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How to book an ethical holiday

Thinking of booking a holiday? From reducing your air miles to protecting wildlife, here’s how to choose an eco-friendly getaway

Posted: 19 April 2013
by Junior

Book with an ethical tour operator Look for a stated responsible tourism policy. Responsible Travel is one of the country’s leading environmental travel agents. Visit

Don’t rule out the big players Thomas Cook and MyTravel have all published responsible tourism policies. Thomson Holidays also has the Green Medal scheme.

Look for hotels with eco-design The Gaia Napa Valley Hotel in California is a great example. Visit

Be eco-aware of your destination The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) has a strict code of conduct for its members, encouraging them to protect the environment, respect local cultures, and minimise pollution. One tip they offer families is to teach your children a few words of the local language.

Involve your children in the packing Teach them what is “good” to take – eco-friendly soap, recyclable containers and so on. Many developing countries do not have good refuse or recycling collection schemes, so children will need to know about disposing of litter responsibly.

Teach children about ethical souvenir shopping No shells or animal products. Introduce them to the art of gentle haggling if it’s part of the local culture, but don’t haggle too hard.

Don’t give sweets or money to begging local children Instead teach them how to play cat’s cradle, throw a Frisbee, exchange drawings. It’s more fun and fulfilling for everyone.

Fly less, stay longer When you do fly, calculate the environmental cost and make good by investing in renewable energy. You can offset carbon emissions at

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