Choosing to holiday in the UK rather than abroad is a sure fire way of reducing your carbon footprint and also reducing the environmental damage caused by emissions from aircraft. However, this is not to say that this carbon footprint can't be reduced further.
There are several factors that affect the green credentials of a holiday caravan park. As caravan parks are always based on greenfield sites, and always generate noise, disruption and refuse, it is how the caravan park's owners offset this damage that truly decides whether they are committed to ecology or not.
Programs such as the coveted The David Bellamy awards have been successful in promoting the cause of eco friendly caravan parks and encouraging parks to do more to minimise their impact on the environment.
But - while such eco-activities are undoubtedly commendable - holiday caravan parks are businesses, and so are dictated by the bottom line. So, the pertinent question is; are consumers more likely to purchase a caravan on an eco-friendly site? And - if so - is this likelihood enough to justify the extra cost associated with environmentally friendly modification?
Recent research suggests that, yes, consumers are more likely to purchase a caravan on an eco-friendly site, and may even be prepared to part with more money than on a standard site. This “green buying power” has been seen in supermarkets, where customers are happy to pay premium prices for responsibly sourced products; now it appears the same consumer dynamics apply in the holiday caravan industry.
Studies have also shown that many ecological activities on holiday caravan parks in-fact perform a dual function. The promotion of wildlife areas and environmental conservation, a commitment to recycling and responsible waste disposal, and tasteful park landscaping all boost the park's environmental credentials while also increasing its desirability to consumers.
There is also the aspirational aspect of such parks; all of us want to feel like we are doing our bit for the environment, and owning a caravan on one of these parks allows us to express that.
But taking care of the environment is as much the responsibility of the caravan owner as the park owners. By using low energy light bulbs and good quality insulation, individual caravan owners can reduce their carbon footprint still further by preventing energy wastage. Park Resorts have even introduced their own eco-focused caravan - the Abi Pure that includes these features and more as standard.
Not only will these energy saving features help to save the planet, they will also save you money. Holiday caravans aren’t cheap, so this double benefit is likely to turn more than a few peoples’ heads during their search for a static caravan holiday home.
With park and caravan owners alike beginning to sit up and take notice of the multiple benefits of an eco-friendly focus, we expect to see further developments in this direction in the near future.