7 Sustainability Travel Tips For Travellers to Scotland

sustainability tips for visiting scotland


We’re all aware of the impact travel has on the globe, but you can still be an environmentally-savvy traveller while enjoying everything Scotland has to offer.

Read on for our tips to help you travel Scotland like a responsible tourist and leave our bonnie country better than it was before!


Avoid packing any one-time use items in your luggage

Try your best not to bring anything into Scotland that you plan on using once and then throwing in the bin. 

Pack reusable wash clothes, rather than facial wipes that you use and then throw in the bin. Many facial wipes contain plastic, and plastic can take between 50-500 years to decompose.

More single-use plastics to avoid packing include drinking straws, cotton buds, plastic bottles, chewing gum, and plastic cutlery.

If you do need to dispose of anything, make sure you do so in the correct bin (recycling, glass, or rubbish).

Recycle correctly

Scots take recycling very seriously, so ensure you check labels to see if objects can be recycled and place them in the correct bin. 

Most packaging in Scotland will let you know if it can be recycled- look on the back of any food packaging to see how to dispose of it correctly. 

As a general guide, blue bins are for plastics, brown bins are used for food waste, black bins are used for rubbish, and green bins are for paper recycling. You can recycle glass at dedicated recycling bins.

This website is useful for finding glass recycling points.

Buy package-free fruit and vegetables

When buying fruit and vegetables from a grocery store, opt for food that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. Many supermarkets have paper bags you can place single items of fruit and vege inside, or you can bring your own reusable cloth bag especially for these items.

BYOB = bring your own bag

In Scotland, you have to pay for plastic shopping bags to carry your shopping, so save some money and the environment and bring your own reusable bags whenever you go shopping. 

Most grocery stores and shops will sell reusable bags, so pick a couple up that you can use and remember to pack them whenever you nip to the store. Plastic or paper shopping bags cost anywhere between 10p-50p; and reusable bags cost anywhere from £3- £15.

Our advice is to purchase bags that you can use for many years so you're creating less waste.

Drink tap water

The tap water in Scotland is hands down the best water in the world! Be sure to travel with a water bottle rather than buying plastic bottled water. 

In many towns and villages throughout Scotland, you can find refillable water points. Scottish Water has created a handy map with all of the refillable locations.

Restaurants and pubs are also more than happy to bring tap water to your table, or refill your water bottle for you.

Shop independently

Scotland is home to many amazing small businesses- and you can find them in every town and city if you look close enough. Try to avoid shopping in large shopping malls, which usually contain global chains, and instead hit the high street in smaller towns and villages. 

Head to makers markets and craft markets- a quick Google or search on Facebook will tell you what’s happening nearby. Glasgow has some excellent options for craft markets, with many happening around the city each weekend. 

Peebles is also a fantastic village for some independent shopping. Check out the high street for homewares, clothing, vintage shops and art galleries. This village is located near our Eddleston plot- so make sure you visit Peebles for some shopping when you visit your plot!

Pick up any rubbish you see

If you go walking, help out the locals and make an effort to pick up any rubbish that you see lying about. 

Take some gloves (reusable) and a bag with you and aim to pick up at least 5 items of rubbish each time you venture outside.

If travelling with children, make picking up rubbish a fun game and have a competition to see how much rubbish you can collect.

Scotland may not be your home, but it is apart of your world! 

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