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  • Writer's pictureGill Kelley

Does your holiday improve your relationship with Earth?

I read a thought provoking article recently - it's straightforward enough to question the journey I take to a holiday destination, but what about when I get there? I can search to see if I can reach my destination by public transport, or whether there are enough charge points on route for my electric car and look for ways I can use to avoid flying. However, where will you stay when you get there - and how can you be sure that it is a holiday venue with an interest in the planet and so will improve your relationship with Earth?

Reading a book in the fresh air.
Relaxing with a book

Fortunately for the rest of us these questions were considered by the founders of Ecobnb back in 2013, and they have since grown their customers to 2.8 million travellers that share their values. They set up a website and the BBC says "Today Ecobnb, based in Trento, in northern Italy, lists more than 3,000 properties worldwide, from a vegan and organic farmhouse in Tuscany, to an eco mountain lodge in Costa Rica."

Accommodation providers have to satisfy certain criteria in order to become part of the organisation. They need to satisfy at least of the following 10 criteria -

  • Be accessible without a car

  • Use 100% renewable energy

  • Ensure more than 80% of waste is recycled

  • Use solar power to heat water

  • Include environmentally-friendly architecture

  • Collect and reuse rainwater

  • Use low consumption light bulbs

  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products

  • Have water-flow reducers fitted

  • Serve organic or locally sourced food

The properties listed by them range from hotels to tents, and Ecobnb work on a subscription basis rather than taking bookings themselves. They put an interested holidaymaker in touch with their chosen accommodation.

There are other specialist companies that offer eco-friendly holidays. Some offer flight-free trips, others offer stays that focus on biodiversity and others look to reduce the impact of over-tourism, by offering accommodation in lesser used towns and cities.

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