Travelife supports Make Holidays Greener 2014

In our previous edition we promoted the Make Holidays Greener Big Beach Clean, encouraging as many of our members to get involved as possible. During July we partnered with the Travel Foundation who has seen over 100 beach cleans around the world. The Travelife team are proud to report that the majority of beach cleans on the campaign’s world map were organized by Travelife hotel members. So congratulations to all those of you who took part.

“The beach cleans are a great way to get staff, guests and local people involved in positive action in the holiday destination,” says Nikki White, Travelife, Head of Destinations and Sustainability. “Like the combined impact of Travelife hotels around the world, the beach cleans show that by people working together lots of simple, practical actions all add up to make a big difference.”

Travelife for Hotels and Accommodations is a keen supporter of the Make Holidays Greener campaign and the team even took part in a beach clean in the UK.

On 3 July over 30 people from the UK travel industry joined forces in Brighton. Of course the Travelife team was keen to get involved. Christin Radtke, the Travelife Administrative Assistant, tells us about her experience of collecting litter in Brighton for a day.

Christin, why do you think the Big Beach Clean is a good idea?
I’m passionate about anything related to sustainability, but also as a kite-surfer I use the beach myself very regularly and am eager to protect this beautiful environment. I was happy to take part in the Brighton beach clean and help keep one of the UK’s most popular beaches clean.

How was the beach clean organized?
To start we were divided into groups of 5-8, each receiving a rubbish bag and spreadsheet to log the garbage we found on the beach. At the first glance the beach looked clean, but in just one hour we managed to collect more than 1,025 pieces of rubbish! They were mostly small items, but together it made a big difference.

What did you collect?
The main items we found were bottle tops and all forms of different ropes. The most curious item I managed to find was an electronic cigarette. Apparently 60% of all rubbish found on UK beaches is plastic and that was no different on this day.

As a representative from the Marine Conservation Society, the event’s co-organisers, explained to us: plastic doesn’t bio-degrade and so if someone doesn’t pick it up it will be there for many decades before it finally breaks down. And of course, as well as looking ugly, plastic litter can cause many problems for marine wildlife and sea birds that either get caught in it, or mistake it for food and swallow it.

Would you recommend others to take part in a beach clean?
What’s great about the Big Beach Clean is that it’s not just about cleaning up after us – tourism is only one of many sources of beach litter. But tourism is perfectly placed to be part of the solution. For me it was a great day as I helped to clean the beach, but also met a lot of great people in the sunshine – not guaranteed in the UK... My only regret is forgetting to put the suntan lotion on. Next time I’ll know better!

For those of you who are eager to help as well, organizing a beach clean yourself is not hard with the great tips from the Travel Foundation.