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Luxury Travel

How to be a GReen TRaveller

Finding a greener way to holiday is fast becoming popular for travellers looking to explore the world more carbon-consciously, but how do you do it? Richard Hammond, editor of our Green Traveller magazine launching this summer, explains

This is a feature from Issue 17 of Charitable Traveller.

Eco, ethical, responsible, sustainable; whatever it’s called, for me it’s about travelling in a way that’s sensitive to the climate and natural emergencies while ensuring that the well-being of the places we visit gain long-term benefits from us travelling there.

Why travelling more sustainabley is important

The world is about one-degree celsius warmer than before widespread industrialisation in the late 19th century, and it is thought that a further temperature ride (even to just 1.5 degrees), caused by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is the gateway to dangerous warming. Furthermore, one million animal and plant species worldwide are threatened with extinction due to a variety of threats, including the intensification of agriculture and forestry, resource extraction, pollution, and climate change.

How to go green

Being a greener traveller is a state of mind that applies to all aspects of how we travel, from choosing what to pack in our luggage and how we travel to the destination, to our choice of hotels, tour operators and activities. Just as the ‘slow food’ movement is all about savouring the taste of food, so green travel is about savouring the journey, relishing local food, and appreciating different cultures while cherishing those spontaneous moments away from home with friends, family, and others that make holidays so special.

Choosing sustainable transport

Travelling to and from a holiday is often responsible for the lion’s share of the carbon emissions of the entire trip. Many forms of motorised long-distance transport burn fossil fuels, so the most effective way to reduce those emissions is to reduce how far you travel, choose alternatives to petrol or diesel-fueled vehicles, or travel on foot, by bike, or under sail.

Choosing a green hotel

An increasing number of hoteliers are now going to great lengths to reduce the impact of their business on the environment, reduce or even eliminate their carbon emissions, maximise the conservation of local biodiversity, and play a contributing role in safeguarding the culture and livelihoods of their local communities. It may seem trivial, but reporting back about how green they are on review sites and on social media can provide invaluable information to help other travellers make more informed choices.

Supporting nature conservation

Keep an eye out for initiatives that support wildlife conservation. In the UK, The Wildlife Trusts are a federation of 46 independent wildlife conservation charities covering the whole of the UK. They provide a range of ways to get involved in local conservation efforts, from volunteering to fundraising. Further afield, there are now plenty of positive-impact holidays overseas that support regenerative projects, which aid nature conservation, socio-economic work and humanitarian aid. I look forward to shining a light on the many ways you can go green in our forthcoming online publication, Green Traveller magazine; the first issue is out in August 2023. And for help booking a greener holiday, speak to the team at Charitable Travel.

This is a feature from Issue 17 of
Charitable Traveller.