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How to have a sustainable visit.
How to have a sustainable visit - Guest Blog by Ross Pollock, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Did you know that around 85% of the 7million visitor trips made to the National Park every year are by car? Or that 80% of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from all the goods, materials and services which we produce, use and often throw out after just one use?
The recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow has raised the profile of actions we can all take to live more sustainably and to play our part in Scotland’s journey to net zero.
Whether you live or work in the National Park, are visiting for the day or exploring for longer, there are simple steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the National Park itself and take action against the climate emergency.
This starts before you even arrive - by choosing a more sustainable way of travelling to the Park, such as public transport or cycling, you’ll reduce your emissions significantly. Leaving the car at home can also be a nice way to make your journey part of the adventure and removes the stress of trying to find a parking spot when you arrive.
A new National Park Journey Planner app gives visitors a wide range of travel options in one place, to make it easier to research, plan and book a day trip. Visitors can also use the app to check and compare the carbon impacts of different modes of travel.
The Journey Planner can be downloaded for Apple devices via the App Store or via the Play Store for Android devices. It is also available as a web app on the National Park website: www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/journeyplanner/
While it is recognised that not all areas of the National Park can currently be reached by public transport, there are alternatives to car travel for some of the most popular parts of the Park. You can even access some of our most iconic Munros by public transport.
There is also a growing number of electric vehicle charging points across the Park, which you can see mapped at Chargeplacescotland so you don’t have to worry if you’re driving or have hired an electric car.
How you get around within the National Park can also make a difference. There are a number of great walks that allow you to take in all of the scenery without your car. Or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, bringing your bike or hiring one will allow you to travel even further round the National Park.
Ditch the disposables
Choosing reusable items over single use is another excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and to help protect the natural beauty of places such as the National Park.
Scottish Water has installed several ‘Top Up Taps’ within the Park, making it really easy to fill up your own reusable water bottle during your visit and removing the need to buy single use plastic bottles.
This should also mean less litter, which has a negative impact on visitors’ enjoyment of the National Park and is harmful to the wildlife and environment here too. Litter should always be binned or taken home with you if there isn’t a bin nearby. A useful tip is to bring a spare bag with you to make it easier to bag your litter up and take it away.able water bottle during your visit and removing the need to buy single use plastic bottles.
And if you’re coming to camp in the Park (a fantastic experience), invest in a tent that will last you more than one night and take it home with you.