For those of us who are looking to do our bit for the planet and reduce our carbon footprint, we needn’t stay indoors and do nothing to avoid racking up our emissions output. Sometimes the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to do something in a way that’s more environmentally friendly than the way you were doing it before. For the more environmentally conscious among us, responsible travel is starting to become ‘a thing’. We look at five of the best ways to have an eco-friendly holiday!
Yes, people do still go on holiday in Britain. Compare driving down to the coast, staying in a cottage and cooking your own food with an overseas flight for several hours, to a purpose-built complex, with a high waste output, and you can see why a domestic holiday will help your carbon footprint.
The carbon footprint of transfers and flights will be considerably more, perhaps up to ten times as much as a domestic holiday. Let’s be honest though, the greatest issue for British holiday-goers is weather, and it’s not often that Newquay is hotter than Tenerife.
If you’re looking for a domestic holiday, consider CenterParcs, Butlins, Pontins or Warner Leisure.
Go abroad and volunteer on an eco-project
I’ve done it, and still regard it as the best holiday, and the best time, of my life. I spent 5 weeks volunteering on a flower garden in Portugal, planting, pruning and turning the flowers into herbal tea. We only used natural practices to grow, and for lunch we ate the fruit that we grew. I learned a great deal about eco-systems, spent a lot of time in the sunshine and felt like I had gone through a detox. In fact, my eco-friendly holiday was very spiritually rewarding, a major difference to most holidays which end with a hangover and the regret of not spending more time on the beach.
Sites like Helpx and WWOOF especially are designed to connect volunteers with people who need help on their eco-projects. The longer you stay, the better for your carbon footprint. The exchange is often food and accommodation for several hours work a day.
Forest Holidays have curated 9 different holidays in the UK, with 7 in England and 2 in Scotland. Deerpark, Cornwall, offers a retreat to a peaceful valley full of, you guessed it, deer. Just 15 minutes from the coast, and situated by a lovely pond, this kind of retreat appeals to the eco-friendly, who can use this rural getaway to reconnect with nature. Each of the 9 sites are in forests, as you’d imagine from the name, and the lodgings are designed with eco-features to make sure this is a very responsible stay.
Responsible Travel is awesome, fact. By teaming up with small travel companies around the world, they are able to offer unique holidays and authentic worldly visits.
In fact, let’s let them do the talking!
Airbnb has become one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel. By renting rooms in people’s houses, you are supporting real people and the local economy. These big complexes that are built on the sea front use a lot of natural resources and are often built right on top of natural habitats. We aren’t saying hotels are bad, but thousands and thousands of people must stay there before the shared carbon footprint becomes lower than an Airbnb room. You’re also cooking your own food and require no staff when being accommodated through Airbnb.