A greener way to travel
Everyone's talking about reducing their "carbon footprint" these days. Whenever we heat our homes, turn on a light or drive our cars, we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Of course this is not a new problem, but it doesn't appear to be getting any better either.
Rail travel is already one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of travelling. Most European services are powered by electricity, reducing both local air pollution and the amount of carbon dioxide generated overall.
Furthermore, Eurostar has become the first rail operator to become officially "Carbon Neutral", whilst in mountainous countries like Switzerland, trains actually return electricity to the grid whilst travelling downhill - on some routes this means the net power usage is close to zero.
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.Rail Discoveries takes this responsibility seriously and, as a member of the Great Rail Journeys Group of Companies, we have been awarded AITO's 4-star status in recognition of our commitment to the Sustainable 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 Sustainable 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.
Further information on Sustainable Tourism is available at www.aito.com.
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 flight from Athens to London will cost just £2.33.
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.