For many people, the terms "responsible travel" or "ecotourism" conjure up images of backpacking in the wilderness or sleeping in a mud hut. But this type of eco-adventure is just one end of the green travel spectrum. You don't need to sacrifice comfort or convenience to be a responsible traveler, all that is necessary is an effort to preserve and protect the environment of the place you're visiting.
With nearly 1 billion tourists crisscrossing the globe every year, it's more important than ever for travelers to minimize their individual impact on the earth's natural and cultural treasures. Taking a responsible approach to travel is an easy and essential way to protect the places you love to visit, not just for yourself, but for future generations and the people who will continue to live there long after you have returned home. In addition, it often makes for a more rewarding, authentic travel experience, fostering stronger affinities with the people and places you visit.
With a little planning and a few simple changes to your habits, you can make a big difference when traveling.
- Turn off your air-conditioning/ heating or adjust the thermostat to protect plants etc.
- Unplug electrical appliances such as TVs which can draw or "leak" up to 40 watts per hour even when they are turned off.
- Close all taps fully. A dripping tap can waste up to 75 litres of water a day -enough to half-fill a bath.
- Stop your newspaper subscription while you're away. Some newspapers will let you donate these papers to a school or other group.
Transportation -particularly air travel -is where most travelers have the biggest environmental impact. It is estimated that taking the train from London to Paris rather than flying releases 10 times less carbon emissions. To minimise your environmental footprint, try some of the following:
- Use electronic tickets whenever possible for plane, train, boat, and bus trips. They generate less waste and cost less to replace.
- If you do have to fly, consider compensating for the environmental impact of your flight. You can offset the emissions associated with your travel and your stay at any Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel through our loyalty programme, Club Carlson.
- For shorter trips, take the train instead of flying, especially between London and France or Belgium where train service is fast and frequent. Enjoy the view, the freedom to walk about and lots of legroom. Radisson Blu Edwardian have hotels in close proximity to London’s major train stations.
- When planning a road trip, make sure your vehicle is 'road-ready' to improve fuel efficiency, prevent pollution, and save money. Make sure your engine is properly tuned and your tyres are properly inflated. Turn your engine off when idling.
- When renting a car, choose the smallest vehicle that can comfortably accommodate you. Decline any 'free' upgrades which will actually consume more petrol.
During your stay
Radisson Blu Edwardian has a comprehensive Responsible Business programme in place and there are many ways in which you can participate during your stay with us.
- When you leave the room, turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights and any other electrical devices.
- Let the hotel know that it's not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.
- On cold nights, draw curtains to keep heat in the room, and similarly on hot days, draw curtains to keep the heat out of the room. Shopping and Dining Making the right choices means you can holiday without guilt and create less waste.
- Buy locally made products, shop in locally-owned outlets and enjoy local food and drink - You'll support the local economy and get a taste of the UK’s culture and cuisine.
- Avoid eating seriously threatened fish species: Chilean sea bass, flat fish, wild Atlantic cod, shark.
- To avoid buying more batteries than necessary, use a solar-powered battery charger for cameras, personal stereos or global positioning systems. Now you can even buy solar-powered and wind-up radios and phone chargers too.
Feel Good with Green Tourism:
Seven things you can do to help save the planet
We are working to make our destination more eco-friendly, but we need your help. We can all reduce our impact on the environment by making choices. As a visitor you have a very important role to play in helping us to conserve our natural assets and become a more sustainable destination. Here are our recommended tips on how you can help:
- Conserve Energy
Reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating is on. The Energy Saving Trust provides information on what you can do at home. http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
- Shop Local
Use local products, they give you a flavour of the area and help support local communities. We are fortunate to have some fantastic producers of food, drink and arts and crafts. Ask us about local markets or local and regional produce.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Try to avoid overly packaged goods and say no to that extra carrier bag. You can also support us in our efforts to recycle – please ask our staff for more details.
- Be Water Wise
The UK has rising costs for water treatment and flood defense so please use water wisely. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and adhere to towel policies or other water saving initiatives http://www.water-guide.org.uk
- Respect Nature
Help us to look after the landscape and wildlife by not littering, guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle-ways responsibly. Ensure you follow the Countryside Code http://www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk
- Support Green Businesses
There are thousands of businesses in the British Isles working to reduce their carbon footprint through the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Businesses are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold for their efforts to be more sustainable. www.green-business.co.uk