Monday, November 12, 2012

Five tips for making your family holiday a little bit greener

This guest post is published in association with, an eco-friendly family holiday and camping specialist.

In many ways a family holiday is an indulgence, a time you spend more, do more, consume more, but it needn’t have a massive impact on the environment. There are lots of ways you can try to reduce the environmental cost of your holiday and it just so happens that many of these methods lower the financial cost of family holidays too.

1) Choose a greener travel method
Air travel is often the first choice for tourists because it’s the quickest way to complete a journey, but this can bypass one of the most interesting – and sometimes educational – aspects of the trip. Traveling overland by train, bus or car will reduce your holiday’s carbon footprint and thanks to ferries and cross country train services you don’t need to limit your holidays to your home country. These travel options are also likely to cost less and give you plenty of opportunities to take in the countryside en route.

2) Choose a greener holiday provider
There are a number of holiday providers that have their green credentials rated by independent bodies such as AITO so it is possible to check out holiday providers in advance of bookings. You can also think about the type of holiday you take, holidays on campsites in France are likely to impact the environment less than a high-spec hotel. By their nature campsites also have fewer fixed buildings, larger green spaces and shared facilities, which promote conscientious behavior.

3) Consider what you take It’s easy to get carried away when going on holiday
This can mean everything from buying an entire new wardrobe for the event, to purchasing the latest quirky camping gadgetry. Limiting what you buy and take will lower your footprint and spend. Think ahead and check what is available at your destination, you might be surprised at the home comforts available at even the most basic of campsites.

4) Treat your home away from home just like home
If you are staying in a mobile home, apartment or chalet that comes complete with these home comforts, don’t forget to take the same energy saving steps you would in your own property and get the little ones to do the same. That means turning off lights, avoiding the standby button and watching your water use.

5) Be careful what you leave behind
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t litter a campsite but you may not have pondered the impact of using non eco-friendly washing products while on site – which could affect the grass - as could your brood all trampling on a particular area. Think about the little things to ensure you leave your holiday site just as you found it.