Eco travel needn’t cost the Earth

9th Apr 2010
Eco travel needn’t cost the Earth

·      More Brits opt to stay with locals, avoiding the massive carbon footprint that comes with hotel chains.
o   UK-based reports >100% increase in demand from Brits in just 3 months
o   Budget friendly as well as eco-friendly – being 83% cheaper than hotels
·      Given they don’t involve flying, Staycations tend to be the best holiday option when it comes to the environment.
·      Train travel reduces despite being the most eco-friendly way of getting to your holiday destination.

For a long time now eco travel has been a hot topic, hardly a surprise when one looks at the carbon footprints created by airlines and hotel chains. Thus far however the cost of eco-travel has been restrictive for many. In these times of pay-freezes, redundancy, recession and falling house prices people are in more need of a relaxing week away than ever. So what can concerned travellers do to reduce their impact on the environment, without sacrificing the all-important down-time - or spending a fortune in the process?

UK Staycations (London examples)

An increasingly popular option is a ‘staycation’ in the UK, with British website reporting a massive 111% increase in demand for stays in the UK for both city-breaks and rural getaways. A weekend break in London can be cheaper than you think – the average cost of a weekend stay in a double room in the capital via is just £60, and some are as cheap as £15 per night. Here are some examples of rooms in London:

1.    Stunning double room in Bloomsbury, £40 per night
2.    En-suite room near Kew Gardens & Twickenham, £55 per night
3.    Perfect for Cricket – En-suite double near Oval, £40 per night


Avoid hotels, especially hotel chains

Hotels have carbon footprints which would make Godzilla quake in his massive boots. This is due to a number of factors, including staff transport to and from work, 24-hour air-conditioning, daily laundry and 24-hour industrial kitchens. So what are the alternatives?

Stay with a friendly local through, which has rooms in over 700 global cities from £5 per night. A Crashpadder stay is virtually carbon free, and the site has been endorsed by:

a.      UK AWARE – the UK’s only green and ethical lifestyle exhibition
b.    Beach Break Live - the UK’s first carbon neutral festival. 
c.    The Local Travel Movement – encouraging travel that is sensitive to the local environment


This is a big one, especially when it comes to air travel. Whilst the figures below show the carbon footprint per 100 miles for three common transport choices, based on a 300 mile return journey e.g. London-> Manchester-> London:

Flight:  30kg per person
Car:      32kg per car (based on a 1.8l petrol engine)
Train:    13kg per person

Despite the low carbon footprint, train travel is on the decline in the UK. This is blamed on high prices, particularly on journeys booked in the 2 weeks prior to travel. This year saw the first train fair in the UK which exceeded £1,000.



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