Green Tourism : How to get involved
Ecotourism: Good environmental practices
Can you travel and still protect the planet ? This is the very principle of green tourism, which revolves around protecting the environment. This concept is a virtuous approach that often includes equitable tourism and responsible travel. The aim is for everyone involved in the trip to benefit, especially the local population. There is just one step to transform your Vacances Bleues - blue holidays - into a green one !
Being an eco-traveller is not just about walking in the wilderness...
Some habits should be avoided and others should be encouraged. Here is a brief overview of the ways in which you can travel in an alternative way.
As part of a green approach to travel, you should avoid large hotel complexes that spoil the landscape without really contributing to local development. If you don't want to sleep under the stars, there is another option and that is eco-friendly accommodation.
What defines it as such? Essentially, it is based on the efforts made to reduce water and energy consumption as well as waste production.
Good environmental practices
As part of this approach, Vacances Bleues uses composting at Château Laval and entrusts the upkeep of its lawns to the sheep of local farmers. As the estate is closed in winter, they can graze at their leisure. Reducing energy consumption and increasing our involvement in the land. We are always striving to improve and offer you more responsible tourism.
Planning a lighter holiday programme
Wanting to see everything, do everything, and not miss out on anything results in a lot of travel, and, therefore, a lot of pollution. Not to mention the fact that when we return, we will need a holiday to rest... from our holiday.
The other advantage of a lighter schedule is that it leaves room for unexpected things and opportunities to meet people; by being less focused on what you want to see, you are more open to appreciating opportunities that may arise.
Vacances Bleues and carbon conversion
Aware of the need to limit our environmental impact as much as possible, we offer a carbon conversion option whenever a flight is necessary. For this, the amount of your C02 emissions is estimated using the Good Planet Foundation's calculator. To compensate for these emissions, Vacances Bleues finances and supports "Les amis de Rigoberta Menchú", who plant trees in the region of Lake Atitlán (in Guatemala).
A water bottle and a zero waste kit are your key allies on any responsible trip. For carrying groceries, a reusable bag is more eco-friendly (and prettier!) than plastic bags.
Farmers' shops, local markets... There are many benefits to buying locally including traceability to the source, supporting the producers, and enjoy high-quality produce with a low ecological impact. All of which is great !
This is why Vacances Bleues is committed to using local suppliers, local produce and seasonal recipes. When you stay at the Balmoral Hotel or the Royal Westminster in Menton, you can enjoy traditional jams from Maison Herbin. At Les Jardins de l'Atlantique, you can find beehives: the beekeeper invites you to visit and taste his production.
It's hard to get more local than that !
Just because you're on holiday doesn't mean that the good habits you have at home should be forgotten. A towel can be used several times, and just because it's hot doesn't mean you have to shower three times a day and have the air conditioning turned up all the time.
As every little effort counts, the products you use during your holiday are also important. As a travel and tourism company, we recognise this and are committed to constantly improving our performance.
Here are two examples:
- Glass bottles have replaced plastic bottles in all our hotels
- At Lou Castel, the eco-friendly cleaning products we use are made from renewable raw materials instead of petroleum-based chemicals.
There are many eco-friendly ways to spend quality time in the Great Outdoors such as hiking, cycling, snorkelling, canyoning, canoeing and more.
Enjoy a nap, reading or just snuggling up are also reenergising alternatives... If you're sunbathing on the beach, choose a sun lotion instead of oil, which has a negative impact on marine ecosystems. Every detail counts: all these little steps add up to make a bigger difference.
An object made by local craftsmen will please you more than yet another piece of plastic made in China to be stuck onto your fridge... If you want to keep your luggage light, postcards are a welcome favourite.
Meeting people, a key element of responsible and equitable tourism
Supporting the local people in the region you are visiting is great, but meeting them is even better ! Voyager Autrement does everything possible to give you a first-hand experience of the realities of the country through meetings with local charities, craftsmen, teachers, doctors, artists and even homestays with local people.
Money well invested benefits everyone: practical initiatives
Equitable tourism helps to support the local economy and to make travellers aware of the actions carried out on the ground. Around each of our destinations, Vacances Bleues has therefore chosen to work with at least 10 local producers and creators.
To support Voyager Autrement's partner associations involved in development in the countries and populations concerned by our programmes, the Vacances Bleues Foundation pledges €10,000 per year. As an active player in solidarity-based holidays, we also donate €15,000 each year to the organisation Les Petits Frères des Pauvres, which enables people living alone to go on holiday.
Ecotourism may appear to be a little restrictive, but the way our world is changing is making us more aware of the consequences of our actions. In addition to being connected to nature, we can experience the joy of holidaying in balance with the values we hold. Wouldn't that make us happier ?
I protect nature by WWF
I protect nature by WWF To preserve the biodiversity of areas, WWF has set up a unique geolocation for all destinations: "I Protect Nature". This way, instagrammers can prevent mass tourism that would otherwise endanger ecosystems while still sharing beautiful photos. That's something that's certainly worth a like!