Climbing in the bleak mid-winter may not be the sanest of ideas, but the breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks of the ‘Five Sisters’ in the Scottish highlands will most definitely make you forget the cold air.
Adventure and eco-tourism company, Wilderness Scotland
Ultimately the only way to reduce your carbon is to consume less, travel less and do everything less – other than have sex and take other forms of exercise.
But you are not going to do that are you?
So Carbon calculators do have a useful role to play in working out what impact you are having on the planet, and incidentally, on your own bank balance if individual carbon allowances ever come into force. Here is a guide to the best ones.
THE FIRST EVER BUS SERVICE from London to Australia reached its final destination last Sunday (9th December) after an epic three month voyage.Josh Loeb reports:
OzBus provides people wishing to travel from London to Sydney with an alternative to flying, up to a point. The company claims to support “sustainable eco-tourism.” However, the service does include one flight – from East Timor to Darwin in Australia.
Mark Creasey, the company’s founder, said media interest had led to difficulties during the inaugural journey.
This luxury Greek Island holiday accommodation is a 7-acre private and gated country estate on the shores of the Ionian island of Ithaca perfect for a Greek Island holiday. Perched on a hillside and having spectacular sea views, this organic olive oil producing estate includes four houses, each set into its own fragrant gardened terraces, a swimming pool and outdoor amenities. The accommodation offers you a luxury, family-friendly and romantic destination where quality and hospitality are the abiding hallmarks.
‘In recent years four houses, a swimming pool, outdoor cooking/dining area and holistic massage pavilion have been added to terraced gardens within the groves, providing a holiday destination with services and surroundings to suit the most fastidious.
Together with the houses, the pool and its summer house, olive grove and forests, the accommodation also includes organic vegetable and herb gardens, a morning coffee shop and a quite separate ‘farm’ area which is home to half a dozen pet sheep and chickens.
Brits take a million green holiday trips a year, worth a total of £409m, according to research from Mintel.
Green tourists are a tiny minority, the survey finds, accounting for only 1.2% of the 2006 UK travel market. However Mintel’s research predicts a 25% growth in responsible travel year on year in Britain, making it the fastest growing travel sector.
Awareness of ethical travel issues is strong among British travellers, though their actions lag behind. 20% say they are willing to pay to offset carbon emissions from flights, but only 2% of UK consumers’ carbon is currently offset.
And 42% were aware tourism helps the local economies of their holiday destinations. However, only a minority of travellers actively seek holidays with an ethical code of practice and even fewer change their holiday plans because
We managed to tick off another box on the list of “Things to do to be a PP (perfect parent)” last year and took our two boys, Louis (6) and Hugo (3) camping. It was rapidly becoming clear that “Doing Cornwall” was also on the PP list, and although we deny all charges of trying to keep up with the Joneses, off we set to join the tourist throngs in Padstow, North Cornwall.
We took only the basics – a tiny four man tent, two ring cooker and army style camping beds for the boys, which were impossible to erect. We drank hot chocolate for breakfast, had cricket, rugby and football sessions with other families, and midnight feasts under the stars. But the best bit was the cycling.
UK tour operator, Thomson has changed power suppliers to use some green energy in its branches. Sixty percent of electricity consumed by Thomson and its airline Thomsonfly will be supplied from electricity generated by wind farms and other renewable sources such as hydro and solar power.
Thomson’s Managing Director Peter Rothwell, basking in the glow of his new eco light, stated, “Changes like this can make a huge difference on the impact we have on the environment”.
It may be a case of ensuring that your own house is in order before going elsewhere, but Thomson’s announcement forces us to open the debate on how responsible such companies are in their business practices further afield.
SOON TO BE PUBLISHED. ORDER YOUR ADVANCE COPY HERE-
Tired of tourist traps and guilt trips, or just want to have a positive impact on the people and places you visit? THE ETHICAL TRAVEL GUIDE lists over 300 places in 60 countries that benefit local people. From simple local-style holidays, treks, construction projects in Tibet, art holidays, and culinary and luxury retreats, there is something to suit every taste and budget. This is the essential resource for responsible global travellers.
• An INTRODUCTION to ethical tourism from Guardian journalist Polly Pattullo: What is Ethical Tourism? / What’s Wrong with Traditional Tourism? / Case Study: The Gambia / New Role of Consumers – Why be an Ethical Consumer? / Globalisation: A New Trip
Tiamo is a solar-powered, eco-friendly resort consisting of a row of simple but elegent wooden cottages along a quiet strand of white beach on Andros island in the Bahamas.This is barefoot luxury at its most polished – as well as being kind to the environment.
Andros is one of the less well-known Bahamian islands. With an area of 2,300 square miles and home to only 8,000 people, it is one of the least explored places in the western hemisphere. However, what has made the island unsuitable for urban evolution makes it perfect for eco-tourism. (please click “more” for rest of review)
Black Seminoles in the Bahamas – buy it from Amazon
For the conscientious traveller, certain countries are better choices than others. The world’s most ethical travel destinations, selected for their support for ecotourism, environmental protection and social development are, in alphabetical order, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Kenya, Peru, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Uruguay.
At first glance, ecological concerns and tourism appear unlikely bedfellows. But according to the World Wildlife Fund, the concept of ecotourism combines “the pleasures of discovering and understanding spectacular flora and fauna and peoples of traditional cultures with an opportunity to contribute to their protection.” (Please click “more” for rest of story).
Ethical Travel Guide: Your Passport to Exciting Alternative Holidays – buy it from Amazon US
Eco-Touring: The Ultimate Guide – buy it from Amazon UK – £14.99