10. Visit Lesser-Known Cities
Traveling sustainably in France doesn’t have to mean foregoing big cities. But if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, consider visiting some lesser-known places. From quaint villages in Burgundy and Provence to small towns tucked away on the coast, France has plenty of hidden gems that are worth exploring.
Some of the most overlooked places include Metz, Munster, Le Puy-en-Velay, Troyes, and Nantes. Visiting these places not only helps the local economy but also reduces overcrowding in popular cities like Paris and Nice. As a bonus, it’s a great way to get off the beaten path and experience authentic French culture!
11. Use the Right Trash Bins
When it comes to sustainable travel in France, one of the most important things you can do is use the right trash bins and recycle. This ensures that resources are used as efficiently as possible. It also reduces waste and helps protect the environment.
In France, there are different categories of trash bins. Most bins are labeled and color-coded, making it very difficult to make a mistake.
If you see a yellow lid, this is for paper, cardboard, and plastics. Glass bins are green and have a round slot. Sometimes these can be hard to find, so make sure to ask if you don’t see one nearby. General trash bins usually have a green or grey lid but be careful. It changes for each region.
Keep in mind that batteries and electronics should not be discarded in the general trash bins. If you need to throw out one of these items, head to a grocery store. Most have a dedicated repository.
12. Discover France in Autumn
Summers in France are overcrowded with tourists. It’s the most popular time of the year to visit. But it’s also the most expensive.
So, why not travel during the off-season?
Autumn in particular is a great time to visit France.
The air is crisp, the sun is almost always shining, and the fall colors are spectacular. Go apple picking in Normandy, hike through the vineyards of Provence, or admire the fall colors in the Vosges.
There is an endless list of things to do this time of year. Not only that but there are far fewer people, so you’ll be helping to reduce mass tourism.
France in Autumn
13. Travel Slowly
There are so many things to see and do in France, it’s tempting to try to fit everything into one trip or itinerary. But it’s far better for the environment to travel slowly.
By focusing on one area, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the culture. You’ll have more time to explore small towns, visit local markets, and savor the little things.
And since France is divided into regions, it’s very easy to plan a trip that emphasizes slow travel.
As an example, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has so many wonderful places to visit like Lyon, Grenoble, and Chambéry. You could easily spend a week or two exploring these cities alone.
14. Try Eco-Friendly Wine
France is known for having the best wine in the world, especially from regions like Bordeaux. And, in recent years, eco-friendly wine has grown in popularity. More and more vineyards are improving their production methods and looking to reduce their impact.
There are three types of eco-friendly wine in France – organic wine, natural wine, and biodynamic wine.
Organic wines are made with grapes that are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
Natural wines are organic, but they are also free of any additives, like sulfates.
Biodynamic wine is a process of growing grapes that takes into account the entire ecosystem of the vineyard. It’s organic wine on a whole new level. From the soil to the animals grazing next to the vineyard, it’s one of the strictest production methods.
You can find eco-friendly wines in any grocery store, market, or restaurant. Wines that fit into these categories are labeled with an AB (Agriculture Biologique).
A Cycling Path on the Alsace Wine Route in France
15. Explore the Camargue Nature Reserve
The Camargue Nature Reserve in southeastern France is a beautiful and ecologically diverse area. Covering over 800 square kilometers of wild wetlands, it’s home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. There’s also an impressive amount of wildlife. From pink flamingos to white horses, there’s no shortage of amazing things to see.
It’s a great place for birdwatchers, as well as hikers and cyclists looking for a peaceful outdoor adventure. No matter what you choose to do, your visit will contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts.
Sustainable Travel in France Wrap-Up
France is a wonderful country that offers travelers an amazing variety of experiences. From its rich history to its breathtaking natural beauty, there’s something for everyone. But it’s important to travel responsibly. Consider booking an eco-friendly hotel, carrying a reusable water bottle, or traveling in the off-season. Every effort you make will go to protecting and preserving this beautiful destination.