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Our ethics

We really enjoy what we do, but it's really important our actions don't have a negative impact on other people or the environment. That's why we're always looking at ways to run our business in the most responsible and sustainable way and we are constantly thinking how we can make a more positive impact.

Click on the following links to find out more:

Environmentally aware

Global warning is the world's biggest threat. It's largely caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from vehicles, planes, homes and industry. At Don't be a tourist we've been able to take lots of action to reduce our emissions and limit the impact we have on the environment.

On the road

Walking and cycling are the most environmentally sound ways of travelling, but they're not so effective for longer journeys. Next to these, coaches provide the lowest-carbon way to travel. To try and limit the environmental impact of travelling by coach on our trips, we:

Limit trips

Each semester, we never run more than two scheduled trips from each starting point to the same destination. That way we limit the possibility of wasting fuel on trips running with half empty coaches (but it does mean you have to book early to get a place!). If any coach isn't full, we always try to use a smaller bus.

Use low emission coaches

We always try to use coaches which meet the low emissions standards for travel in London's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on all our trips, not only trips to London.

Encourage smarter driving

We certainly don't like telling our drivers how to do what they do best, but together we have worked out some ways to reduce CO2 emissions including:


When we arrive at our destination, we leave the coach and go out on foot, it's healthier, we see more, and it reduces our emissions.

In our office

Our office is only very small, but there are a number of things we are currently doing to try to make our impact on the environment even smaller:

Reduce energy use 

Reduce paper use

We're minimising how much paper we use by:


If we can't reuse or give things away, we recycle them (paper, printer cartridges, packaging, etc.)

Getting around

When we're not on trips or in our office, we get around by the most sustainable, lowest carbon method available, usually on our bikes or public transport. If we need to get to those hard to reach places, we borrow a car from our friends at

Our suppliers

Our main suppliers are coach and accommodation providers, but also include local printers and providers of business services. Our aim is to only use suppliers who share the same values and do our best to influence those who don't, yet.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us to let us know.

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Responsible tourism

We make an effort to ensure all of our trips make a positive impact on the environment and culture of the communities we visit. By making a few basic but important choices we are able to help generate more income and employment for local people, and provide more enjoyable experiences for everyone involved in our trips - you, our drivers, accommodation staff, guides and local people - through more meaningful connections.

Keeping it local

Locally owned hostels

Wherever possible, we stay at locally owned hostels (the staff are always friendly, helpful and full of ideas and stories about the local area), often in beautiful properties which preserve local architecture. If this isn't possible, we stay at hostels run by the YHA or YMCA, two charitable organisations committed to helping young people.

Locally owned businesses

Whenever we get together as a group on our trips it's always in locally owned restaurants, cafes or bars, which serve locally sourced produce and / or Fairtrade products. We always encourage everyone on our trips to think about buying from locally owned businesses, too.

Reducing the impact

Limit visitor numbers

While it would be great to be able to take everyone who wants to come with us, it would put a lot of pressure on the infrastructure in some of the places we visit. That's why we never take more than one coach on each trip to some of the smaller destinations.

It's a two way thing

Our trips not only enable you to learn more about the people and places we visit, but we and the people we work with (our drivers and local people - our guides, staff at the hostels, restaurants, cafes, shops, etc.) also benefit from meeting you. Getting to know people from all over the world provides us with an opportunity to learn and understand more about lots of different cultures.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us to let us know.

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Responsible travel

The following are some suggestions for how you can make your travel experience more positive for you and your hosts:

Act respectfully - Make an effort to learn something about the local culture and language; ask people before taking a picture of them, or their children or home.

Bargain politely - When buying goods and services and pay a fair price.

Buy local - To support the local economy. Never buy products made from endangered animals or plants.

Conserve water and energy - Use water responsibly; switch off lights when you leave your room; consider buying a wind-up phone charger.

Consider recycling - Leave your product packaging at home; use the recycling bins provided by the hostels or on the coaches.

Leave no trace - When out walking, don't leave any rubbish and collect any that you see; bring your own shopping bag to discourage the use of plastic bags (they often end up in the sea killing marine life and can create problems on land too).

Stay on the trail - Straying from the path while out walking can cause erosion.

Tread lightly - Don't pick flowers and plants or collect pebbles and seashells.

When back home - Consider supporting an organisation that works for the environment, people or wildlife of the place you have just enjoyed.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us to let us know.

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Projects we support

We make donations to the following projects:

The Border Green Energy Team (BGET) - 'provides hands-on appropriate technology training and financial support to village innovators in ethnic minority areas on both sides of the Thai/Burma border' (description from their website). We like them because they are working towards making the future of energy infrastructure cleaner and more democratic, and all of the money sent goes entirely to their projects.
You can make a donation via their website:

Friar's Crag Footpath - Friar's Crag is a path alongside Derwentwater, a lake which we sometimes visit on our trips to the Lake District. The National Trust are helping to give the footpath a more permanent and substantial surface which resists flooding and erosion. At the same time they are upgrading the route to wheelchair standard to improve access for all.
You can make a donation via the following website:

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us to let us know.

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Environment links

Here are some useful links to websites providing information to help you reduce your impact on the environment.

Reduce energy use - ways to save energy and money, and reduce your carbon emissions.

Reduce junk mail - register with the Mailing Preference Service to stop receiving addressed advertising mail to UK addresses (e.g. credit card applications).

Reduce food waste - it's not just a waste of money, it harmful to the environment, too. For example, if UK residents stopped wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road. This website has lots of useful about tips about how to reduce food waste.

Recycling - loads of useful information about what and how to recycle, and where to recycle (in the UK).

Car club - pay-by-the-hour cars at destinations all over England. You only need to be 18 or over and most foreign driving licences are accepted.

Sustainable living - visit the Centre for Alternative Technology's website for lots of ideas on how to live more sustainably.

If you have any comments or suggestions, or know any other useful websites (especially for similar services outside the UK) please contact us to let us know.

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