What we are doing
Scotland’s Walks will make a donation for each client to World Land Trust International. For 30 years, this conservation charity has worked to protect the world’s most threatened habitats. It has funded ground-breaking partnerships to ensure the active protection of more than four million acres of land worldwide.
What you can do
There’s a lot to think about when you’re considering a holiday. It could be argued that the top of your list should be how to make your holiday more environmentally friendly. So we’ve put together some suggestions you could consider to ensure your holiday is as good for the environment as it is for you.
Flights – do you really need to fly?
If you’re travelling from the UK or Europe, how about taking the train? Or a ferry? These modes of transport do less damage to the environment, and can actually enhance your holiday. Imagine travelling by train through previously unseen parts of Europe, or the excitement of a night onboard a ferry. Obviously, you need to add more travel time at each end of your holiday, but if you can do that, it not only gives your holiday an extra element, but it also gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment.
If you do need to fly, think about which airline you choose to fly with
Many have carbon offsetting programmes and other green initiatives, but it’s certainly worth checking these out before deciding who to fly with. Some may be more effective than others. You may be able to purchase “carbon offsets” from your airline. These are basically donations to environmental projects set up, or supported, by the airline to “compensate” for their CO2 emissions, and thus “lower” their carbon footprint. Bear in mind that offsetting does not reduce emissions, and therefore it isn’t a solution to airline emissions.
Examples of Carbon Off-Setting Schemes
Currently, KLM, Air France, Finnair, Alaska, Qantas, Qatar, Emirates, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, British Airways, United Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Canada, Delta Airlines and Cathay Pacific offer carbon offset programmes. If possible fly direct and non-stop: planes release most carbon during take-off and landing. Also, choose daylight flights as sunlight counteracts the greenhouse gases in jet exhaust.
Our team do carry out annual inspections of our properties. Now and in future, we will check out what each place is doing to reduce its carbon footprint; such as energy efficiency or solar power, water consumption, recycling policies and endeavour to find the most eco-friendly options. Nearly all accommodations provide showers and not baths as the norm.
Conserve Energy & Water
You can also think also about what you’re using when you’re in your hotel. Do you need to use all the towels? Do you need all the lights on? Do you really need air con? Many rural properties choose not to have air-con but will provide you with a tabletop fan if you need it.
Travel light whenever possible. A plane’s fuel consumption rises in proportion to its weight. So the heavier your luggage, the heavier your carbon footprint. Think about what you really need to take, both in terms of clothing and toiletries (use travel size bottles) and fly with the smallest bag you can manage.
Taking your own shampoos, soaps, etc from home also means you can avoid using the hotel’s new mini ones and then binning the single-use plastic, every time you arrive at a new hotel.
Reduce Your Waste
While packing you might remove all unnecessary packaging. Don’t rely on your destination’s recycling schemes, why not take any non-biodegradable waste home with you. If you plan to leave behind your walking poles - please try to pass them on and find a good home for them.
Hydration and Picnics
Do avoid buying plastic water bottles if at possible. Walkers need between 1.5-3l of drinking water (depending on temperatures and time on the trail). Two reusable bottles or a bladder for your day pack is the best way of carrying your daily supply, but refill them from the tap each day before you set out. If you have to purchase bottled water, make sure you recycle what you buy. If you’re buying picnic items, use your own shopping bag rather than taking plastic bags from the shop. Do your best to avoid single-use plastic cutlery and unnecessary packaging - buy yourself a spork and some eco-wrap for sandwiches and pastries!
Buy Thoughtful Gifts
Scotland produces superb locally made goods to take home, and you will also be sharing a more authentic flavour of your travel experience.