Green tourism is rapidly gaining popularity as more and more people become aware of the negative impact that tourism can have on the environment; however, green travel is about more than just offsetting the carbon footprint of a flight. People are now abandoning the traditional beach holiday for something a little more environmentally friendly, such as volunteering on conservation projects.
If you are travelling to the US for your environmentally friendly holiday, you may need to apply for an ESTA Waiver. You can find out more about US Visa requirements at Esta FastTrack.
Any company that chooses to advertise with Responsible Travel will need to ensure that it meets the strict criteria on environmental, social and economic issues. Sustainability issues are particularly important, and a range of holiday packages is available.
For an environmentally-friendly holiday within the UK, this is a good place to start. All accommodation listed is eco-friendly, and options include cottage that have systems for harvesting rainwater and larger hotels that incorporate green standards throughout their working practices.
Good Travel Company
For a wide range of eco-friendly holidays, try the Good Travel Company. The options include beach holidays and safaris, and travel is by train wherever possible. There are longer train tours across countries such as China and Mongolia. All accommodation is audited by the site before being added. Assessment is carried out on the recycling policies, energy usage and use of locally-produced items.
National Geographic Expeditions
If it is a real eco-adventure you are looking for then National Geographic Expeditions offers holidays with a difference. The money from these tours is put into nature research programmes. All tourists are encouraged to support the local tourism industry while travelling, and the company supports sustainability schemes in all the regions that it visits.
Small World Journeys
This company takes only small groups to some of Australia’s most beautiful locations. The smaller groups ensure that there is minimum impact on the environment and all travel activities are measured for their carbon footprint, which is then offset. Small World Journeys also has a tree planting programme, and a percentage of its profits are passed on to conservation projects.
If you love a cycling holiday in Spain then look no further than Pure Mountains. The holidays take place in Andalucía and you stay in a farmhouse owned by the holiday organisers. Eco-friendly aspects of your break will include solar power, locally-produced ingredients for meals, and an avoidance of unnecessary packaging. These holidays are run all year round.
Wildlife and conservation holidays are offered by Steppes Discovery, which was one of the first travel companies to offer this type of break. The holidays raise a great deal of money for conservation charities, and Steppes Discovery also works alongside smaller companies and providers to ensure that the money is used locally. Holidays can be taken all over the world.
The modern age means that we are all used to high-speed travel and convenience, but eco-friendly holidays do not mean that you have to miss out on this. These things are still available and with careful choices you can make sure that your annual break does not have a negative impact on the environment; in many cases, you can also make a very positive difference.