The Travel Foundation encourages green holidays

The Travel Foundation encourages green holidays

The Travel Foundation has launched the first Make Holidays Greener week to remind people to be environmentally friendly when they are on holiday. Almost 90% of people say that they regularly recycle bottles, cans and paper in their day-to-day life, but less than half keep up the good work when they go away. “There are simple things that we can all do when we’re on holiday that can make a real difference to the environment and to local people in our destination, but the results from our survey indicated that many holidaymakers, nearly half of those who responded, admit that their green habits are forgotten when they arrive at their destination,” The Travel Foundation’s Sue Hurdle told Travel Daily. The survey results revealed that one in five holidaymakers admitted they switch off completely when on a beach break and don’t consider the environment. “I think we’re much better at doing all of these things at home, partly because we just like to relax when we’re on holiday.  But holiday makers don’t have to sacrifice their comfort or their relaxation to get involved, we’re talking about the little, but effective actions that make a big difference,” added Hurdle. Few respondents understood what green or sustainable tourism meant and more than a third of respondents said holiday accommodation does not provide enough green facilities or advice. Therefore the Travel Foundation has launched the green week from 26 June to 3 July to encourage travellers to do three things on their summer break that will make a difference. “Top tips include buying local, to ensure that local people in your holiday destination benefit from your stay; having short showers instead of baths to save water; and using alternatives to plastic bags to reduce the amount of harmful waste that goes into landfill,” said Hurdle. “These actions may seem small but they are very effective.” Air travel is always raised as an issue when ‘green’ and ‘travel’ are both mentioned but Hurdle said customers can be encouraged to find alternative modes of transport or their carbon footprint can be substituted by helping the communities customers visit, many of who depend on income from overseas visitors. “These are often long haul destinations that are difficult to get to without flying,” explained Hurdle. “So it is especially important in these places that as holidaymakers, we do all we can to minimise our consumption of water and energy and to buy locally to ensure that local people and businesses benefit from our stay.” Agents can get involved by taking a training quiz, Make Travel Greener, which introduces green issues and how to encourage customers to be green. “Agents can also can also get involved in greening their offices, by turning off electronic equipment overnight, turning off monitors when they’re not being used, and in the winter, if they have them, turning the thermostats on their radiators down - a one-degree centigrade reduction can reduce energy consumption by as much as 10%,” explained Hurdle.     

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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