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Six ways to have a greener holiday

A few simple changes will ensure you travel with a clear conscience

Posted: 3 August 2010
by Clayton Johnson

Holiday closer to home There are plenty of places to holiday in the UK that offer you the chance to make a much smaller carbon footprint than you would catching the plane to a far-flung destination. What’s more, you can opt for increasingly exotic UK breaks. Opt to stay in The Treehouse ( in the village of Halse in Somerset and you’ll receive family-friendly equipment, such as buggies and sterilisers, as well as luxuries such as underfloor heating. The owners also plant a native tree for each booking they receive. From £860 per week for a family of five. To recreate the vibe of an Africa savannah, you could even stay in a safari tent with Featherdown Farm (, which has sites across the UK with lots of activities for children, including collecting eggs from the resident chickens and visiting the cows, sheep and pigs. A week at Berridon Farm in Devon costs from £400 for a family of four.

Less but longer Rather than taking a number of short- and long-haul breaks throughout the year, choose fewer destinations and holiday for longer. This reduces the need to fly more often and means you can explore an area for longer, become immersed in the culture and feel really refreshed when you return. Booking to fly direct to a destination is also a greener way to travel.

Buy local produce As well as allowing you to experience the best of local cuisine, buying food from local markets keeps your carbon footprint to a minimum and supports local farmers and food producers.

Ditch the hire car Obviously there are times when only a hire car will do, such as when you first arrive in a strange place with all your luggage and children. However, if you are staying in a city or where all the action is, then try to use public transport wherever possible. If you are staying out in the country, then a family bike ride could be the perfect fun activity to see beautiful countryside.

Indigenous itinerary Why not enjoy a holiday in the company of the locals with an indigenous tour? Stay
in a traditional Maori Marae in New Zealand (, try an Ecolodge in Bolivia ( or learn about indigenous people in Canada at the Sqamish Lil’wat Cultural Centure (

Do your research Finding eco-friendly ways to holiday is easier than you may think. The excellent Clean Breaks by Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith (Rough Guides, £18.99) is full of fabulous adventures – from horse riding in Scandinavia to birdwatching in the Caribbean – in areas of breathtaking beauty. To find out if the place you are staying really is environmentally friendly, visit for a ten-step guide.

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