Perhaps one of your New Year resolutions is to live a greener life. If so we can help!!! Holidays in hostels or bunkhouses have great ECO credentials.
Days, weekends and longer holidays spent in hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns have great ECO credentials.
With a choice of over 440 independent hostels in some wonderful locations all over the UK there is no need to make any damaging journeys by air.
The shared living areas in hostels mean that your individual carbon footprint for that holiday is reduced.
The self catering aspect means you can buy local food with very few food miles. You can cook what you know you will eat thus reducing waste.
The activities associated with hostel holidays are almost all very environmentally friendly.
Walking, cycling, mountain biking, canoeing/kayaking, climbing, running, star gazing, celebrating with friends and family, bird watching, wildlife watching, photography, beach combing, pub/cafe visiting, dog walking and unwinding all have a minimal impact on the environment.
What’s more many of the 440 hostels in the Independent Hostel Network have been awarded Green Tourism Awards. The head office of Independent Hostels is also a Gold Green Tourism Award holder.
Among the ECO hostels you will find solar panels, wind turbines, biomass boilers, sheep’s wool insulation, electric charging points, bikes for hire, kitchen gardens, home cooked locally sourced meals and eggs from the hostel’s own chickens. Some hostels are entirely off grid.
To help promote sustainable transport there are a number of initiatives. At Puttenham Eco Camping Barn, on the North Downs Way near Guildford, a ‘green’ voucher worth £3 off the cost of the accommodation is offered to all who arrive by foot, cycle or public transport. The two hostels owned by the Elenydd Wilderness Trust, Dolgoch and Tyncornel in the Cambrian Mountains near Tregaron, offer Green Vouchers to anyone arriving on foot or bike. These vouchers entitle the holder to a half price stay at either of the hostels at a later date. These sister hostels are a day’s walk apart and guests are encouraged to walk between the two. At All Stretton Bunkhouse, just off the Long Mynd in Shropshire, guests are also offered a sustainable transport discount of £1 per person per night if they arrive on foot, bike, bus or train.
Other hostels like The Dales Bike Centre Hostel in Fremlington in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have on-site bike hire, including e bikes, junior bikes and tagalongs. While Thorney How in Grasmere in the Lake District provides electric car and bike charging points for guests. They have their very own hybrid vehicle for business travel. And as active supporters of the Drive Less See More campaign they always promote the local public transport links and encourage guests to car share.
In addition to these measures many independent hostels are happy to collect guests from the nearest train or bus station and almost all are designed with walkers and cyclists in mind. Secure cycle sheds, boot and drying rooms are common place, while advice as to local walks or cycle routes is given freely.
On top of all this holidays in hostels introduce you, your family and friends to a different ethos and a slower pace of life. A world where conversations with friends or strangers are far more important that those on your phone or tablet. A world where a star filled dark sky, songs in the garden, a good old fashioned board game, or planning your adventures for the next day are your preferred evening entertainment.
It’s also worth noting that a growing number of independent hostels are community owned and run on a not-for-profit basis, while many are small family businesses.