Sick of endless Black Friday emails, ads and pop-ups? Ticked off as to why the UK has even picked up this Thanksgiving-specific consumer culture from our American friends in the first place? Us too. That's why we're boycotting Black Friday and celebrating Green Friday instead. In short, Green Friday is an alternative date for the diary for those wanting to ditch the consumerism and, instead, focus on how we can protect our planet. As champions of the Travel Less, Travel Better philosophy, and absolute believers that travel can be a force for good, we at Original Travel are all for this shift in priorities. Wondering how exactly travel can be good for the planet? Well, from carbon off-setting to supporting community-run projects, below are just a few of the ways that we are leading the charge on green travel and ensuring that tourism dollars (or pounds sterling) are put to the best possible use. Read on to find out more…

Responsible Travel

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that the right sort of tourism is vital for conserving the most special corners of our planet. From helping to fund conservation projects and anti-poaching patrols, to supporting local people and economies, we believe that conservation and tourism are inextricably linked (more on that in our blog, 'The Conservation Conversation'). There's a long way to go for responsible travel as a whole, but we are determined to do our bit by working with ethical suppliers and helping you make informed decisions about where you want your money to go.

Carbon Off-Setting

We're determined to help our clients travel in a genuinely sustainable way. That's why we off-set 100% of our staff and clients' carbon footprint from flights and land transport through our financing of large reforestation projects around the world. How does this work in action? We evaluate the amount of CO2 emissions related to each trip and work out the number of trees that need to be planted to absorb the correct amount of CO2.

Our Foundation

We believe travel and tourism should positively affect the communities of the destinations we visit. Since its creation in 2009, our Foundation has invested over £1.3million to support nearly 100 humanitarian projects in 30 developing countries around the world, focused on promoting child protection, vocational training, economic development assistance, preservation of cultural and natural heritage and safeguarding the lifestyles of indigenous peoples.

Philantourism

In the ultimate travel win-win, you can support a wonderful destination simply by being there. By practicing our concept of Philantourism - a combination of philanthropy and tourism - you can direct your tourist spending to the places that can benefit from it the most, be that a country where tourism makes up the majority of GDP or somewhere that is recovering from a natural disaster. You don't need to do anything after you arrive other than enjoy yourself (win) and the money that you spend goes into the local economy, including local-run and owned hotels, restaurants and small businesses (double win).

Train Travel

We're big fans of train travel. Not only is it far better for the environment than flying, but there is something undeniably romantic about watching the world drift by as you zip between dreamy destinations. Whether you want to travel solely by train or weave it into your trip, we can help with all the logistics, from recommending the most scenic rail routes to booking you a compartment on the most luxurious trains and filling your itinerary with amazing activities at each stop.