Summers are getting hotter here in Gloucestershire, so it's more important than ever to be climate-conscious — and making greener choices when you're heading on holiday or for a day out is no exception.
SoGlos caught up with Visit Gloucestershire to get its advice on how to have a greener summer holiday in Gloucestershire — including sipping on local beer, letting someone else do the driving and reconnecting with nature on an eco-retreat.
About the expert — Steve Gardner-Collins from Visit Gloucestershire
With the aim of creating a sustainable tourism industry for the county, Steve Gardner-Collins is the director of Visit Gloucestershire and helps the county's hospitality and visitor economy businesses work together to share their experiences, resources and expertise.
From encouraging visitors and residents to support local companies, to helping Gloucestershire's businesses become more sustainable, accessible and successful, Visit Gloucestershire is a champion for the county on the local and national stage.
With summers getting hotter and climate change becoming more apparent, how important is it for holidaymakers to keep an eye on their carbon footprint?
Responsible travel is becoming more popular. The conscious
travellers will be aware of what is going on all around us — we’ve seen it with
the weather around the world lately, with how hot has Europe been. Climate change
and carbon footprint is certainly something we’ll all need to be aware of.
And it’s not just weather-related of course, you have choices to make when out and about and the impact those choices have on the environment and people is really important to think about.
Are staycations a more eco-friendly alternative to foreign holidays?
Not necessarily. Whilst there are lots of factors to think about, staycations are not always guaranteed to be eco-friendly. Generally, travelling in your car to and around the county will have its impacts; your choices on buying food and drink; and what you do during your visit can all have a negative impact on the environment around you, so it's important to be mindful even when staycationing in this country.
Gloucestershire a good choice for holidaymakers looking for sustainable
There are so many options in Gloucestershire to help holidaymakers make the choices that matter. Check out 15 sustainable staycations and eco-retreats in Gloucestershire for some environmentally-friendly inspiration on places to stay in the county.
travellers aren’t ready for a full-on eco-retreat, but are wanting to take
steps to have a greener summer holiday, what are some simple things they can do
to reduce their impact on the environment when holidaying in Gloucestershire?
Some common daily practices you should carry on doing
when on holiday include things like avoiding plastic bags and taking re-useable shopping
bags away with you when you go to local markets.
Pack lightly, every kilo counts. The more a car weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces, so only pack what you need – there is plenty of shopping to be done in Gloucestershire, so bring the essentials and pick up anything else you might need while you're here.
Taking public transport is one of the best things you can do for the environment when travelling. It means you’re not creating any additional carbon emissions from private transport. It will also add to your travel experience, providing you with opportunities to interact with locals.
Drink a locally-brewed beer and not only will you probably enjoy a high-quality ale, but your drink can be low-carbon by cutting down on ‘beer mileage.’ The same applies to eating local produce, too, with Gloucestershire famous for its fantastic food.
so much gorgeous greenery like the Cotswold countryside and the lush Forest of
Dean on the doorstep, there must be plenty of great eco-friendly activities to
get stuck into for summer holiday days out too?
I think the important point here is to be mindful of getting to and from great places and things to do. There are plenty of green spaces you can explore and gorgeous scenery to really connect with Gloucestershire’s landscape and the people that live here, just be mindful of the impact you have when visiting — your transport choices, where you stay, what you eat and drink.
You can consciously have an eco-friendly visit when you think about what you are doing.
What other eco-friendly options are there, aside from the great outdoors? Are there many environmentally friendly indoor attractions if the weather is a let-down?
Gloucestershire has plenty of indoor attractions that are mindful of the environment, from Cotswold Farm Park which has plenty of indoor and outdoor entertainment for little ones, to places like the Museum of Gloucester which has a long-term plan to improve sustainability.
When choosing places to stay, check out SoGlos's list of sustainable staycations and eco-retreats in Gloucestershire for some eco-friendly accommodation ideas, with everything from treehouses to cosy caravans where you could happily curl up with a good book on a rainy day!
For people holidaying with children or dogs, travelling by car is likely to be the preferred option – are there more environmentally-friendly ways to get around in Gloucestershire? Where are the easiest places to visit without a car?
With kids and pets, you don’t have to take the car. Gloucestershire's trains
and buses are pet-friendly; you can also hire bikes with trolleys for little
legs who can’t cope with the hilly slopes across Gloucestershire, too.