To coincide with the Travel Foundation launching their 'Make Holidays Greener' campaign, we've compiled a list of top ten tips for holidaymakers to make their vacations greener. Just pick two or three to make a real difference to the people and places you're visiting.
1. Book excursions with local suppliers
Booking with local suppliers and tour guides will enrich your experience and help support the local economy. If booking via your travel company, ask your rep, or at your hotel reception if the excursions use local suppliers. Hire a car only if you have to, it is much more environmentally friendly to use public transport, cycle or walk to explore the area you are visiting.
2. Book safari trips with a trained guide
Book with a licensed or trained guide so that you can enjoy your day out and the wild animals are not disturbed or threatened by your presence.
3. Buy locally
3 Buying locally made souvenirs and eating and drinking at local cafés and restaurants is a great way to meet the community, get into the holiday spirit, and benefit local businesses at the same time.
4. Buying products
Don't buy products made from endangered animals and plants, including coral, shells, starfish, horns, teeth and animal skins and fur. Endangered plants and animals need our help to protect them!
5. Do not touch coral
Do not step on, touch or remove coral. It is important to protect the coral reefs when snorkeling, they are extremely fragile.
6. Photos with wild animals
Don't have your picture taken with any 'wild' animals. These animals are often taken from the wild when young, and are often mistreated and killed when they get too large or difficult to handle.
7. Remove packaging
Remove as much packaging as you can from the items you're taking away with you. Many countries are currently unable to cope with high levels of waste, and do not have recycling services as we do in the UK.
8. Respect local culture and traditions
Dress and act appropriately for the place that you are visiting — do a little background reading before you go away or ask your rep for advice.
9. Turn down air conditioning
Turn down /off air conditioning and heating when not required and turn off the TV rather than leave it on standby.
10. Use water sparingly
Take short showers rather than baths, and inform staff if you are happy to reuse towels and bed linen rather than having them replaced daily. Many hot countries suffer from periods of drought and this will help to conserve water.
Make Holidays Greener Week
2 - 9 July 2011
To find out more about the Travel Foundation campaign visit their website.
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