‘Sustainable travel‘ doesn’t have to be self-contradicting: many travel providers and hotels across the globe are fighting the good fight by adapting their businesses to be greener, often in unique and exciting ways. If you are a keen sustainable travel buff, feel guilty about your carbon footprint, or picture yourself a sustainable tourist already, here’s all the sustainable travel news you need to alleviate your climate anxiety – at least a little bit.
Sustainable Travel News: Good News You Need to Know
Greece Launches A Dedicated Sustainable Tourism Platform
October 2022: Sustainable travel is more important than ever, but it can be hard to know where to start when planning a sustainable trip. That’s why the Greek National Tourism Organisation has launched Sustainable Greece, a platform dedicated to showcasing the nation’s green strategies, encouraging visitors to travel sustainably, and inspiring other nations to follow their lead. Read all about it here.
The First Ever Flight-Free Business Travel Planner
September 2022: Did you know that business travel accounts for 30 per cent of Europe’s air travel carbon cost? In response, flight-free travel company Byway have launched a new business travel planning service to assist conscious business travellers to reduce their carbon emissions as well as improve their work-life balance, utilizing new hybrid working models. For example, with WiFi available on many trains now, employees to clock-in en route.
Cat Jones, Byway founder and CEO, said: ‘Our mission is to make slow travel mainstream, and that means every aspect of travel, including business. We’ve already had many businesses interested in rolling out our business offering and are thrilled to offer it more widely. The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to make low carbon activities more enjoyable than carbon-intensive ones – slowing business travel down is climate-friendly and a decent employee perk.’
Milestone for the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
August 2022: Earlier this year, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation – which releases rehabilitated turtles back into their natural habitat after treatment at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Aquarium – reached 2,050 turtles aided by the project. This figure was hit on World Sea Turtle Day in June, when 21 Hawksbill turtles and five young Green turtles were released from Jumeirah Al Naseem beach. After initial treatment at the Aquarium, the turtles are nurtured at the Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary at Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel, where guests can meet the turtles and assist with feeding during their recovery process. The rescue centre also raises awareness of oceanic ecosystems and promotes research into turtle preservation.
All Aboard to Stockholm
August 2022: Looking for a Scandinavian escape? A brand-new EuroNight sleeper train is offering a no fly, sustainable travel option from London to Stockholm in less than 24 hours. Expected to commence service from September 2022, the trains will be powered by renewable energy with Swedish operator SJ only using hydro- and wind-powered electricity.
Make the most of slow travel with Slow Adventure, whose Autumnal Foraging Adventure will see guests unplug in the Swedish wilderness, helping chefs prepare meals with fresh and foraged ingredients in between hiking, biking and canoeing through the spectacular autumnal scenery. slow-adventure.com
Join The Flock: Sustainable Travel Made Easy
July 2022: For many of us, our travel plans are increasingly motivated by a desire to reduce our carbon footprint and to look after the destination we are visiting and its local community. According to Booking.com’s latest sustainability report, 83 per cent of global travellers think that sustainable travel is vital. But with the rise of eco-tourism becoming such big business for hotels, tour operators and tourist attractions, sometimes telling the green from the ‘greenwash’ is easier said than done. Enter Flockeo. The creation of French social enterprise Murmuration, this newly launched community platform makes things a breeze for travellers to calculate their environmental footprint, get in touch with sustainable tourism professionals, and choose eco destinations via an interactive map that combines satellite and statistical data. The map itself provides lots of info about each region – from the ecosystem potential to the risks related to water and urbanisation – and to boot, this data provides a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities that exist in certain areas while also monitoring progress over time to ensure that sustainable tourism practices are actually having the desired effect. By Lauren Ho. flockeo.com
July 2022: With the ambition to become the most eco destination in the world, Switzerland is taking things to the next level with its new sustainability strategy, Swisstainable. It includes a number of initiatives such as traffic-free destinations (the country already has 11 car-free resorts), promoting green accommodation, and – in boasting the highest spending per capita on organic products in the world – championing conscious consumption. Elsewhere, the country has a number of Swisstainable assets too, such as Europe’s first house to be heated using hydroelectric power, which is located above the Grimsel glacier. By Lauren Ho. myswitzerland.com
Till The (Luxury) Coast is Clear – Beach Cleanup Collaboration
July 2022: The south Devon community interest company, Till the Coast is Clear, has partnered with accommodation specialist Luxury Coastal to remove plastic pollution from the south Devon sea, shore and moor.
Till the Coast is Clear, spearheaded by Gary Joliffe, works to inspire positive action regarding environmental pollution. Joliffe grew up with a passion for nature and the outdoors, and moved to tackle the growing pollution problem in Devon in 2017 after witnessing first-hand the devastation to local environments by waste and rubbish.
Having given up his career in the travel industry to embark on a full-time mission to clean up the Devon waterways, what began as just Joliffe in his kayak has become a full-scale operation using a marine recycled boat and a fleet of kayaks to collect pollution. Over 12 tons of plastic and waste has been removed to date, with all recovered materials recycled.
‘What has been most surprising and inspiring is the amount of effort and energy folk are willing to pour into a problem that at the moment, has no end in sight,’ Joliffe says. ‘For every piece that’s removed, several are added. But the magic is in the cumulative effect of small improvements made often, and we now know that the South Devon Coast has less plastic on it than at any time in the last 20 years, and we aim to keep it that way.’
Luxury Coastal – also Devon-based – are now partnered with Till the Coast is Clear, offering both volunteers and sponsors to the cause.
Pollinator Paradise: Blenheim Palace is Rewilding for the Bees
July 2022: It’s not just the Tower of London getting a floral face-lift this summer: Blenheim Palace have collaborated with Rowse Honey to plant a plethora of wildflowers – and visitors are welcome to enjoy the bee-autiful display!
Over 50 acres of pollinator-rich meadows and 124 miles of hedgerow in and around the estate have been planted with millions of wildflower seeds – with over 70 native flower species – to create a sustainable nectar source and new habitats for wild bees and other local wildlife.
There are future plans at Blenheim Palace to create wildflower meadows the equivalent size of five Wembley Stadiums. It forms part of Blenheim Estate’s wider land strategy, as well as Rowse’s Hives for Lives programme.
Oceandiva: The River Thames’ First Carbon-Neutral Events Venue
July 2022: If you’ve ever hopped on a Thames Clippers boat – or, more recently, an Uber Boat – as part of your commute, you might find it difficult to romanticise the capital’s biggest river. However, various river tour boats exist – targeted at tourists looking to see London from a new angle – alongside other water-based experiences, like boat parties bringing a splash of nightlife to the river. Enter: Oceandiva.
This new events venue – launching in Autumn 2022 – will be the River Thames’ first carbon-neutral events venue, boasting capacity for 500 diners or 1,500 reception guests across three decks. Utilising the latest marine technology, the engines are noise-reducing – to protect Thames wildlife – and powered by renewable energy: shore-based green electricity charging points, onboard solar panels, and a back-up biofuel generator.
Oceandiva London has been installing electrical charging points along the river, from London Bridge to Greenwich, to encourage other Thames vessels to go electric, reducing the number of cars on the road and bringing an electric highway to the Thames. As a result, Thames Clippers is following suit, with its first-ever hybrid high-speed passenger boats arriving on the Thames this winter.
Hotels Making Sustainable Moves
Featured Image: Sustainable Greece.