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Wouldn't it be lovely if there were no cars on our streets, and we all travelled on foot, by bike, bus or train? Well that's what Sustrans are hoping for from 1st to 7th July with their Change Your World campaign. They are asking the great British public to swap at least one car journey for an alternative method of transport. They claim that if everyone gives up their motor for a day during that week, traffic will be cut by 10%. Cars make up 13% of the UKs total CO2 emissions, but if you swap to bus or train you'll contribute six to eight times less, and taking a bike will not produce any emissions at all. It's not that difficult for most of us, especially as most car journeys only average a couple of miles. If you feel inspired then you can sign up on the Sustrans website. They will even send you a reminder nearer the time to ensure you don't accidentally forget about your pledge! So, get out the car and get on yer bike!

Related: Get on your bike for bike week: 16-24 June | The Bike Station: recycled cycles


Don’t take it from us, take it from the experts. The eZee Torque hybrid electric bike was Cycling Plus magazine’s Pick of the Year 2007. The throttle-assisted machine based around a hybrid style alloy frame packs an astounding boost into a relatively small front hub motor which is powered by the latest lithium battery technology. It weighs 25kg complete with lights, mudguards and rack, and accelerates to the legal limit of 15mph with serious zeal. The speed limiter can be disconnected for off-road use, giving a top well over 20 miles per hour.

Related stories: Wrangler electric bike | The Bike Station: Recycled cycles

ecoescapefrontcover.gifWhether you want to live the retro life in a vintage American caravan, pretend you're an ewok living in a treetop house, or explore some of the UK's new generation of organic pubs you will find it in Ecoescape's green travel guide. The handy book provides information on the UK's many eco-destinations, with tips and ideas on how to have a responsible, sustainable vacation within the British Isles. It also encourages you to travel green by providing details of bus routes and train stations. In this age where we are encouraged to reduce our carbon footprint, and reject air travel, it's good to know there are so many quirky and exciting destinations on our doorstep. The green guide is £3.65, but is available for £2.99 (including p&p) during June from ecoescape.org

Related: The Ethical Travel Guide | Whitelee holiday cottages receive prestigious green award | Eco holidays in eco lodges


Now this is more like it! Electric scooters tend to be wildly overpriced, which means that people aren’t going for the green option since they eat up too much cash. But this latest release, coming to the UK this summer, might do the trick. The E-Max is Italian designed and German engineered, which in human terms always looks like a slickly stylish male-model with a brain the size of a super-geek. It’s not bad at £2800 incl. VAT, which is still almost three times the cost of a petrol scooter. However, you are exempt from road tax and London Congestion Charge (saves £8 per day), plus it is virutally maintenance-free. But the big saving comes on petrol. You can do about 150 miles on £1 of electricity, which is roughly 80% cheaper than the crude stuff.

Related stories: Vectrix electric scooter | Bikes and scooters go mainstream


A holiday centre in Northumberland National Park has gained a prestigious silver grading from the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Whitelee Holiday Cottages is set in a remote part of the border between Northumberland and Scotland, and the owners have been rewarded for the work they have done to protect the fragile local environment. They have created an eco-friendly, nature-based holiday experience based around three stunning cottages in the Whitelee National Nature Reserve.

toyota%20i-unit%20concept%20car.jpgNo, that's not the new Big Brother diary room chair, though you'd be forgiven for thinking so. It's actually the latest concept car from Toyota, which is being presented as an example of what you can do with biodegradable plastics.

The Toyota i-unit concept car is on display at the Science Museum's current exhibition, Plasticity, about the material we've come to rely so heavily on in the past century, and that's a little bit too durable for its own good when it comes to disposal.


You could be a real conservationist swimming with monk seals in Turkey or an eco-worker supporting sustainable tourism projects in the Mediterranean. Global Vision International (GVI) is launching four new volunteering projects in Europe. The voluntourism organisation, which gives ordinary people the opportunity to eco-venture with organisations like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the Jane Goodall Institute or Rainforest Concern, now says the feel-good factor can be found much closer to home with their new projects launching in Greece , Latvia , Spain and Turkey .

Related stories: Acacia African voluntourism | Join an eco-tribe in Fiji

lochossianlarge1.jpgOne of the country's oldest youth hostels has recently had a £130,000 face lift and is now being advertised as one of the most eco friendly places to stay in the UK. The hostel in Loch Ossian, high up on the remote Rannoch Moor, near Fort William now boasts, amongst other things, wind and solar power, composting toilets, grey water and bat friendly paint. It can only add to the feeling of being at one with nature, with the surrounding countryside erupting with spectacular Corbetts and Munros. The hostel sleeps 20, and a bed will cost you around £13.50 per night. As with most youth hostels you can also rent out the entire building for you and your closest friends. Loch Ossian will only set you back £285 for a week, which split between 20 is not a bad deal for such an idyllic location.

Related: First Green Hostel in Britain Wins Award | Eco holidays in eco lodges


Voluntourism is a new concept in travel where travellers get a chance to help the community that they visit. Acacia tours offer a 14 day Gorilla encounter in Uganda, which incorporates an optional day with the Softpower Project in Jinja, a registered charity working to uplift and build community schools. Adventurers might find themselves sawing, hammering or perhaps painting murals. Gorilla tourism, whilst expensive, has undoubtedly saved endangered gorilla communities from extinction, since the lucrative tourism industry has ensured their protection.

Related stories: Maasai Treads | Responsible travel awards

ecolodge1.jpgNow you have read about Ryanair’s free flight offer and turned away in disgust, you will need an idea for a more earth friendly holiday this summer. Obviously flying abroad is out of the question. Why not stay in Britain this summer? We are being promised a glorious summer this year. You could leave the car at home and take a train to the Yorkshire Dales and stay at one of Dales Holiday’s Eco lodges.

The Eco lodges are located a mile from the market town of Richmond in Swaledale and are close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The lodges are set in 50 acres of private woodland and meadow.


I’ve never been into self-catering holidays that claim to be a “nature experience”. It usually means you’ll experience the rain through the roof, the wind through the holes in the wall and the cows in next door’s field, which are a little too close for comfort. However, Tots to France, an online company specialising in family-friendly travel, might be the real McCoy. Live the French countryside life at their two new eco-friendly gîtes which have been recently added to their extensive collection of French holiday properties.

Related stories: Times promotes green holidays | Yoga for tots

Eco-tourism: Organic places to stay

mount%20plesant.JPGI remember the days when finding accommodation to suit even my vegetarian needs was difficult, let alone, any concern for the environment. But those days are long behind us, and wherever you're planning on visiting, there's now a wealth of affordable B&Bs with sustainable business principles at the heart of what they do. This new breed of green destinations is forging a whole new concept in holiday choices.

It's also becoming easier to identify the good ones, as accreditation bodies like the Green Tourism business scheme are now gaining wider recognition and prestige, as well as UK-wide guidebooks like 'Organic Places to Stay' from Green Books. I recently stayed at the Mount Pleasant B&B in Cornwall, one of the highest rated eco-friendly Bed and Breakfasts, with a Gold Green Tourism rating. Follow the jump for a review of my stay.


Sit back, relax and have all your eco-needs taken care of - this is Apex Hotels’ claim to their guests. The hotel chain has won all kinds of awards for its environmentally considerate philosophy. Not only do they design all their hotels with an eco-conscious architect, use only eco-friendly chemicals throughout, strive to reduce energy consumption, they will even work out your carbon footprint during your stay and charge it to your hotel bill. My first thought was that carbon will now be among the things you have to argue that you didn’t use, along with the mini-bar, excessive phone bills and premium rate TV channels. But the reality is that Apex work with Climate Care and every penny goes to carbon offsetting schemes around the world. There are currently five Apex hotels - in London, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Related Stories: Greener holidays | Connection measures carbon footprint

hampshirefarm1.jpgEver wondered what goes on at an organic farm? Want a pleasant and educational day out for the children? With summer fast approaching, I’m sure you are looking for fun days out in the country, especially those of you with young children. You could just do the usual picnic in the country or visit a quaint village, or sit in a country pub, but visiting an organic farm is far more interesting.

vectrix%20scooter.jpgWell I would say yay… I think. It’s nice looking, no emissions, eco, green, hippy, all that stuff. For most people the big deal is how cheap it is. A full charge costs approximately 20 pence and that gets you 70 miles. So covering 200 miles per week at average speeds of 35 to 50mph costs a quid, £1, that’s nothing, well in fact it’s 90 per cent less than petrol. Plus it’s also exempt from road tax and qualifies for a 50 per cent saving on insurance premiums.

Related stories: Toni Electroni scooter | Bikes and scooters go mainstream

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