Options for a Low Carbon Holiday

You can also combat over tourism by avoiding peak times, picking less popular locations and avoiding tourism traps;

  • Camping is typically one of the eco-friendliest options possible, utilising little resources. The UK is fully kitted with a range of green campsites, sharing a passion for sustainable camping including The Greener Camping Club. Alternatively, glamping or hiring a yurt may be a good way to holiday with a lower impact but whilst still enjoying some luxuries. There are many sites available but we recommend Canopy & Stars to find your perfect low impact experience. However, if camping isn’t your style, The National Trust has a website dedicated to available eco-friendly cottages and holiday homes.
  • Conservation through tourism is a further exciting development in British Travel, where profit generated is fed into the protection of native British species. The Welsh tourism board operates boat trips to experience the Welsh landscape alongside seals, whales and Europe's largest population of bottlenose dolphins. In Scotland birdwatching and wild safaris are found, where you can explore the highlands through forests of Scots pine, rowan and hazel, home to the largest remaining population of red squirrels in Britain.
  • The Green Tourism and Heritage Guide is a great resource, dedicated to eco-friendly days oyt and holidays.

If you still want to venture outside of the UK, then WWOOFing may be for you. This organisation connects peoples who want to live or work on organic farms across the globe, promoting a sustainable way of life. By taking part in farm work, you will learn how to grow crops organically and take care of livestock, promoting self-sufficiency. Accommodation and food is provided in return.

If you really aren’t ready to give up your holiday abroad quite yet, below are a few tips to help improve the sustainability of your travels regardless.

  • Look for a train or driving distance sites. This ranking site will allow you to estimate your carbon footprint when choosing transport options.   
  • Remember the ferry options from the UK.
  • Use public transport, local bike rentals, or walk instead of hiring a car.
  • Act similarly to how you would at home. For example, only use clean towels if necessary, keep showers short and don’t leave the air conditioning on in your room when you aren’t there.
  • Remember your reusable, canvas bag for grocery shopping, your reusable coffee cup, water bottle, utensils and dishes instead of single-use ones, etc.
  • Pack lightly, extra weight when flying or driving means more carbon.
  • Invest in carbon offset schemes to offset the carbon cost of air travel. These are the best schemes that the University recommends.

Important: Look out for accredited sustainable tourism. For example, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the VISIT initiative. This will help to avoid greenwashing.

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