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Jetset Brits leave the environment at home when they go on holiday

Jul 18

Written by:
18/07/2011 11:27  RssIcon

Almost 70% of people in the UK don't let environmental concerns influence their holiday choices.

That's compared to 50% of our continental cousins in France and 60% in Belgium according to a study conducted by Eurostar.

The study of over 3,000 adults in the UK, France and Belgium also found that over half of Brits (55%) take up to three flight based holidays a year, compared to just over a third (38%) of French people. The research also revealed that despite the difficult economic times, 6% of Brits take at least five flight based holidays each year, which worryingly could generate around three tonnes of carbon emissions per person.

Brits seem to understand how personal daily travel can damage the environment, with over a third of people in the UK (36%) ranking driving as the part of day-to-day life which generates the most carbon emissions. Less than a fifth (17%) of people in the UK ranked recreation, leisure travel and holidays as the most damaging, which shows a lack of awareness of the impact their holidays have on their annual carbon footprint.

Academic studies have shown that 27% of an average consumer's annual CO2 emissions are generated from leisure and holiday activities, the largest segment, compared with only 18% of CO2 emissions generated by driving. For consumers choosing to fly to their holiday destination, the carbon emissions from the flights alone account for over half (52%) of the total emissions of their holiday.

Even for those Brits who said that concerns about the environment did influence their holiday choices, only around a third (34%) would actually reduce the number of holidays they take to cut carbon emissions and a similar number (32%) would consider switching from flying short haul to taking the train.

Peter Bragg, Head of Environment and Energy for Eurostar commented; "This is not to say we should never go on holiday, but there are simple actions people can take to help reduce the impact their holidays have on the environment. These include using public transport abroad rather than hiring cars or switching from flying short haul to traveling by high-speed rail. These small changes, alongside the actions that organisations must take to make journeys more sustainable, can help us to ensure that future generations will have the same opportunities to travel that we have today."




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