Going on holiday doesn’t have to be bad for the environment: The rise and rise of eco-travel

We all love
our holidays but in recent years fortnights in the sun and long weekends in
European cities have become tinged with guilt.

As climate
change becomes ever more obvious, we can’t ignore the role flying plays in
creating the greenhouse gases responsible for it.

But there
are plenty of ways you can still have a much-deserved break without harming in
the environment. Here are just a few:


Travelling by train or even ferry is more eco-friendly, and you can reach some amazing destinations

While most
forms of transport produce carbon dioxide, one of the gasses responsible for
global warming, planes have a massive carbon footprint because of the huge
number of miles they travel.

So why not
skip flying in favour of a holiday closer to home? There’s so much to see and
do in the UK yet most of us overlook the endless possibilities. There’s the
unparalleled beauty of the Cornish coast, the Scottish Highlands and the Peak
and Lake District.

Enjoy the
history of a stunning Welsh castle, try boating on the Norfolk Broads or ride
the ‘Hogwarts Express’ across Scotland.

Or try
taking the train over to Europe – within six hours of London are Amsterdam’s
famous art galleries, the gastronomy of Lyon and drinking dens of Strasbourg.

take the car to Cannes in just over half a day or the ferry to Scandinavia for
holidays you’d normally only dream of.


Hotels can be huge producers of greenhouse gasses – think about the water that’s wasted, all the bathroom products thrown out half used and all the buffet food that goes uneaten.

Look out for hotels made from sustainable materials, that are energy efficient or use their own solar energy and that recycle

So choose an
eco-friendly option instead. Camping or a home stay – where you live with a
family in their own home – are two of the best options or check out the
eco-friendly hotel and lodge scene now popping up.

Some of the
things to look out for are hotels made from sustainable materials, that are
energy efficient or use their own solar energy and that recycle. Some also have
planting programmes to attract wildlife.


There are a huge amount of packages available that combine a holiday with helping the planet

Rather than
lie on a beach, why not help our precious planet when you’re away?

There are a
huge amount of programs on offer from wildlife conservation to helping
vulnerable people and protecting the countryside. Try hedge laying in Cumbria
and dolphin watching in the Hebrides, building bird hides in Norfolk or
restoring derelict waterways in the Midlands.

It’s also a
good way to take the guilt out of flying to a far-flung destination. Try
working in an African orphanage, helping save turtles in Bali or counting
sharks in South Africa – the choice is endless.


Packing light isn’t just sensible for you, but it can help the planet a little as well

The less you
take, the lighter your carbon footprint because the heavier your luggage is,
the more fuel it takes to carry.

So pack
light and pack responsibly. Try to take environmentally-friendly beauty and
bathing products with you such as Dove’s range.

All of their bottles, from shampoo and conditioner to body wash and moisturisers, are now made from recycled plastic that can be re-purposed again and again so no new plastic is produced.

And their
iconic soap bars now also come in plastic-free packaging.


Try to pick cafes and restaurants run by local people rather than big chains as you’re more likely to get a great meal made from produce that hasn’t travelled miles to be on your plate

Just as
we’re advised to shop seasonally and locally in the UK to cut the number of air
miles our food travels, try to do the same wherever you are holidaying in the

So eat the
food the locals would rather than relying on restaurants that serve familiar

And try to pick smaller cafes and restaurants, or those run by local people rather than big chains as you’re more likely to get a great meal made from produce that hasn’t travelled miles to be on your plate.


Just because you aren’t paying the bill in a hotel or rental home, doesn’t mean your energy consumption doesn’t matter

When you’re
not footing the bill, it’s tempting to have an extra-long shower, crank the air
con up to ‘shivering’ and leave the lights on when you go out.

But all
these things can really waste water and electricity so try to live as you would
do at home and switch everything off whenever you can.


Buying gifts while away is a lovely gesture but try and be aware of what you are buying and what it is made of

Bringing back gifts for friends and loved ones is part of the fun of a holiday. But make sure you choose items carefully. Avoid anything plastic, or if it is plastic make sure it is 100% recyclable, and make sure the recipient will love whatever you give them so it isn’t just thrown in the bin headed for landfill.

Try to buy presents made by local craftsmen that will benefit the community and help their economy. And don’t bring back anything made from shells, coral or animal products – you don’t know if they’re from sustainable sources.


Did you know that Dove is committed to be one of the brands with the biggest impact on plastic waste?

It’s working hard to reduce impact on the planet and can now confirm that all of its plastic bottles are made of 100% recycled plastic.

By doing this, the amount of virgin plastic Dove will saver per year would be enough to circle the Earth 2.7 times.

Dove believes that if we all take small steps to be more sustainable we can make a positive impact on the planet – together we can turn the tide against plastic waste together.


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