When you decide to travel you cannot deny the fact that whatever choices you make will ultimately affect the environment and the planet. It’s more important than ever to consider the way we do choose to travel, and what choices we make along the way to make sure Tourism can be sustained long term, without causing harm to the natural world.

The first thought that came to mind is how can I get to the BCP area that will minimise the impact I make on the environment. I researched various train options, ones that are electric is probably the best option, and it was so easy and relaxed as the train stops close to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole town centres. Carbon emissions of diesel trains can be twice those of electric ones.

There are other ways to travel, if there is an option for carpooling or car sharing that is good and of course choosing an electric car will make a difference, but there might be a way to travel by boat! Ferry transport for example here in the UK overall release less carbon emissions than a coach for example. Travelling via coach is also a great option (also for group travel), there are many options and services to choose from, some that go around Dorset on day trips as well.

In central Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole there is another great way to get around, which is by Beryl bike or by Beryl scooter! I had so much fun on one of these. You can cycle to a beauty spot and enjoy the scenery, you will find areas off the beaten track and go on an adventure! Mostly everything is within cycle distance (it is just up to your own fitness level how far you can go!)

I brought my own reusable water bottle and coffee cup to the area as there are several places across the resort where I can fill up my water bottle. There is a Refill app to find out where the locations are, good to be prepared especially on a hot day!

I found myself searching for accommodation which have taken action to become more ‘green’ over the last few years. One that stood out is Hotel Collingwood, they have projects on the go designed to reduce their carbon footprint! They have solar panels on the roof and even an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point in their car park.  Especially with EV becoming more popular and so vital for the reduction of C02 emissions, it is crucial that there are plenty of places to charge vehicles. There are also kind little reminders to use less water and reuse towels and tips to just doing your bit for the planet, I loved seeing those!  

For Christchurch, a night at the Captains Club Hotel & Spa cannot be missed if you are looking for a sustainable holiday. They have been awarded the Gold Award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, their mission statement is to implement and monitor good practice when it comes to Sustainability throughout the hotel. They also support the CHOG, (Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group) who are committed to the protection of wildlife on the harbour in the area.

As the day went on I started to get hungry and explored Bournemouth town. Instead of going for the bigger chains I found an independent restaurant right in the middle of the delightful Bournemouth Lower Gardens, Urban Garden restaurant, which is beautifully secluded. They use locally sourced ingredients and a lot of plant based sustainable foods.

For cocotails (instead of cocktails) the fabulous Sri Lankan The Coconut Tree restaurant is the place to be! They have combined the finest ingredients for all their drinks and food, my favourite dish was the street food vegan Kotthu which tantalises the senses!

For a quick bite to eat, the all vegan place Mighty Wieners cannot be missed! A friendly and fun eatery within the heart of Bournemouth. This amazing vegan burger cannot be matched with real meat! The most delicious burger I have ever tasted, and it is guilt free and sustainable! It cannot get any better!

To find out more about restaurants that use local produce, I checked out the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Around the area there are ecologically divers spots to visit. I went over to Poole Harbour, which is a Ramsar site (Ramsar is the name of the international treaty signed in the Iranian city of the same name for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands). A great place for bird watching and wildlife spotting.  Whist I was there I visited Birds of Poole Harbour where the experts are on hand to tell me everything I needed to know about the wildlife in the area.

If you want to travel further afield why not take a trip to the Avon Valley path, 34 miles long displaying some of the most diverse and interesting countryside in the country, there is no better way to spend an evening.

If you really want to do more on your trip for the environment, many places have organised events such as ‘beach litter picking’ event. You can join for free and meet some other like-minded individuals! The Leave Only Footprints campaign for example has been set up along Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s breath-taking coastline, a fantastic initiative with an aim to encourage residents, visitors and workers to be more environmentally conscious, particularly in relation to waste disposal.

The last few stops I wanted to make were at shops which sell locally sourced gifts or products that have been made from recycled materials. Instead of going back home with a bar of chocolate which you can purchase anywhere, I really wanted to get something more special and sustainable. The plastic free beautiful cosmetics company Pampermoose in Bournemouth have a range of vegan beauty products which are not tested on animals and their packaging is sourced from 100 percent recycled or certified sources.

I had a few minutes left and found the amazing Almond & Co in Westbourne where I picked up some fresh groceries and household goods from local producers and quality sustainable brands, all plastic free!

It is actually quite simple nowadays to make better decisions for the environment, and it takes not a lot of effort. We all have the responsibility to look after our planet and for our future generations. With the already devastating effects of global warming we have to make changes now and we can’t bury our head in the sand anymore.

There is only one planet Earth, once we push it enough there is no turning back. If we all make small steps and changes we can already reduce the impact on the environment so much, and still have an enjoyable holiday or trip away. Start today wherever you may go!




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