Our environmental responsibilities
We should all take responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of travel and reduce our carbon footprint. Small changes can make a big difference to our planet's future.
We appreciate that to reach many of the far-flung destinations in our Worldwide Holidays by Rail programme and some of our European destinations in our European Holidays by Rail programme, we must first of all take a flight to get there and would encourage you to 'offset' the effects of this.
Offset your CO2 emissions
When it comes to carbon dioxide, we all unknowingly over-indulge. Each time we heat our homes or drive the car, CO2 is added into the atmosphere. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2 and prevent further damage to the atmosphere we all need to work towards a low-carbon lifestyle. This responsibility applies as much when we travel and particularly when we fly. As well as taking steps to reduce your 'carbon footprint' you can neutralise or 'offset' the adverse impact of your flight.
Carbon offsetting means donating money to projects, specifically set up with the aim of reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere on your behalf, thus making your air travel 'carbon neutral'. In this way we can counteract the damage we cause. Projects include:
- Renewable energy - this replaces non-renewable fuel such as coal
- Energy efficiency - this reduces the amount of fuel needed
- Forest restoration - this absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as the trees grow
You may wish to offset your CO2 emissions using our preferred Offset Partner, Climate Care. To calculate the impact of your flights, use the Air Travel Calculator on their website. Your donation, entirely voluntary, may be much less than you think - for example, to offset one person's return flight to Vancouver will cost £16.06. As a business, we pledge to offset the carbon emissions generated by the air travel of our Tour Managers, plus the emissions generated by the business air travel undertaken by our office staff whilst researching our worldwide holidays.
Further information about Climate Care is available at http://climatecare.org/.
All tourism potentially has an environmental, social and economic impact on the destinations involved, and we recognise our duty to respect and preserve the culture of the places we visit. Great Rail Journeys takes this responsibility seriously and has been awarded AITO's 3-star status in recognition of its commitment to the Responsible Tourism policy. Rail travel is one of the most ecologically-friendly means of transport and using trains as much as possible during our holidays is one way we endeavour to minimise the negative effects of tourism on our environment.
Our Responsible Tourism practices extend to our Head Office, where we try to minimise pollution and energy loss, and conserve natural resources by recycling products wherever possible. Our monthly paper recycling activity at Head Office operates in association with the local Scout group in York. If our brochures are not of interest to you, we would urge you to either recycle it or pass it to your friends or family.
Further information on Responsible Tourism is available at http://www.aito.com/sustainable-tourism/ethos.