by Helena Horton, The Telegraph, January 14, 2020
What people eat on holiday may be worse for the environment than the flight, a new study has found.
All-inclusive holidays tend to have a larger carbon food footprint than self catered because of food waste and lack of consumer choice, eco tourism group Responsible Travel, which commissioned the report, said.
Scientists at Lund University and the University of Queensland analysed the carbon footprint of four holidays, working out emissions of food consumed, the accommodation, and the travel.
For an all-inclusive ten-day trip to Western France, food emissions were 110kg per person, while their travel which included flying was 102kg.
Alternatively, a three-person self-catered holiday to Croatia had 28kg of emissions per person for the food, but their journey, which included a flight was 243kg.
The authors of the study said travel companies need to offer greater plant-based choice, minimising food waste, focusing on local, seasonal produce – and switching to renewable energy for their accommodation.
A spokesperson for Responsible Travel said that all-inclusive holidays often come with a high carbon footprint for food.
She said: "On the all-inclusive issue – historically, it’s been highly likely that all inclusive resorts are higher carbon when it comes to food and this is particularly due to the high levels of food waste generated. However, it is very possible for a progressive resort to make big improvements: redesigning its offering in a way that supports local farmers, serves seasonal plant-based foods and thinking very carefully about how it reduces and uses food waste."
The company warned those on holiday off eating beef and wine, which can have a deep print.
However, it also noted that switching to plant-based can in some cases be damaging, if what is consumed is out of season and from the other side of the world.
The spokesperson said: "It’s about eating more locally-sourced, seasonable, low-carbon food – thus also supporting the local economy – and keeping waste to a minimum. "
Justin Francis, founder and CEO of Responsible Travel, added: "We know we have to fly less, but that's not the only significant contributor to the carbon emissions of your holiday. Your food is a significant, and sometimes the single biggest source of CO2 emissions from your holiday. To get to net zero carbon 2050 we'll need to fly less and change what we eat."