Eco-friendly holidays in Thailand were the hot topic at the recent Greenista Expo 2012, an event designed to encourage people to travel with a light touch. Organised by bosses of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the exhibition in the Nonthaburi area of Bangkok was all about showcasing the ways in which tourists can reduce their environmental impact.
"We believe that the Expo will enhance environmental conservation awareness that will absolutely bring an advantage to the tourism industry," Kulpramote Wannalert, director of the TAT's Attraction Promotion Division, said ahead of the event.
So, how can you limit your carbon footprint when you go on holiday to Thailand?
When you book your flights to Thailand, many airlines will give you the opportunity to pay a little extra to offset your carbon emissions. These schemes normally work by using the money to fund sustainability projects around the globe. Examples of British Airways' projects include solar hot water schemes in public swimming pools, small scale wind turbines for schools, or energy efficiency measures in social housing.
If you're headed to Thailand, you won't need that bulky coat or several pairs of shoes, so why take them? Pack just what you need – swimsuit, flip flops and t-shirts are generally all that's required, unless you're planning on a serious jungle trek in the north of the country. A heavy plane needs more fuel to get off the ground. If everyone packs a little less, it can add up to a big environmental saving.
Take the train
Hiring a car can be expensive and it will increase the carbon footprint of your trip. The train is a much better way to get around, and can make for an incredible experience. Rail journeys in Thailand are particularly rewarding, whether you simply make the short trip from Bangkok to the River Kwai bridge or book the spectacular Eastern & Oriental Express from the Thai capital to Singapore.