We managed to tick off another box on the list of “Things to do to be a PP (perfect parent)” last year and took our two boys, Louis (6) and Hugo (3) camping. It was rapidly becoming clear that “Doing Cornwall” was also on the PP list, and although we deny all charges of trying to keep up with the Joneses, off we set to join the tourist throngs in Padstow, North Cornwall.
We took only the basics – a tiny four man tent, two ring cooker and army style camping beds for the boys, which were impossible to erect. We drank hot chocolate for breakfast, had cricket, rugby and football sessions with other families, and midnight feasts under the stars. But the best bit was the cycling.
UK tour operator, Thomson has changed power suppliers to use some green energy in its branches. Sixty percent of electricity consumed by Thomson and its airline Thomsonfly will be supplied from electricity generated by wind farms and other renewable sources such as hydro and solar power.
Thomson’s Managing Director Peter Rothwell, basking in the glow of his new eco light, stated, “Changes like this can make a huge difference on the impact we have on the environment”.
It may be a case of ensuring that your own house is in order before going elsewhere, but Thomson’s announcement forces us to open the debate on how responsible such companies are in their business practices further afield.
SOON TO BE PUBLISHED. ORDER YOUR ADVANCE COPY HERE-
Tired of tourist traps and guilt trips, or just want to have a positive impact on the people and places you visit? THE ETHICAL TRAVEL GUIDE lists over 300 places in 60 countries that benefit local people. From simple local-style holidays, treks, construction projects in Tibet, art holidays, and culinary and luxury retreats, there is something to suit every taste and budget. This is the essential resource for responsible global travellers.
• An INTRODUCTION to ethical tourism from Guardian journalist Polly Pattullo: What is Ethical Tourism? / What’s Wrong with Traditional Tourism? / Case Study: The Gambia / New Role of Consumers – Why be an Ethical Consumer? / Globalisation: A New Trip
It is time to get the bike out again and leave the cosiness of the gas guzzler behind. You can warm up slowly too with the bike that gives your body and the environment a break. Among our favourites is a little electric bike and super stylish folding bicycles… Here’s more:
The Founder-S is a folding bike by koga miyata. It is stable and comfortable to ride, details we liked were the built-in spherical back light and luggage rack… All so stylish. Price £995
The Mezzo is a great looking folding bicycle, created by ex-Formula 1 engineer Jon Whyte. It is well balanced, which means comfortable ride and good control of the bike. Approx £500.