Serenity Retreat and Sustainability
Kim here. I run a holiday company and as such I am responsible for encouraging people to fly. I've been conflicted of late, because I am bothered about the effect that flying has on the environment, yet I love what I do and know my guests get value from coming.
Last year, I offset all the carbon produced by flights that my guests took with a company called carbonfootprint.com.
This year I'm in touch with the Woodland Trust to find out how I can support them directly to support tree planting projects in the UK. More details to follow.
Now, I'm not saying that this is a solution but, for the moment, it feels like a move in the right direction.
What else can you do?
Here are some other things you can do to help (courtesy of carbonfootprint.com's Holiday Footprint page)
Flights are the main source of carbon emissions in your holiday footprint. If you have to fly, here are some practical tips that you can use to reduce the overall emissions of the flight:
- Travel light - most of the clothes we take on holiday are 'just in case' but seldom, if ever, do we need them. By sticking to just what you need, you will be reducing the payload of the plane, fuel usage and carbon emissions
- Travel 'non stop' routes - some flights are labelled 'non direct', this often means that the plane can make multiple stops en route to your final destination. The extra take-offs and landings will add to the carbon footprint
- Use electronic ticketing where possible - avoid the emissions associated with print out of tickets by holding them on your phone
Choosing produce that is made in locally reduces transport emissions. In the supermarket look on food labels to see where the produce was grown. There's a good chance this food will also be fresher too (we strongly encourage buying local at Serenity Retreat).
Go native - buy local brands rather than the familiar British brands (as these will have been transported large distances and they are frequently much more expensive too). Bring your reusable shopping bags - many EU countries charge for bags just as the UK does (you'll all receive a reusable shopping bag on arrival).
At Your Accommodation
- Don’t have the windows open and the air conditioning/heating on at the same time
- Only have the air conditioning or heating on when it is needed
- Turning the air conditioning up will not make the room cool down any faster, be patient!
- If you are staying in a hotel that offers cleaning services, don’t put towels and bedding out every day to be washed unless necessary. This will reduce the energy used in washing, drying and ironing processes and so reduce carbon emissions (at Serenity Retreat we have a towels only change midweek, although sheets can be changed on request).
Say no to straws - straws are one of the most avoidable single use plastics, simply ask to not have a straw with your drink at the hotel bar. This is a very easy way to immediately reduce your plastic waste, within minimal effort.
Refuse plastic souvenir bags - instead use your own back packs/ handbags or bags for life to carry those precious holiday souvenirs (this year at Serenity Retreat, everyone will receive a foldaway bag to use for trips to the supermarket etc).
Reuse plastic water bottles - we'll give you a small bottle of water, try and reuse it. The tap water on the island is perfectly drinkable.
Reuse plastic toiletries - when packing lightly, using travel sized miniature toiletries comes in handy. You can distil your larger bottles of shampoo and shower gel etc. into the smaller bottles. Make sure to keep reusing them for all of your trips.
Eco-Friendly Sun Cream
You may be aware of the ban on sales of products containing microbeads in the UK, which comes into force later this year, but you may not know that this only refers to rinse off products, so that leave on products such as sun cream are not included. Sun creams can further harm the environment as they often contain Oxybenzone which has been found to contribute to coral bleaching which kill corals and is toxic to other marine life, such as algae, fish and mammals. Fortunately, there are eco alternatives available to help you protect your skin and marine life. Before you go swimming in the ocean, check that your sun cream is coral reef safe and that it does not contain plastic microbeads.
Before You Leave Home
Turn off heating for your home and hot water Check electrical appliances are switched off (and not standby!)If you need to leave lights on for security reasons get some timers which can turn the lights on only when neededIf your refrigerator is empty (or can be emptied) - switch it off
Our Offset Certificate