Green Travel Tips
Here are our top ten tips on how to make your stay more enjoyable and better for the environment - we could all travel more responsibly and make the most of the ethical and eco holidays on offer.
You may be aware of some of the tips already and you may still discover something new. Even small things can make a difference locally and globally.
- Act respectfully: make an effort to learn something about the local culture and language; dress respectfully; ask people before taking a picture of them, or their children or home.
- Bargain politely for goods and services and pay a fair price.
- Buy local and support the local economy. Never buy products made from endangered animals or plants.
- Conserve water and energy: ask for your towels to be washed less often; switch off lights and airconditioning when you leave your room.
- Consider recycling: leave your product packaging at home; bring back certain items such as batteries so they can be recycled safely.
- Give any gifts or money to a local school or worthy project rather than encourage begging.
- Leave no trace: when trekking or hiking, don't leave any rubbish and collect any that you see; bring your own shopping bag to discourage the use of plastic bags as they often end up in the sea killing marine life and can create problems on land too.
- Offset your carbon emissions? Offsetting is not the whole answer to climate change but can play a role, see our Environmental Policy for further info.
You can offset your car, train or plane journeys via the charity PureTrust.org.uk.
- Tread lightly: don't pick flowers and plants or collect pebbles and seashells.
- When back home, consider supporting an organisation that works for the environment, people or wildlife of the country you have just enjoyed.
Neal's Yard Agency's holistic approach encompasses an awareness of and responsibility for our environmental impact, and a desire to tread lightly on this planet.
Neal's Yard Holidays recommends selected holistic and ecological holiday centres. Some centres support local organic farmers, others offer tree-planting holidays; all are small places in beautiful settings off the beaten track where guests can rest in harmony with their natural surroundings – allowing nature to thrive while working its wonders on the human body, mind and spirit.
Neal's Yard Agency operates as an ethical and green business itself. It uses an ethical bank and supports a number of green and humanitarian aid charities. It recycles everything from paper to glass, and uses sustainable or recycled products wherever possible.
It also offsets the unavoidable business air travel of its staff, and encourages others to do the same, or to consider travelling by boat or by train instead.
Carbon offsetting is not the answer to climate change but can play a role, and there is now a choice of reputable organisations to turn to for advice. Neal's Yard Agency would recommend either one of the Gold Standard accredited schemes (eg atmosfair.de) or a registered charity such as www.puretrust.org.uk or www.carbonbalanced.org – the latter is run by The World Land Trust, Sir David Attenborough is a patron.
Switching to a green electricity supplier that supports renewable energy sources can also help tackle climate change. For further advice see www.greenelectricity.org
For more bright ideas on how to live more sustainably, even in an urban setting, visit the Centre for Alternative Technology's website at www.cat.org.uk
If you have any suggestions or comments on this topic that could be helpful please use the feedback form.