UK travellers urged to go green

This week, the UK’s Environment Minister Elliot Morley urged holidaymakers planning to travel abroad at Easter to reduce their effect on the environment.
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The government’s scheme to contribute to energy-saving initiatives to offset the use of carbon emissions from official flights starts this week. Money from this offsetting initiative will be put into carbon-saving projects in developing countries.
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In addition, a new scheme for civil servants, being trialled by Defra, is aimed at reducing emissions, by showing how they can identify the ‘carbon footprint’ of their official travel choices.
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Mr Morley also welcomed a new UK travel industry initiative to cut its carbon emissions.
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The Travel Foundation is setting up new carbon emission reduction programmes designed to reduce the “carbon footprint” of British holidaymakers in destinations worldwide by means of initiatives such as low energy technology in hotels, better insulation and the use of low carbon tourist vehicles.
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Donations are made to the Travel Foundation through bookings with operators, including First Choice Holidays, Thomas Cook and Sunvil, or by visiting www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk, and now by texting the word “donate” to 61199.
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Mr Morley said: “The government takes seriously the impact of its own activities on the environment and I am pleased our offsetting scheme is now coming into force; also that civil servants are being given the information they need to reduce their ‘carbon footprints’.
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“I also very warmly welcome the Travel Foundation’s initiative, which builds on some excellent sustainability work they have been doing in resorts overseas. In the past, tourists have not fully recognised the environmental damage they can cause, particularly when travelling abroad. By donating to the Travel Foundation, and also by offsetting their flights, they can return something to benefit the environment.
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“Emissions from air travel are significant and rising and the potential impact on the climate is increased by their release at altitude.”
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Dermot Blastland, Managing Director of the Mainstream Holidays Sector of First Choice PLC and a trustee of the Travel Foundation, said:
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“First Choice is committed to working to reduce the environmental impacts of all our activities, and our support for the valuable work being done by the Travel Foundation is a key part of our focus on sustainability.ÊÊ We are delighted that most of our customers choose to make a donation to the foundation.Ê
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“The partnership between the UK travel industry and the Travel Foundation, with the Government’s welcome encouragement, is still unique in the world, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of work towards making sustainability a fundamental part of travel.”
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The new Travel Foundation schemes are specifically focused on reducing the carbon emissions of tourism in resort destinations, and complement the Foundation’s existing range of sustainability programmes combating poverty and promoting conservation of destination environments and their wildlife enjoyed by British travellers worldwide.
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