How To Have A More Sustainable Holiday

The search for a more sustainable holiday has certainly gained momentum, with many of our guests seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, and tread a little lighter on the destinations they love to visit. Whilst travel will always have some impact on the planet, how can we minimise the damage and still explore?  

Now we’re a certified B Corp organisation, we want to share our top ways to have a more sustainable holiday in Cornwall. From considering how you get here, to leaving your favourite place better than you found it, let this be your go-to guide for travelling more mindfully, without compromising on your fulfilling, indulgent, and memory-packed staycation. 

Getting There: Travelling by Train

Sustainable travel encompasses how we shop, eat, and how we spend our valuable leisure time on holiday, but let’s start with transport. The greenhouse effect of emissions per kilometre on railway transport is 80% less than that of cars, so when heading down to Cornwall, hopping on the railway really is the best form of environmentally mindful travel. From London Paddington, you can even take the night riviera all the way to Penzance, which is an exciting, novel experience for children if you’re travelling as a family, and doesn’t impose on your holiday time! 

If travelling by electric vehicle, you can stay at one of our Gems with EV chargers, or if you’d like to offset your travel emissions, you can choose to plant a tree in the Gems Forest as your welcome gift! 

Great Western Railway is committed to delivering a sustainable and socially responsible future by managing their environmental impact through reducing their waste and emissions and supporting charities. You can book your Great Western Railway tickets here. The Paddington to Penzance service stops at various places through Cornwall. You can alight at Par to access Newquay, Bodmin to access Padstow and Wadebridge, Truro to access Falmouth, or St Erth for the coastal railway to St Ives – a beautiful scenic ride hugging the coast along St Ives bay. 

Shopping and Eating in Cornwall

Shopping from small businesses in Cornwall allows you to discover one-of-a-kind designs, indulge in delicious produce and marvel at artisan craftsmanship. Afterall, isn’t the joy of travelling experiencing the local cuisine and culture? Take the chance to embrace the charm and authenticity of Cornwall, while making a positive impact on the local community, the makers who pour their heart and soul into their business and genuinely care for the environment. Sustainability is often prioritised by small businesses across Cornwall, empowering you to make purchasing decisions that are inline with your values … and your taste!

When we choose to purchase fresh, local food, we are part of something positive:

  1. Carbon Cutting. By supporting local farmers, you help reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their harmful impact on our planet.
  2. Supporting Local. When you buy local produce, you’re not just filling your plate, you’re also nourishing the Cornish economy. By supporting our farmers and food producers, you’re contributing to a thriving community, fostering regional self-sufficiency and bolstering our economy.
  3. Seasonal Delights. Experimenting with seasonal food can be an exciting culinary adventure, widening your palette and nudging you to try new recipes. It allows you to connect with the natural rhythms of the environment and the world renowned food culture of Cornwall. It can be a way to appreciate the changing seasons, learn about traditional cooking techniques, and foster a sense of connection to the land and sea.
  4. Organic Options. Local farmers often utilise smaller-scale, sustainable farming practices. When you indulge in local produce, you can choose to support farmers who use organic or regenerative agriculture; conserving precious natural resources like soil and water, and protecting our ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

Our Gems welcome gift scheme has support for the community and nature at its heart, and is a real treat for our guests. We offer a choice of six gifts to choose from, including: 

Self-catering holidays have always usually meant a stop at the supermarket, after a long drive, before your holiday can even start. Our default option means you can cut out the faff by selecting a Cornish Food Box delivery of some of the best Cornish produce you can get your hands on, all selected by you to minimise waste. Your order is delivered straight to your holiday door, often before you’ve even checked in, so your kitchen is stocked with fresh, local produce just in time for you to start your holiday. 

Making a Positive Impact

Lending a helping hand whilst on holiday can promote responsible tourism whilst contributing to the conservation of the natural landscape. Whether that’s getting hands on with a community project, or kindly donating to a great local initiative …

Two minute clean for a lifetime of improvement

Each piece of plastic removed from the marine environment no longer poses a threat to the animals that call the area home; it will no longer degrade into thousands of toxic pieces of harmful plastic, and end up being swallowed by fish or sea mammals. The 2 Minute Foundation is a charity encouraging everyone to play their part and clean up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. You can become an ocean guardian by embarking on your own #2minutebeachclean, or find out more ways to get involved here.

Love Where You Are: Donations Welcome

This year, we are pledging support to the fantastic Love Where You Are initiative. The campaign makes it possible for small, climate natured initiatives all over Cornwall, to make their ideas a reality and help tackle climate change in Cornwall. The funds raised go towards all sorts of positive initiatives; from restoring a community orchard, to cleaning up the abandoned fishing gear that threatens our sea life.

We invite our guests to join us in supporting Love Where You Are, by donating £2, £5, £10 or £25 when making a reservation through our website. Your donation will provide valuable support to projects that are working towards a greener Cornwall.

Cornwall Climate Care – just one of the fantastic Love Where You Are initiatives who are creating outstanding documentaries that highlight the effects of Climate Change across Cornwall – share some exciting news: 

“We have been accepted for match funding from The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund, which will TRIPLE donations received for the remainder of our @crowdfunderuk! For each £1 donation, Aviva will donate £2, enabling us to complete our latest film and get it out into the world. If you have not already pledged and would like to, this is a great opportunity to do so, as even £5 will become £15! Thanks so much for all your wonderful support.”

The Great Big Nature Survey

The Wildlife Trusts want to hear your opinions on some of the biggest questions surrounding nature and our role in caring for it: 

  • How often do you get out into nature, if at all?
  • Is nature important to you? If so, how important?
  • What roles should people, business, and government have in managing nature?

Click here to have your say on wildlife and nature in the UK.

Eco-Conscious Accommodation

Choosing a holiday home that values sustainability without compromising on luxury details can make your holiday more Earth-friendly. That’s why many of our owners have designed or adapted their holiday cottages in St Mawes, Falmouth, Padstow and across the county,  to include climate-mindful elements. This offers a more sustainable holiday accommodation option for our guests, and works towards reducing the environmental impact of tourism, without compromising on a luxury holiday experience. Read on for a few ways that our Eco Conscious holiday homes are treading a little lighter.

A New Lease of Life: Renovating, Restoring and Repurposing
Refurbished properties generally have a lower carbon footprint. Through retaining existing structures less materials, and in turn, less embodied carbon, is involved in the process. On a smaller scale, each piece of repurposed furniture (such as Meadow’s Nest’s Singer sewing machine wash basin stand, or the upcycled headboards on the beds of Bosavallam and Boslagen, originally church timber) saves materials from landfill, reduces waste and avoids carbon emissions involved in buying from new.

Mindful Materials: Sustainably Sourced Timber 
Timber that has an FSC certificate has been sourced from well managed forests that are continually replenished, and cause no damage to the surrounding flora and fauna. With far less embodied energy than steel or concrete, sustainably sourced timber is a climate mindful option.

Staying Cosy with Underfloor Heating 
Underfloor heating combined with a renewable energy source such as ground source heat pump can save between 15-40% of energy. This feature reduces heat waste, and because the whole surface of the floor is warmer, the temperature does not have to be set as high to achieve a comfortable temperature for the home and its guests.

Bore-ing is Best!
Whilst around 60% of mains water is recycled wastewater, this requires significant energy for purification in order for it to be drinkable. A natural and sustainable source of water – borehole water – is free from contamination and does not require extensive treatment and energy usage. 

As people who love to travel, we have the power to make a positive impact by taking simple steps to reduce our carbon footprint and by trying to protect the places we love. By choosing more eco-conscious accommodation, engaging in carbon-free activities, and supporting the local community, we can have a more sustainable holiday experience. Travel has an impact on our planet, but we are committed to working towards responsible tourism and providing our guests with a more mindful and fulfilling travel experience, that helps Cornwall to flourish.

You can browse our Eco-Conscious Gems here.