We have just been on what could be described as an eco holiday. Train travel from within walking distance of our house to a ferry, camping (mainly) and return travel by train. No flying, low impact. Destination the Scilly Islands. What can we learn from our trip in eco terms? It was a very good holiday in other terms.
1) There is no such thing as an eco holiday. Whilst ours was as low carbon as possible there is no way you can do no damage to the environment. Even by staying at home. The aim should be to minimise damage rather than pretend its not happening.
2) Such a holiday does involve a degree of sacrifice. The train journey involved 12 hours of travel. A friend said why don’t you fly? I wish I could say that everything went smoothly but our train journeys out and coming home were a bit of a nightmare and took 14 hours. In addition as per usual it would have been cheaper to fly.
3) You can only go so far along this route. You are dependent on other people and how they behave. The campsite, the BandB and the pub/hotel as well as activities. Where they get their electricity/food from? How they recycle? All this is a bit difficult to judge in advance in most cases. Some research is possible but not down to nearly the last detail. That the campsite on St Agnes had solar panels on the roof of the toilet block was a pleasant surprise.
Last year we went on a pilgrimage walk that was nearer and involved less in the way of train travel but involved staying in BandB’s rather than camping. The two holidays probably had the same level of environmental impacts.