my story "Saalbach by Rail", I travelled by public transport from Upper Austria to Saalbach. This was an initial step towards putting the project of mindful travel to the test. As a bonus, some accommodation providers offer a special rate for overnight stays or even as a friendly gesture for travel to Saalbach by public transport. Alternatives are also carpooling or sharing a ride.
But what can I do once I am in the resort? How can I minimise my footprint at my destination? The fact that a holiday without your own car can be enjoyed without any hassle in Saalbach. Because also within the town you can be mobile in summer with the hiking bus and in winter with the ski bus. Short and long distances can be covered on foot and by bike. Thanks to the excellent range of Shops and Rentals, I can also help save on resources by simply renting the latest seasonal equipment such as skis, snowboards, bikes and protectors. Sharing is Caring.
When deciding on accommodation, a small amount of research is necessary. However, with the support of the information team from the Tourist Board, you can easily obtain information about nature-oriented or environmentally friendly hosts and ecological offers in the region. There are already model establishments that are organically certified or carry the Austrian eco-label, for example. These range from chemical-free cleaning of rooms to energy generation through photovoltaic systems and green energy, to package-free delivery of food or the hotel's own zero- waste shops, regional organic spirits, book swaps and so on, all following the principle that less is more.
In my discussions with the, let's call them, "cool pioneers", I have learned that this is a 100 per cent matter of the heart. Still, it also requires a great deal of consistency, awareness-raising and perseverance.
A particular highlight is to have a breakfast that is entirely zero waste. For me, this zero waste principle is a 100 % pleasure! I greatly appreciate the effort, and above all, the mission and vision to change our way of thinking.
One is happy to help because, after all, we are together stronger. However, as a guest, however, what can I do in resort to make my stay as "eco" as possible? It starts at home with packing.
10 tips for a more sustainable holiday
1. Cosmetics and toiletries
There is no need to buy shampoos and shower gels in small travel bottles, even for a mini-break. Many hotels have handy dispensers on the premises. If you do want to use your own items, it is good to use refillable bottles.
2. Planning your journey
Suppose you really want to travel in an environmentally friendly manner. Naturally, it would be ideal to leave your own car at home or to join carpools. Suppose you really want to travel in an environmentally friendly manner. In that case you could take public transport and even receive some goodies from certain companies as a reward.
3. Accommodation check
Many establishments in Saalbach Hinterglemm have already implemented ecological measures. A certified organic kitchen, the Austrian Eco-label, zero-waste breakfast concepts, chemical-free cleaning, energy-saving measures and so forth. All provide information as to whether a hotel is making an effort to take steps in the right direction.
4. #bringyourown reusable bottle
The quality of the drinking water from the tap is exceptional in Saalbach Hinterglemm! You don't need to buy bottled water here.
5. Regional shopping
In our story "Regional Shopping Tour in Saalbach", you will find some tips about local produce.
6. Buy or rent?
The Saalbach Hinterglemm sports shops are always stocked with the most up-to-date equipment. Rather than purchasing a bike or skis that you'll only use on holiday, you can rent top equipment locally.
7. Regional, organic, vegetarian or vegan?
Whether you're a meat-eater or a vegan, you can eat whatever you prefer in the Glemmtal. However, question the source of your food and how it has reared or been grown. Quite a few restaurants and hotels provide this information on their menus already.
8. Rubbish does not belong in the natural environment
Should rubbish accumulate that cannot be avoided, please do not simply leave it lying around in the mountains. Unfortunately, in this case, many people are not so conscientious. We eco-warriors make up for it with a cloth bag in our backpacks and our occasional picking-up efforts.
9. Save on packaging waste when shopping
For a long hike, you often need the appropriate snacks. Pay attention to the packaging, which becomes waste after consumption. Take your reusable snack box to the supermarket and ask for some sandwiches to be made. Zero waste is as simple as that.
10. Reduce – Re-use - Recycle
According to this principle, you can organise almost everything, even your holiday. Even your holiday. First, think about what you really need and, if necessary, refuse things like disposable straws, useless giveaways, or plastic-wrapped milk for coffee. Borrow things you do not need all the time rather than buying them and letting them gather dust at home. This will save on resources and a lot of money. Try to find reusable alternatives to disposable products and if you do generate waste, separate it.
According to the motto "progress rather than perfectionism" of the Austrian initiative "POW - Protect our winters", please do not put yourself under pressure. Every small step towards sustainability is a step in the right direction.