Categories: things to doecotourism

Northern Ireland is our home. We take pride in our land and its natural beauty. So, naturally we all do what we can to preserve it. We want to ensure we leave this beautiful land just the way we found it, for future generations to come.  

As we become more conscious of the need for sustainability and eco-tourism, it’s important that we all play our part in reducing the amount of carbon footprint we leave behind while discovering Northern Ireland. 

Here are 4 ways to discover Northern Ireland that will keep your carbon footprint to a minimum while you’re visiting - so you can help us keep our land just the way it is. 

Take the train or bus 

You might not think it, but rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around. Trains emit lower levels of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants compared to other forms of travel, whether they are electric or diesel-powered. In fact, trains emit a giant 80% less carbon than cars do per kilometre. When it comes to use of energy, space, and noise pollution, trains are way more sustainable too. Not only that, but trains also provide a great opportunity for slow travel: Take in the beautiful scenery, get your head into a book, and arrive at your destination relaxed and ready to explore. There is a wide-reaching rail network across Northern Ireland to get you to your destination. Translink, Northern Ireland’s rail provider, will allow you to plan your routes in advance. 

Another cleaner alternative car travel is by bus. Visit Belfast Welcome Centre can give you a steer in the right direction when it comes to the best passes and routes to suit your trip, as well as connecting routes to the Republic of Ireland too. 

When you choose to travel by rail or bus rather than by car, you are instantly making a difference to our environment. And every journey counts, no matter how small. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! 

Hop on a bike 

Along with being a convenient way to get around, and an excellent source of physical activity, biking is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of travel out there. So hopping on a bike instead of in a car during your visit to Northern Ireland will greatly reduce your carbon footprint and will help preserve our environment. 

So bring your own bike along, or borrow one of ours! You will find plenty of bike hire services dotted across Northern Ireland, including Belfast Bikes, Iron Donkey, Norms Bikes and OneGreatAdventure MTB to name a few. For gorgeous greenways and national cycle networks across Northern Ireland, visit here

By opting to bike, you’ll be saving fossil fuel and will help reduce the number of cars on the road - relieving congestion and traffic. Not only will you be helping our environment by biking but, it will also give you a great opportunity to take in the surrounding natural beauty while you’re out and about. Happy biking! 

Walk there 

Walking is by far the greenest way to travel. When you walk, you do not emit any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Not only will walking help the environment, but it will also help you be a healthier individual – as it’s great source of physical exercise for the body. An additional plus for walking is the fact that it’s completely free! If you love a good stroll, Northern Ireland is the perfect place to visit. Fortunately, our towns and cities are all easily walkable. So, all you need to explore them by foot is a proper pair of shoes. 

Walking around Belfast city centre is a breeze! It’s super convenient and mostly flat. Derry~Londonderry is a little hillier, but its so compact and packed with history, you'll hardly notice the exercise!  

Electric Cars (ecars) in Northern Ireland 

Electric cars are being seen as a step towards a more sustainable future and the switch may become even more appealing in the coming years. Here in Northern Ireland ecarNI has introduced an extensive electric vehicle-charging infrastructure with over 300 charging points across many towns and cities. To map your sustainable travel route find out more on the ecarNI link here

You’re on your way 

By choosing to travel in a way that will reduce your carbon footprint during your visit, you’ll be making a Giant Difference to Northern Ireland.