Make Holidays Greener

Sal Paintball makes holidays greener

Sal beach cleanOn 12th July around 40 people came together in Sal, Cape Verde, to clean about 2km of beach. Almost 500kg of rubbish was collected, mainly plastic bottles and fishing gear (fishing nets and containers) washed up on Kite beach, on the East coast of Sal.

The most unusual items they collected were a water boiler, a gas bottle, and a pepper shaker. The most common pieces of trash were plastic bottles – around 300 of them in all, which underlines how important it is for everyone to try and reduce their single-use plastic (e.g. with re-usable bottles).

Thank you so much to all the participants and organisers, and especially to Sal Paintball and Explore CV for the lunch, drinks and activities at the end of the beach cleaning, and to the CMSal (City Hall) for supplying water, bin bags and transport. Sal beach clean Photos: Duncan Gillies, Sal Paintballers.

Beach cleans are for life, not just July!

Uga Escapes in Sri Lanka and Kuoni teamed up to run a beach clean as part of Make Holidays Greener’s Big Beach Clean campaign at their Uga Jungle Beach property. Having taken part in the campaign, the general manager of Uga Jungle Beach, Mr V.A. Sivapriyan wants to continue to run regular beach cleans throughout the year to keep the beach environment as clean as possible.

Below, we hear from staff at Kuoni UK and the hotel…

Jemma Purvis, PR Kuoni UK     

slide0010_image011“When the Travel Foundation contacted Kuoni UK about their latest campaign to Make Holidays Greener, we jumped at the chance.

I had recently come back from Sri Lanka and had been staying at UGA hotels along the east coast, which are all set in stunning locations surrounded by natural beauty.  One thing I did notice however is that when you ventured further along the beach away from the hotel there was some litter scattered around, which had clearly been washed up.

The Big Beach Clean campaign seemed like an excellent solution, so I contacted our friends at Uga Escapes who were more than willing to team up and take part in this event at their hotel, Jungle Beach in Trincomalee.”

    V.A.Sivapriyan, General Manager – Uga Jungle Beach

“UGA proudly joined hands with Kuoni and the Travel Foundation to assist in preserving the beKuoni uga escapesauty of these virgin beaches.

I would say the beaches of Kuchchaveli where Jungle Beach is situated, are among the most pristine beaches in Sri Lanka, as these coastal areas are devoid of any commercial or private establishments. However due to the marine pollution, there are lots of plastic objects that are constantly washed  ashore, which tarnishes the natural beauty of the coast.

The beach clean was a great success and we are determined to continue this throughout the year to provide a pleasant holiday experience to our valuable guests.  It will also help showcase our commitment to sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka”

Thimasha Wanasinghe, Guest Relations Executive – Uga Jungle Beach

“We informed guests at Jungle Beach about the Make Holidays Greener beach clean on the 17th slide0013_image019June at Kuchchaveli beach, some of them were really excited and decided to take part.  They joined our staff at UGA and a group of travel agents who were visiting on a trip organised and lead by Kuoni UK. 

Participants started their clean-up from the entrance at two sites — north beach and south beach and worked toward the middle. They bent, squatted and kneeled on the sand to search for objects, the main culprit being plastic.  

 As our property is located amidst a shrub jungle that borders a lagoon, we are very conscious of keeping the environment clean. So this is a big, beautiful and extremely important initiative brought forward by the Travel Foundation to maintain a clean beach and a sustainable environment for our future generation of Sri Lanka.”  

Greener beaches, cleaner oceans

The Travel Foundation has teamed up with Travelife for Hotels and Accommodations to launch this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign, raising awareness of the need for cleaner, greener beaches.

Last year over 100 companies took part, in 22 countries, gathering up over 600 bags of rubbish (and therefore preventing it from entering the oceans and harming wildlife)!

“We’re delighted to have Travelife as a partner for the Make Holidays Greener campaign,” said Salli Felton, Chief Executive of the Travel Foundation. “The campaign looks set to be even bigger and better than last year.”

The global community is waking up to the issue of litter entering the oceans. If current trends continue then by 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean.

Plastic never biodegrades, it just breaks into smaller pieces. In this form it is at its most dangerous, as small fish gobble up the microparticles and it works its way up the food chain.

The Big Holiday Beach Clean-up is an opportunity for the travel industry to do something positive about this issue and help keep it on the agenda. Getting involved in the campaign is a great way to show your customers and staff that you care, and to highlight your green credentials.

Companies can support the campaign by organising a beach clean during or before July and by sharing their stories on Facebook and Twitter, using #greenerhols.

Please visit for a range of free resources, including how to organise a beach cleanup and top tips for customers.


The Big Beach Cleanup made holidays greener this July

Beach cleanup photo collage

How did it go?

Thousands of kilograms of rubbish were picked up from 97 beaches in 22 countries!

In total, 105 companies took part in the event. A huge thank you to all the staff, customers, residents and friends who made the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup such a success.

Thanks also for keeping us informed of your beach cleans and sending through your photos – a selection of which have been used in the above graphic, and appear in our Facebook album and on Flickr. You can also download this graphic as an A4 poster to display.

So what next?

If you haven’t already done so, please send your beach surveys to Ocean Conservancy who will use the data to keep track of the problem globally. They will also report back with observations about the litter collected and what this means.

If you’ve caught the beach clean bug, please join the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup on 20 September (or the MCS Great British Beach Clean from 19-22 September if you are UK based).

Consider getting your beach fully-green: get inspiration and advice from our Greening Cyprus Beaches film and manual and/or use our Turtle Protection tool. Be sure to keep us informed of your progress!

Thanks again for making this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign the best yet. And thanks too to Visit Greece for sponsoring the campaign this year!

Serra Negra beach clean in Cape Verde for World Oceans Day

Serra Negra beach clean, Sal, Cape Verde

To celebrate World Oceans Day and Make Holidays Greener Month, the Travel Foundation worked with the Sal-based NGO SOS Tartarugas to organise a beach clean in Serra Negra, Cape Verde.

25 participants collected approximately 700kg of rubbish over 3.5 hours, including fishing nets, plastic boxes, wood and glass – enough to fill three pick-up trucks.

Members of the Sal Destination Council kindly supported the beach clean:

  • APP (water and electricity company) donated 100 rubbish bags
  • Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea donated 25 litres of drinking water and rubbish bags
  • RIU Hotel donated 30 bottles of juice, rubbish bags and cups
  • Guiantur, the Association of Tourist Guides, gave use of their pick-up truck
  • City Hall of Sal donated rubbish bags

The event was also supported by the Protected Areas Project, which provided a pick-up truck and driver, and School Kim Barbosa, which provided catering equipment. A traditional Cape Verdean hearty stew called cachupa was made by a lady called Felipa for the beach clean team.

Serra Negra beach clean, Sal, Cape Verde - Cachupa time

The Travel Foundation’s National Programme Manager for Cape Verde, Débora Abu-Raya said, “Despite the amount of rubbish we collected from Serra Negra, we still have a long way to go before the beach is clear of plastic. As our Better Beaches project progresses, we’re hoping to encourage more local residents and visitors to come to beach cleans and take better care of the beach environment. I’m sure we will get there!”

By Isabel Kearney, Destinations Programme Officer

Beach clean in Cape Verde

Sal beach clean

To celebrate World Turtle Day, Isabel Kearney, Travel Foundation’s Destinations Programme Officer for Cape Verde took part in a beach clean on 25th May in Sal. The beach clean, which was organised by SOS Turtles, saw local residents and the SOS Turtles team come together on Kite Beach to collect litter. Isabel said:

“Despite being the most popular of Sal’s beaches for kite surfers, I was surprised by how much rubbish we collected – we filled twelve large bags in an hour with plastic jerry cans, bits of fishing nets and broken glass bottles.”

Isabel is in Sal for two weeks working with National Programme Manager Débora Abu-Raya visiting the Travel Foundation’s projects and attending the Destination Council.

For more information on the Travel Foundation’s work in Cape Verde, please visit our project pages and if you are in the travel industry, sign up for a beach clean as part of this July’s Make Holidays Cleaner campaign.


Make Holidays Greener: collecting litter at Sand Bay

In preparation for the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup in July, four members of Travel Foundation staff took part in a Marine Conservation Society (MCS) beach clean this morning.

Our team collected 3kg of litter, while the whole group of MCS volunteers managed to clear 100kg of rubbish from the beach at Sand Bay, North Somerset.

“It was a great day out and it felt really satisfying to take so much plastic out of the beach environment,” said Head of Communications Ben Lynam.

Make Holidays Greener Month will see Big Holiday Beach Cleanups take place across the world this July. If you work in travel and tourism and would like to organise a cleanup, you can find out more on the Travel Foundation website.


Make Holidays Greener – The Big Holiday Beach Cleanup

Beach cleanup Cyprus

For this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign we’re doing something a little bit different from the previous four years.

July will still be an opportunity for travel companies to do something extra to help the destinations they sell, and to talk about greener holidays with their staff and customers. But this July we want to show what tourism can achieve when we act together on a single issue.

So we’re encouraging everyone to get involved in beach cleanups. Here are some reasons why we chose this idea in particular:

  • Beaches are a key part of the vast majority of summer holidays. They are a global “place” where tourism meets nature, and so represent many of the issues that brings.
  • They are an easy concept to understand, and can help raise awareness of “green” issues. This was the main reason why, in our ring-around to test a few different ideas, travel companies came down in favour of a cleanup.
  • They have been a successful part of Make Holidays Greener in the past, and can unite different travel companies to take action for the benefit of their resort.
  • We can build on our work in Cyprus where local communities have come together to “green” their beaches.
  • We will be able to show the physical result of everyone working together, as we tot up the amount of litter bagged across the globe.

MCS beach cleanupTo some, a beach cleanup may seem too small a gesture – and if this is all tourism does to benefit a destination in 2014, we agree! But it will be a great way to engage customers, staff and local communities alike about the health of our oceans, and every tonne of rubbish that is taken out of the environment is good news for birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine life. If you still aren’t convinced that a cleanup will make a difference, check out the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch campaign, now in its 20th year.

Tourism is better placed than any other industry to mobilise this kind of action – and of course it will benefit from cleaner beaches. Furthermore, it is well placed to encourage more substantial changes for longer term impact. The industry has influential and productive relationships with destination communities and suppliers (hoteliers are often beach owners), and is usually represented on destination management councils.

Perhaps we can succeed in banning plastic bag use near certain beaches, or in introducing more litter bins and ashtrays for safe disposal?

If you work in the travel trade, see to find out how you can get involved in the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup.

If you’re a holidaymaker, visit to find out how you can help care for the beach.

By Salli Felton, Acting Chief Executive