A trip to Cornwall is very often about reconnecting with nature. We come here to relax and unwind, immersing ourselves in the beautiful surroundings that lay waiting around every corner.
But as travellers, we have a responsibility to protect the environment that we are visiting. Whether on a global or local level, we should always consider the impact that our trip leaves behind, making every effort to not just preserve the places we visit but do something small to try and enhance the sustainability of the area.
Cornwall, and Padstow in particular, is perfectly placed to welcome eco-friendly tourism. The local area prides itself on being aware of the value of holidaying sustainably, and the shops and businesses dotted around the harbour are already playing their part in promoting the importance of eco-conscious tourists.
All of which means it's now over to you to do your bit, here's how you can make your holiday to Cornwall an eco-friendly experience.
How are you getting here?
We'll start with the obvious. Your journey down to Cornwall is likely to be the most polluting aspect of your holiday. Whilst most families wouldn't consider leaving the car behind, public transport to Padstow is surprisingly easy, and once you're here, everything is within touching distance. If public transport doesn't work for you, how about offsetting your emissions? Climate Positive's simple website makes it easy for you to offset your car's carbon footprint, leaving you free to sail down the A30 safe in the knowledge that the impact of your journey has been minimised.
Do a beach clean.
Alarming quantities of plastic, litter and other pollution get washed up onto Cornwall's beaches. And keeping the coast a safe environment for people and wildlife requires a massive team effort. The National Trust organises regular beach cleans at a variety of spots all over the county, so why not spend a bit of time giving something back by attending a beach clean? It's a fantastic way to discover new beauty spots whilst improving the landscape and protecting the marine life. To find out where and when these beach cleans are taking place, click here.
Help the wildlife.
You might choose to go one step further than cleaning the beaches and volunteer to directly help the local Cornish wildlife. It takes a bit of advanced planning, but there are numerous opportunities for volunteering at the sanctuaries and rescue centres located around Cornwall. And if helping out isn't possible, visiting and paying the admission fee is a fantastic way of showing your support for Cornwall's wildlife charities. Just be sure to offset the carbon footprint of your journey!
It's easy to get into holiday mode and leave the recycling good habits at home. But not recycling your waste when on holiday has a massive effect on the local environment. Cornwall's landfill sites are overstretched, so do your bit and take the time to properly recycle your rubbish.
It might be tempting to carefully schedule a large online grocery delivery for when you arrive at your holiday accommodation, but not only does this incur vast quantities of food miles, it's also a boring way to eat when you're staying somewhere as special as Padstow. Cornwall has some of the finest fresh, local produce, and unsurprisingly delivers top-notch seafood, so make the most of the local farm shops and delicatessens. The planet (and your palate) will thank you.
Plant a tree.
It sounds simple, and that's because it is. You can give back to the local Cornish wildlife community by sponsoring a tree. The Down to Earth Foundation is dedicated to creating natural habitat and shelter at its Eco Park in Porthtowan. Their aim is to increase biodiversity and create corridors for creatures to move around the park. It's only £15 and by planting a tree you will receive a personal certificate thanking you for your donation. And if you can make it, you'll be invited to join in with planting during the Community Tree Planting day; if not, don't worry, one of the team will put it in the ground for you. Find out more here.
Don't use cheap bodyboards.
Our final tip might sound strange, but there's an important campaign underway to ban the use of cheap bodyboards on Cornwall's beaches. It's thought that more than 16,000 polystyrene bodyboards are discarded on the coastline in the UK alone, and these fragile, crumbling boards are presenting a danger to sea life and the environment. "The boards, made from a block of polystyrene wrapped in plastic cloth, are often sourced from South-East China and transported thousands of miles across the world, only to snap within minutes of being in the sea and left discarded on Cornwall's beaches." (Cornwall Live, 2019)
So that's our top tips on reducing the environmental impact of your trip to Cornwall. And the best thing about lots of these suggestions is that we think they'll actually add to the enjoyment of your holiday. To discover the best accommodation Padstow has to offer, check out the Padstow Breaks homepage.