How green is your holiday?

Environmental fashion is all the rage, but with so many holiday companies seeking to ride on the back of the green bandwagon, there is a danger of genuine green holidays being overlooked. Bucking the trend, original green companies, such as Suffolk camping and cycling specialist Go Camping UK claim to offer a genuine environmentally friendly holiday by blending their holiday activities peacefully and harmoniously into the natural environment.

Whilst many companies are actively promoting themselves as environmentally friendly, questions remain whether this is little more than effective marketing by jumping on the latest tourism trend. Such is the heightened state of consumer awareness that companies are increasingly spending time attempting to win ‘green’ accreditation by means of ‘carbon offsetting’, ‘reducing their carbon footprint’ and ‘recycling’. While these may be noble pursuits, they are merely methods of reducing the environmental impact of a business which acknowledges it has an environmental impact.

Jet setting, driving and developing the landscape for tourist development is not inherently a green activity. The holiday companies that endorse green compensation schemes may indeed be reducing their environmental impact but they are not intrinsically ‘green holidays’.

Ian Peet, director of camping and cycling specialist Go Camping UK, says, “A genuinely green holiday is something that is achieved not by trying to be green, but by utilizing the environment and its natural attraction. Our camping and cycling holidays are a quiet and efficient way to tour an area unobtrusively. Customers appreciate what the natural environment has to offer, so rather than change the local environment we use it as a showcase for the flora, fauna and sounds of the countryside.

What better way to pass the summer days than by cycling through peaceful countryside, watching and listening to the wildlife that flourishes in the local nature reserves. People enjoy the quiet life of the Suffolk countryside, sampling the excellent local produce, the quaint pubs and the quirky individual shops found away from the bigger towns; not to mention that most people like the idea of sitting outside a tent, passing time and watching the sun go down. It’s very informal and relaxed.”

For the environmentally conscious consumer it is worth remembering that the green movement was born out of the need to preserve our natural resources and that the damage limitation policies offered under the green label of modern marketing, simply addresses the negative impact that company has on its local environment in the first place.

Go Camping UK offers 7 night, weekend and midweek camping and cycling tours along the Suffolk Coast, with package deals for families and groups. For less able cyclists and younger families there are also single site camping holidays where you can choose to cycle as little or as much as you like.

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