Try the Green DoorPeople who are interested in protecting the environment may find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to booking holidays, as travelling any distance by conventional transport methods can have a significant impact on the environment. However there are many ways you can have an eco-friendly holiday, and actively help to protect and preserve a variety of beautiful and endangered landscapes.

1. Eco-safari – many tour operators such as Ecotourism Australia are now offering ‘green’ nature trips and safaris, which aim to educate people on the protecting the environment as well as making active contributions to conservation. Group sizes are limited to reduce the impact on the natural habitats in terms of waste and the strain on natural resources, and also local guides are employed and local trade supported wherever possible. Supporting local communities is something you can do wherever you travel, and this helps to encourage local farming and commerce, and reduce carbon emissions through unnecessary food miles.

2. Green Hotels – before you book a place to stay, check if there are any eco friendly hotels in the area. Green hotels and guesthouses are those that implement energy saving techniques or utilize a renewable energy source, and also encourage waste recycling and use locally sourced produce in their kitchens. Many eco-friendly campsites also limit visitors in order to reduce the impact on the local environment.

3. Eco friendly home exchange – there are various home exchange programs operating around the world, where people can swap houses with families in other locations for their holiday break. This makes good use of space that is already available, and prevents the need to use valuable land to build holiday apartments and hotels that stand empty for much of the year wasting key resources.

4. Local Holidays – reducing the distance you travel on holiday can help you to limit your emissions, as one flight abroad can produce more carbon than a year’s worth of travel you might do at home in your car. Therefore a local holiday, based in the country you live in, can reduce your carbon footprint and also give you a new insight into the place you live. If you live in the country try a short city break for a complete change, and take the opportunity to visit historic buildings and museums. If you live in the city take a country break, and explore the beautiful scenery and relaxing atmosphere of rural settings.

5. Eco travel – there are plenty of eco friendly methods of transport, such as cycling or sailing, which can help you slow down and actively enjoy travelling for a change. Cycle tours of places like France are very popular, and you can travel over on the ferry from the UK with your bicycle to enjoy the gentle scenery of the Loire Valley, or take a more adventurous trip across the foothills of the French Alps. Sailing is also very popular, and if you are feeling adventurous you can join the crew of a tall ship, and literally learn the ropes as you sail from port to port.

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