Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 612

11 AUGUST 202 2 47 WEEKENDING Photography: Thomas Barwick/ Getty Images, Travelstoxphoto/ Getty Images, Mike Harrington/ Getty Images In a survey of 30,000 travellers this year, accommodation platformbooking.com discovered that 71%of those in the UK felt sustainable travel was important to them, and 42% said that news about climate change influenced their travel choices. Increasingly, we don’t want to feel that our holiday comes at the expense of the planet or local communities, and are looking for lower impact travel options. Holly Tuppen (right), author of Sustainable Travel: The Essential Guide to Positive Impact Adventures (Quarto), helps hotels and tour operators design and implement sustainability practices. She sees changes in travel attitudes coming fromboth sides. “People aremuchmore aware of the climate and biodiversity crisis and this is changing consumer behaviour,” says Holly. “Travellers are thinking more carefully about where their money goes when they travel, and the carbon emissions they leave in their wake. The travel industry spent much of the pandemic’s forced pause drawing up sustainability plans, which is great – but nowwe need to see the action to follow up claims.” In response, initiatives such as Tourism Declares Climate Emergency, a coalition of travel organisations, is pushing for greater and faster change, with clear goals. One of themost obvious changes consumers canmake is booking ecofriendly accommodation. Anumber of environmentally focused travel sites, including bookitgreen. com, bookdi erent. comand ecobnb.com, Tourism is vital to our economies, but our zest for travel could also have a damaging e ect on climate and communities. Ellie Stott discovers how we can be more responsible Holidays that don’t cost the Earth take you straight to a vast range of properties across the world. Be aware, though, that there’s no real standardisation yet with regard to green accreditation, so some sites might o er the full solar panel and dry toilet experience, with others simply planting a tree to o set your carbon footprint, so check carefully. Don’t conflate ‘green’ with ‘worthy’ either – sites such as wayaj.comand regenerativetravel.comhave some decidedly luxurious o erings and five-star resorts. Airbnb has recently banned parties and events in its properties in recognition of the negative impact irresponsible tourism can have on local communities. And sites such as kindtraveler.comand fairbnb.coopmake a donation to local charities and community funding – in Fairbnb’s case, 50%of the platform’s booking fee goes to community projects. SIMPLE WAYS TO CUT YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT • Reduce carbon emissions by packing light, holidaying closer to home and swapping åights for train travel or ferries where possible. Eurostar claims that using their service from London to Paris uses 93% less CO2 per passenger than åying the same route. In the Netherlands, the entire train åeet is wind-powered. • If air travel is unavoidable, choose an airline with the most CO2-efäcient åeet by checking the Atmosfair Airline Index at atmosfair.de/en. Swap a hire car for bikes and public transport or opt for an electric or hybrid vehicle (chargemap.com has a map of charging points worldwide). • If not booking through an ‘eco’ site, you can still check if your hotel subscribes to a green tourism scheme such as Travelife, greentraveller.co.uk or greenkey.global. • Support the community by using local businesses for eating out and booking trips, learning about the culture and language, and respecting the environment. • Be mindful of waste, water consumption, the use of environmentally damaging chemicals in items such as sunscreen and repellents (particularly when swimming), and limit the use of air conditioning. • Spend some time at home or abroad working on a conservation project such as beach clean-ups, canal clearance or rewilding. See sites such as wwoof.net and responsibletravel.com for inspiration. pick your own Some travellers spend time fruit picking on organic farms ‘Travellers are thinking more carefully about where their money goes’